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Friday, January 2, 2015

KU-Texas women at a glance

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Who: Kansas at No. 3 Texas

When: 7 p.m.

Where: Erwin Events Center, Austin, Texas

Series: Texas leads, 17-10

Comparing résumés

No. 3 Texas, along with No. 1 South Carolina and No. 2 Connecticut, is receiving first-place votes in the latest AP Top 25. A perfect 10-0 in the nonconference, UT already has defeated the likes of Stanford (currently No. 15), Tennessee (No. 8) and Texas A&M; (No. 5).

Kansas has faced one team currently ranked. No. 4 Notre Dame destroyed KU, 89-47, on Nov. 30. Since 2004, Kansas is 4-28 against Top-10 opponents.

The Longhorns are better than the Jayhawks in almost every standard statistical category: points (75.8-67.1), rebounds (44.9-39.1), assists (16.4-14.7), steals (8.9-6.2), field-goal percentage (45.9-44.2) and opponents’ field-goal percentage (33.9-34.2). The Jayhawks, by a slim margin, block more shots (4.3) than Texas (4.1).

Streaking

A four-year starter, KU senior guard Natalie Knight has scored in double figures in four straight games and 10 of her last 11. Since a single-digit performance against Cal, Knight has made 53 percent of her shots and averaged 15.5 points a game.

Slumping

KU senior forward Chelsea Gardner enters conference play as the Big 12’s No. 4 scorer (16.5 points) and rebounder (7.7), eighth-best shooter (54.1 percent field-goal percentage) and No. 3 shot-blocker (2.2). However, the 6-foot-3 senior is averaging just 7.3 points and 5.7 rebounds in her last three games — compared to her 16.5 and 7.7 season averages.

Probable starters

Kansas (9-4)

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.

No. 3 Texas (11-0)

G — Celina Rodrigo, 5-8, jr.

G — Brady Sanders, 5-11, jr.

G — Empress Davenport, 5-7, jr.

F — Nneka Enemkpali, 6-1, sr.

C — Kelsey Lang, 6-5, so.

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