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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Kansas-West Virginia women’s basketball at a glance

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A look at Tuesday's Kansas-West Virginian women's basketball game.

Who: Kansas at West Virginia

When: 6 p.m.

Where: WVU Coliseum, in Morgantown, West Virginia

Series: Kansas leads, 4-3

Seeking separation

With only eight games left in the regular season for all 10 Big 12 teams, No. 3 Baylor (11-0 in conference) and Oklahoma (9-2) have proven themselves as the clear-cut top teams. The rest of the league mostly has spent time beating each other up. Iowa State (6-5) and TCU (6-5) are the only other teams with winning conference marks.

Tonight, KU continues a critical stretch of arguably winnable games — any matchup that doesn’t feature BU or OU. This past week, the Jayhawks (4-7) beat Texas Tech (3-8) and lost to Oklahoma State (4-7) at Allen Fieldhouse.

The next five games figure to make or break KU’s season: at WVU (4-7), vs. Texas (4-7), at TCU (6-5), at OSU, vs. Kansas State (4-7).

Streaking

When Kansas faced the Mountaineers on Jan. 24 at Allen Fieldhouse, KU prevailed 65-59 behind 20 points and 20 rebounds from senior forward Chelsea Gardner. More recently, WVU has won two of its last three, including home victories over OU and TCU.

Said KU coach Bonnie Henrickson: “They’ve played better since we’ve seen them, had some success, won some games. Whether you’re home or on the road, this league’s good. Every night’s a challenge.”

Slumping

Kansas senior guard Natalie Knight has provided steady scoring (12.4 points per game) and passing (4.0 assists) throughout the season, but her three-point shooting (38.4 percent on the year) has taken a dip of late.

Knight only made one of four threes against Texas Tech — ending a streak of eight straight games with two or more makes — and went 1-for-6 in a loss to OSU. In her last seven games, Knight has hit 11 of 44 threes (25 percent).

Probable starters

Kansas

(13-11 overall, 4-7 Big 12)

G — Natalie Knight, 5-7, sr.

G — Lauren Aldridge, 5-7, fr.

G — Chayla Cheadle, 6-0, fr.

F — Jada Brown, 6-0, so.

F — Chelsea Gardner, 6-3, sr.

West Virginia

(14-9 overall, 4-7 Big 12)

G — Linda Stepney, 5-7, sr.

G — Bre McDonald, 6-0, so.

G — Bria Holmes, 6-1, jr.

F — Averee Fields, 6-1, sr.

C — Lanay Montgomery, 6-5, so.

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