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Saturday, February 6, 2016

Kansas-Baylor women’s hoops preview

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When: 2 p.m. today

Where: Ferrell Center, Waco, Texas

Who: No. 4 Baylor

Series: Baylor leads 24-8, 11-2 in Waco

Road test: Three of KU’s next five games are on the road, where Kansas has just one victory this season, a 66-58 win over Northern Illinois on Nov. 27 in the SMU Thanksgiving Classic on a neutral court. After facing No. 4 Baylor today, KU will travel to in-state rival Kansas State next Saturday and head down to Stillwater, Okla., for a showdown with Oklahoma State on Feb. 24 after home games with TCU and Oklahoma. KU’s upcoming road foes combined to defeat the Jayhawks earlier this season by an average score of 64-44.

Sweet memories: KU played host to Baylor on Jan. 6 and, despite falling 58-40, played one of its best games of the 2015-16 season. KU trailed by just eight at halftime and tied or outscored Baylor in two of the game’s four quarters. In that one, first-year Kansas coach Brandon Schneider was particularly pleased with the way the Jayhawks followed the game plan, started the game with high energy and showed a willingness to compete for all four quarters and over all 94 feet of the floor. KU held the Bears to just eight points in the fourth quarter, marking only the third time this season BU, which sits in a first-place tie with Texas atop the Big 12 standings, was held to single digits in a quarter.

Dangerous Davis: Baylor forward and reigning Big 12 player of the year, Nina Davis, is one of the most dynamic and versatile players in the conference. The junior ranks fifth in the Big 12 in scoring (16.2 ppg) and 10th in field-goal percentage (54.5). She also averages six rebounds per game and may be due for a good outing against Kansas. Back in January, when KU hosted Baylor, Davis finished with just nine points and two rebounds.

Streaking: The KU bench. For the second game in a row and third time this season, one of Schneider’s first choices off the bench led the Jayhawks in scoring during Tuesday’s home loss to Iowa State. Junior forward Jada Brown is coming off of one of the best offensive games in her KU career. The Las Vegas native scored 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting and cracked double digits in scoring for the second time this season.

Slumping: Kansas enters today’s game having lost 13 consecutive games, including 11 in a row to open Big 12 play. To put that streak in perspective, KU’s worst two losing streaks of 2014-15 did not even match the current slump, as the Jayhawks lost five in a row at one point last season and later lost six in a row. A loss today would match KU’s conference loss total in all of 2014-15 and push the losing skid to 14, by far the longest in recent KU memory. KU last suffered through a double-digit losing streak during the 2003-04 season, when it closed the season by losing 10 straight.

Probable starters

Kansas (5-17 overall, 0-11 Big 12)

G — Lauren Aldridge, 5-7, so.

G — Aisia Robertson, 5-7, fr.

G — Kylee Kopatich, 5-10, fr.

G — Chayla Cheadle, 6-0, so.

F — Caelynn Manning-Allen, 6-4, jr.

Baylor (22-1 overall, 9-1 Big 12)

G — Alexis Jones, 5-9, jr.

G — Kristy Wallace, 5-11, so.

G — Niya Johnson, 5-8, sr.

F — Nina Davis, 5-11, jr.

C — Beatrice Mompremier, 6-4, fr.

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