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Saturday, January 16, 2016

Kansas-West Virginia women’s hoops preview

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When: 6 p.m. Saturday

Where: WVU Coliseum

Who: West Virginia

Series: WVU leads, 5-4

Offensive woes: It’s no secret that Kansas University’s women’s basketball team, in the midst of a seven-game losing streak, has struggled to score points. In particular, since conference play began, the Jayhawks (5-11 overall, 0-5 Big 12) are only averaging 43.2 points a game.

No. 4 Texas just beat KU, 75-38, marking the lowest point total of the season for Kansas and worst since scoring 36 at Iowa State, in March of 2011.

The Jayhawks, who are shooting just 32.4 percent from the field in Big 12 games, only made 25.5 percent of their shots versus the Longhorns, marking the program’s worst shooting outing since being limited to 20.4 percent against Duke, in November of 2013. KU’s 12 field goals against UT also marked a program-low since that same Duke loss, in which Kansas only had 11 field goals.

Possible solution: First-year KU coach Brandon Schneider sees one simple way the Jayhawks could improve their offensive productivity. When he looked at the box score from the Texas game this week, Schneider noticed KU’s front-court players combined to register two offensive rebounds.

“We’ve gotta do a better job and give an effort there to get inside and keep some possessions alive,” Schneider said, “because it’s pretty obvious we struggle on the offensive end of the floor, and we need to get as many cheap buckets as we can.”

Kansas failed to score any second-chance points vs. Texas, marking the first time that happened since KU lost at Purdue in December of 2014.

Rematch: Less than two weeks removed from a 65-45 home loss to West Virginia (14-4, 3-2), the Jayhawks will see the Mountaineers on their home court tonight (6 p.m. tip).

KU struggled to take care of the ball, turning it over 22 times in the first meeting, and Schneider said WVU’s pressure defense impacted KU’s decision-making ability, once the Jayhawks got sped up.

“Very few people pressure any more, and West Virginia is obviously very long and athletic, and they switch,” Schneider said after the first game. “We struggled moving it from side to side against that.”

WVU is coming off a five-point loss at No. 6 Baylor and is averaging 66.8 points and 8.0 steals in Big 12 play.

Probable starters

Kansas

(5-11 overall, 0-5 Big 12)

G — Lauren Aldridge, 5-7, so.

G — Aisia Robertson, 5-7, fr.

G — Timeka O’Neal, 5-4, jr.

G — Chayla Cheadle, 6-0, so.

F — Caelynn Manning-Allen, 6-4, jr.

West Virginia

(14-4, 3-2)

G — Chania Ray, 5-8, so.

G — Katrina Pardee, 5-9, fr.

G — Bria Holmes, 6-1, sr.

F — Arielle Roberson, 6-1, sr.

C — Lanay Montgomery, 6-5, jr.

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