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Saturday, December 31, 2016

KU-Baylor women’s basketball preview

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Who: Kansas vs. Baylor

When: 2 p.m. today

Where: Ferrell Center

Series: Baylor leads, 25-8

Conference woes

Brandon Schneider has yet to pick up a Big 12 win (0-19) in his time as the Kansas coach. The Jayhawks haven’t just lost those games; they’ve struggled to compete. Only two games have been closer than 10 points, and 10 of them have been by 20 points or more. It won’t get any easier against No. 3 Baylor, which has won five in a row and 13 of its last 14 against Kansas.

Controlling the glass

The Jayhawks have struggled shooting the ball this season, but they’ve made up for it with their rebounding prowess. Kansas is third in the Big 12 in rebounding (45 per game), as well as offensive rebounds (15.3) and defensive rebounds (29.8). Over their last six games, the Jayhawks haven’t recorded fewer than 46 rebounds, and they’ve had 52 or more rebounds twice.

Streaking

Since she regained her starting spot, Kansas junior Jessica Washington has scored 16 or more points in four consecutive games, including two straight games of more than 20 points. In that four game stretch, Washington has shot 47 percent and increased her scoring average from 10.9 points to 13.8 points per game, ranking 13th in the Big 12.

Slumping

In the last four games, Kansas junior Cheadle has scored just nine points on 3-of-16 shooting from the field (19 percent). Cheadle is KU’s leading rebounder at 6.3 per game, but she only pulled down two rebounds in its 84-54 loss to Oklahoma on Thursday and has recorded four or fewer rebounds five times this season. The Jayhawks will need more consistent production from Cheadle on the glass and on offense moving forward.

Probable starters

KANSAS

(6-6 overall, 0-1 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.

BAYLOR (12-0, 1-1)

G — Alexis Jones, 5-9, sr.

G — Alexis Prince, 6-2, sr.

G — Kristy Wallace, 5-11, jr.

F — Nina Davis, 5-11, sr.

C — Kalani Brown, 6-7, so.

— Evan Riggs

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