Sooners Back on the Road Saturday at Kansas
SATURDAY'S GAME BASICS
Oklahoma (12-11, 7-5 Big 12) continues its three-game Big 12 road swing on Saturday as the Sooners take on Kansas (11-12, 2-10 Big 12) inside Allen Fieldhouse. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. CT from Lawrence. A win would give the Sooners a season sweep of the Jayhawks for third consecutive season. OU won the previous matchup on Jan. 24 in Norman, 97-64. The Sooners have 21 out of the last 24 matchups with the Jayhawks since 2000.
ON THE AIR
Saturday's game will be streamed on ESPN3/WatchESPN with Josh Klingler and Jill Hall on the call. The contest will also air on the Sooner Radio Network with Brian Brinkley and McKenna Treece calling the action.
FIVE THINGS TO KNOW
• Oklahoma is 38-30 all-time against Kansas and has won the last five meetings with the Jayhawks. OU head coach Sherri Coale is 24-6 against the Jayhawks during her career and the Sooners have won 21 out of the last 24 meetnigs with Kansas dating back to 2000 (career stats against Kansas are on page 23 of these notes).
• Senior center Vionise Pierre-Louis has seen a surge in her production over the last six contests, averaging 16.2 points and a team-best 10.3 rebounds and 3.2 blocks per game. Pierre-Louis has picked up double-doubles three times in the last five games for the Sooners and has scored in double figures in 11 consecutive games. The senior led OU with a team-high 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field and 5-of-6 attempts at the free throw line.
• Freshman guard Ana Llanusa was named the Big 12 Freshman of the Week and the USBWA National Freshman of the Week. Llanusa led OU in the Sooners' 76-57 victory over No. 21/21 West Virginia, tying a career high with 27 points on 9-of-14 shooting. She joined Courtney Paris (six times) and Aaryn Ellenberg (twice) as the only three freshmen in the Sherri Coale era to score 27 points or more twice during their first collegiate season.
• OU's starting five is averaging at least 12.0 points per game this season, giving the Sooners the only lineup among Power 5 conference teams to score 12 points or more a game. OU's duo of Ana Llanusa and Shaina Pellington are currently the only two freshman on a Power 5 team to rank No. 1 and No. 2 in scoring among freshmen in their respective league.
• OU is in the middle of a three-game road stretch as the Sooners travel to Lawrence on Saturday. This is just the second time OU has played three straight road conference games in the Big 12 era. It is the first three-game road stand for the Sooners in Big 12 play since the 2006-07 season.
GAME 24 RECAP: BAYLOR
• Oklahoma gave No. 3/3 Baylor all it could handle on the road Wednesday night inside Ferrell Center as the Lady Bears held off the Sooners, 74-65. OU tied the game at 60-60 with 5:22 to go thanks to a scoop shot from Maddie Manning. OU trailed 64-63 with under three minutes to play as Manning converted a 3-point play at the foul line, but Baylor closed the game on a 14-5 run to hold off the Sooners.
• Vionise Pierre-Louis led the Sooners with 19 points in 25 minutes of action, despite fouling out with 1:36 to play. Pierre-Louis, who has scored in double figures in 11 straight games, scored 15 of her 19 points in the first half and finished with four rebounds. Gabbi Ortiz and Shaina Pellington each scored 14, while Manning recorded 13 points and led OU with six rebounds.
• Ortiz helped fuel the comeback effort by knocking down four 3-pointers in the second half, while Manning scored 10 of her 13 points in the final two quarters. Pellington dished five assists and finished 6-of-14 from the field.
• Baylor led by eight at the half, but the Sooners matched the Lady Bears shot for shot in the second half. The Lady Bears outshot OU, .536-.407, but the Sooners limited Baylor to just 1-of-11 (.111) shooting from deep. OU finished 11-of-15 (.733) at the foul line, while Baylor was 13-of-17 from the free throw line. OU took advantage of 17 Baylor turnovers, scoring 23 points. Baylor won the rebounding battle, 37-26, and outscored the Sooners, 40-36, in the paint.
Gabbi Ortiz was 5-of-6 from 3-point range in OU's 97-64 win over Kansas on Jan. 24.
• Kansas enter Saturday's matchup with an 11-12 overall record and a 2-10 mark in Big 12 play, after losing 93-62 at Oklahoma State, in Stillwater last Saturday. The Jayhawks, who have lost nine straight games in conference play, average 63.5 points per game (tied for ninth in the Big 12) on .392 field goal shooting (ninth), .297 3-point shooting (ninth) and .633 free throw shooting (ninth). Kansas ranks fifth in the Big 12 in scoring defense.
• Junior guard Christalah Lyons leads the Jayhawks with 14.8 points and is averaging 3.4 assists per game. In Big 12 play, Lyons is averaging 15.4 points a game along with 2.8 assists a game against league foes. Lyons also leads the Jayhawks with three 20-point scoring performances during the 2017-18 seaon. Junior guard Kylee Kopatich is second on the team in scoring at 13.4 points per game, makes 2.2 3-pointers per contest (ranks fourth in the Big 12) and is shooting .365 from 3-point range (13th).
• Junior guard Brianna Osorio is also averaging double figures in scoring with 11.5 points per game. Osorio scored a career-high 28 points against Texas Tech on Jan. 17 and has scored in double figures nine times against Big 12 foes this year. Osoiro is averaging 13.8 points a game in league play and is shooting .411 from beyond the arc (ranks fourth in the conference).
• Kansas head coach Brandon Schneider is 25-59 in his three seasons with the Jayhawks.
IN LEAGUE PLAY
• Since the start of Big 12 play, the Sooners have been one of the top offenses in the league. OU ranks second in the Big 12 in field goal percentage (.455) and third in 3-point shooting percentage (.351) in league play.
• Defensively, OU ranks fourth in the league in scoring defense (69.0) and sixth in field goal percentage defense (.419). OU is also third in Big 12 play with 8.2 steals per game and 5.0 blocks per game.
• The Sooners are the only team in a Power 5 conference with all five starters averaging at least 12.0 points per game: Vionise Pierre-Louis (15.7 points per game), Gabbi Ortiz (13.0), Shaina Pellington (12.8), Ana Llanusa (12.7) and Maddie Manning (12.0).
• The Sooners rank second in the nation in strength of schedule according to RealTimeRPI.com. OU has played 10 games against AP top 25 opponents this season, including five contests versus AP top 10 foes.
The Sooners wrap up their three-game road swing next Saturday at West Virginia. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. CT from WVU Coliseum. OU won the first meeting between the two teams on Feb. 3 in Norman, 76-57.