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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

KU-Oklahoma women at a glance

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When: 7 p.m. Thursday

Where: Allen Fieldhouse

Who: Oklahoma

Series: Oklahoma leads, 36-30

Conference play:

After going winless through its conference slate last season, Kansas enters league play with some confidence. The Jayhawks, who are on a three-game winning streak, own a 5-14 record in Big 12 openers, including 2-6 at home. But second-year coach Brandon Schneider has noticed some improvement from his squad throughout the non-conference portion of the season.

“I think the last two-and-a-half, three weeks, I think we’ve made a lot of progress, especially defensively and especially on the glass,” Schneider said.

Master thieves:

The Jayhawks rank fourth in the Big 12 by snagging an average of 9.3 steals per game, which jumpstarts their transition offense. Both McKenzie Calvert and Kylee Kopatich have grabbed a team-best 17 steals this season, while five Jayhawks have recorded at least 10 steals this year. KU is averaging 16.8 points per game off of its opponents’ turnovers.

Streaking:

Kansas redshirt sophomore McKenzie Calvert was named co-Big 12 player of the week after scoring a career-high 30 points in an overtime victory against UC Riverside off of the bench. Calvert shot 12-of-20 from the floor, providing KU’s first 30-point performance since 2014. In the team’s last two games, Calvert has shot 57 percent.

Slumping:

After a recent three-game stretch scoring at least 11 points, KU junior Chayla Cheadle has scored nine points in the last three games, spanning 80 minutes on the court. In those three games, Cheadle is shooting 3-of-12 from the floor (25 percent). Of course, Cheadle brings more to the court than only scoring — leading the Jayhawks with 6.5 rebounds per game — but KU ranks ninth in the Big 12 in scoring offense with 67.7 points per game and it’ll need Cheadle to help improve on the offensive end.

Probable starters

Kansas (6-5, 0-0 Big 12)

G — Jessica Washington, 5-8, jr.

G — McKenzie Calvert, 5-9, so.

G — Kylee Kopatich, 5-10, so.

G — Chayla Cheadle, 6-0, jr.

F — Sydney Umeri, 6-0, sr.

Oklahoma (9-3, 0-0)

G — T’ona Edwards, 5-5, sr.

G — Peyton Little, 5-11, sr.

G — Maddie Manning, 6-2, sr.

G — Chelsea Dungee, 5-11, fr.

C — Vionise Pierre-Louis, 6-4, jr.

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