This Week In Kansas Athletics

Record Watch

Team Overall Big 12 National Ranking

Men's Basketball 14-0 -- #3 AP, ESPN/USA Today

Women's Basketball 11-2 -- --
Football 12-1 7-1 #8 BCS, AP, USA Today, Harris Interactive

This Week’s Schedule

Monday, January 7

No Events Scheduled

Tuesday, January 8

Men's Basketball vs. Loyola (Md.), 7 p.m.

Wednesday, January 9

Women's Basketball vs. Oklahoma State, 7 p.m.

Thursday, January 10

No Events Scheduled

Friday, January 11

Track at Arkansas Invitational (Fayetteville, Ark.), All Day

Saturday, January 12

Women's Basketball at Nebraska (Lincoln, Neb.), 11:30 a.m.

Men's Basketball at Nebraska (Lincoln, Neb.), 8 p.m.

Sunday, January 13

No Events Scheduled

Weekly Notes

Men's Basketball

No. 3 Kansas (14-0) returns home to close out the non-conference season when it hosts Loyola (Maryland) Tuesday at 7 p.m. on Jayhawk TV. Kansas opens Big 12 play at Nebraska on Saturday, Jan. 12 at 8 p.m. on ESPN. The Jayhawks return to Allen Fieldhouse for its first of three ESPN/Big Monday appearances when they host Oklahoma on Jan. 14. Tip time for OU contest is set for 8 p.m. KU is 14-0 for the fifth time in school history after its 85-60 win at Boston College Saturday (Jan. 5). The Jayhawks average 83.6 points and are holding opponents to 58.5 points per game for a Big 12-leading +25.1 scoring margin. KU has forced 17 or more turnovers in all but two games this season, including a season-high 27 against Yale (Dec. 29). The Jayhawks have also shot 50 percent or better in 12 of 14 games this year. Sophomore forward Darrell Arthur leads KU with a 13.7 scoring average following his 21-point performance on 10-of-12 shooting at BC. He is second on the team with 6.0 rebounds per outing and leads KU with 22 blocked shots. Senior Darnell Jackson leads the Big 12 with his 67.6 shooting percentage to complement his 12.5 points per game. He leads KU with 6.7 rebounds per contest and is coming off a career-high 25 points at Boston College. Junior guard Mario Chalmers leads KU with 27 three-pointers and 44 steals to go along with his 12.0 scoring average and 67 assists. His 3.08 steals per game lead the Big 12. Junior guard Brandon Rush averages 10.9 points per game and he is second on the team with 18 three-pointers. Sophomore guard Sherron Collins is scoring 9.1 points per game. Seniors Sasha Kaun (7.6 ppg, 21 blocked shots), Russell Robinson (7.0 ppg, team high 68 assists and 37 steals) and Rodrick Stewart (5.2 ppg) round out the KU regulars.

Women's Basketball

Kansas closed non-conference play with a 62-60 win at Xavier in its only outing of the week on Jan. 4. The Jayhawks improved to 11-2 on the season with the victory, matching its win total from the 2006-07 season before conference play begins. Sophomore Danielle McCray was the leading scorer versus the Muskateers with 24 points, marking the third time this season she has eclipsed the 20-point mark. McCray made 10-of-20 shots from the field, including 4-of-9 from beyond the arc. She also pulled down four rebounds in the win. KU rallied from a nine-point deficit in the second-half for the win over Xavier. It marked the largest second-half comeback of the season for the Jayhawks. Jayhawk head coach Bonnie Henrickson now owns a .500 record at Kansas as her four-year record now stands at 51-51. Kansas will open Big 12 Conference play at home on Wednesday. The Jayhawks will take on No. 24/25 Oklahoma State at 7 p.m. in Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas is 4-7 in Big 12 Conference openers, including a 1-2 mark under Henrickson.

Football

Sophomore quarterback Todd Reesing threw a touchdown pass and ran for another, while Orange Bowl Most Valuable Player Aqib Talib returned an interception 60 yards for a touchdown as the eighth-ranked Jayhawks earned a 24-21 FedEx Orange Bowl triumph over No. 3 Virginia Tech Jan. 3 at Dolphin Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla. It marked KU's second bowl victory in the last three seasons, and its first Bowl Championship Series win. The Jayhawks (12-1) finished perhaps their greatest season with a school record 12 victories.

In a game that was billed to be a clash between KU's offense and Virginia Tech's defense, it was the Jayhawk defense and special teams that led the way. KU matched a bowl game record with three interceptions, while five different Jayhawks collected quarterback sacks. Of the three interceptions, none was bigger than Talib's first quarter pick that he returned 60 yards to give Kansas a 7-0 advantage. It was KU's first defensive touchdown since Talib returned an interception 100 yards against Florida International earlier this season.

Senior place kicker Scott Webb stretched KU's lead to 10-0 with 12 minutes remaining in the first half. After Chris Harris picked off Tech's Sean Glennon, the Jayhawks capitalized with a 32-yard field goal from the left hash mark. KU took a 17-0 advantage when Reesing led the Jayhawks on a 10-play, 59-yard drive that culminated with a 13-yard strike to Marcus Henry on a slant across the middle. It marked Reesing's 36th career touchdown pass, giving him the top total in team history. Virginia Tech answered the Reesing touchdown with a 13-play, 52-yard drive that ended with a one-yard plunge by Brandon Ore. It made the score 17-7 going into halftime.

The Hokies cut the lead to 17-14 on an 86-yard punt return by Justin Harper early in the second half. Harper received a pitch from the original punt receiver Eddie Royal on a reverse, and scampered 86 yards down the near sideline for a touchdown. Tech threatened again in the third quarter, but KU held onto its lead when junior Joe Mortensen blocked a 25-yard field goal. It was the Jayhawks' first field goal block of the season.

The Jayhawks took advantage of another Hokie turnover early in the fourth quarter. Following a Justin Thornton interception deep in Tech territory, Reesing stretched the KU lead to 24-14 with a two-yard run on a bootleg to the near side. It was the quarterback's third rushing touchdown of the season. Tech again fought back to within one score on a 21-yard pass from Glennon to Harper with three minutes remaining. The Hokies held Kansas on a fourth down try from the Tech 23 and marched the ball 77 yards on 14 plays. After the score, the Hokies tried an onside kick, but were negated possession when Raimond Pendleton recovered the ball at Tech's 43-yardline. From there, the Jayhawks moved the ball down to the Hokie one-yard line to run out the final two minutes, 59 seconds of the contest.

Swimming and Diving

Five Kansas swimmers recorded first-place finishes in the five-event dual meet against Illinois State University Monday in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Head coach Clark Campbell and the Jayhawks defeated the Redbirds of the Missouri Valley Conference, 59-33, in the shortened meet that took place in the midst of each team’s winter training trip in San Juan. Ashley Leidigh (50m fly), Terri Schramka (50m back), Danielle Herrmann (50m breast), Maria Mayrovich (50m free) and Joy Bunting (200m IM) all recorded victories in the dual. Upon Kansas' arrival back in Lawrence, the team will continue training prior to its 2008 debut against Big 12 rival Nebraska on Jan. 19. The 2 p.m. meet will be held in Robinson Natatorium.

Track and Field

The men’s and women’s track and field teams will resume their indoor seasons in Fayetteville, Ark. on Friday at the Arkansas Invitational. With the return of a national champion, two All-Americans and three conference champions, the men's track and field team is ranked 11th in the country according to the preseason poll released by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). The women's team, ranked 27th in the preseason poll, returns All-American and Big 12 champion senior Kate Sultanova, as well as five school-record holders. Check www.kuathletics.com for meet results over the weekend.


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