No. 4 Texas Takes Down Jayhawks, 75-38
Coach Brandon’s Press Conference
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas women’s basketball could not keep up with nationally-ranked Texas, who remained the only undefeated Big 12 program, after overpowering the Jayhawks, 75-38, on Wednesday night inside Allen Fieldhouse.
The Longhorns held Kansas to its lowest-scoring game of the season and fewest made field goals (12). Multiple Jayhawks found their way into foul trouble over the course of the game, leading to Texas taking the most free throws by a Kansas opponent this season (27) and sinking 23 of the attempts, another season-high for an opponent.
The Longhorns (16-0, 5-0 Big 12) saw 10 different players score five points or more on the night. Senior center Imani Boyette led the scoring with 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting. Although she led all scorers, Kansas prevented Boyette from logging a double-double, a first against Big 12 competition.
However, senior guard Empress Davenport posted a double-double, with 11 points and a game-high 10 boards, while senior guard Celina Rodrigo dished out a game-high seven assists and shot a perfect 4-of-4 from the charity stripe.
Eight of the Jayhawks’ (5-11, 0-5 Big 12) 12 made field goals came from beyond the arc, accounting for 24 of the team’s 38 points. Sophomore guard Lauren Aldridge tallied the most buckets, putting in four triples for a team-high 12 points. Redshirt junior Timeka O’Neal and freshman Kylee Kopatich notched two long-range baskets each. Despite battling an illness all night, Kopatich managed to score in double-figures for the 11th time this season with 10 points.
Freshman G Kylee Kopatich recorded 10 points on Wednesday evening
The Longhorns opened the contest on a 17-0 run as the Jayhawks struggled to hit shots inside. A three-pointer from Aldridge at the 3:40 mark ended the drought after Kansas missed its first six field goal attempts, but Texas answered with a 9-0 scoring streak to push the lead to 21 points. The lead would hold there for the remainder of the first quarter, as the two teams traded baskets.
Midway through the second period, Kansas had outscored the visitors 9-3 and cut the deficit to 15 points. Texas would grab seven of the game’s next 10 points, to take a 38-19 lead into the locker room at the intermission.
The Longhorns’ 10-point second quarter marked the lowest-scoring period for Texas in Big 12 play this season, and the fewest since scoring five points in the second quarter against Arkansas on Dec. 20. With Kansas’ 12-point performance, the second period also marked just the second time in Big 12 play this season that Texas was outscored by an opponent in a quarter.
A 7-0 run over a two-minute span in the middle of the period extended Texas’ advantage to 33 points, but once again Aldridge stepped up with a long-range bucket to end the streak. With fouls starting to pile on for the Jayhawks, Texas continued to pound the ball inside and finished the contest with 44 points in the paint. At the final buzzer, the Longhorns emerged with the 75-38 victory to continue their undefeated season.
•Kansas drops to 10-20 all-time against Texas.
•KU is now 6-8 when hosting the Longhorns inside Allen Fieldhouse.
•The Jayhawks are 119-197 all-time record against Big 12 Conference foes.
•Kansas is 410-172 in Allen Fieldhouse and 4-7 at home in 2015-16.
•Kansas fell to 0-3 against ranked opponents in 2015-16.
•The Jayhawks have faced a ranked opponent in three of the last five games, including two top-10 foes.
•KU’s 38 points tied the fewest scored this season and are least since scoring 36 at Iowa State on March 1, 2011.
•Texas held the Jayhawks to make 12-of-47 field goals (25.5 percent), the lowest percentage Kansas has registered since making 20.4 percent of its shots (11-of-54) against Duke Nov. 30, 2013.
•KU’s 12 field goals were the fewest since connecting on 11 shots against Duke on Nov. 30, 2013.
•The Jayhawks rotated 11 players in the game, the most to play in a contest this season.
•Kansas took 25 three-point shots against the Longhorns, the most attempted three’s since taking 27 against Texas Southern on Dec. 12, 2013. The Jayhawks also heaved 25 three’s against Washington State on Dec. 20.
•Texas collected an opponent season-high 15 assists.
•KU did not register a second-chance point against Texas. It marked the first time a Jayhawk team didn’t record a second-effort point since a contest at Purdue Dec. 11, 2014.
•Texas’ 46 rebounds were the most by an opposing team since the Longhorns of 2014 snatched 50 boards in a game on Feb. 14, 2015.
•Sophomore G Lauren Aldridge was KU’s leading scorer for ninth time this season with 12 points against the Longhorns.
•It was also Aldridge’s 12th total double-digit scoring performance.
•Aldridge scored all of her points from the field on three-point tries. She was 4-of-9 for a dozen points.
•Freshman F Chelsea Lott saw action in her third-career game, registering a rebound and a block against the Longhorns.
•Sophomore F Lorraine Enabulele dished her first assist of the season and the second of her career.
Kansas Head Coach Brandon Schneider
“Texas is very talented. They are very, very deep and I would say they are very engaged every single possession. I think that really stands out when you watch them on film. They are playing very determined right now. I think with the effort they play with it shows. It’s an extremely good basketball team. They are well coach and I’d like to see them make a deep run in the tournament because I think they have that kind of team.”
On being out-rebounded by Texas:
“It was a combination. Obviously, they are bigger, but when you look at it their guards got far too many of their offensive rebounds. We didn’t put a body on their guards and we didn’t get any offensive rebounds. Part of that is because of their size and we had to send three back because we were pretty concerned about their transition, but we got two offensive rebound out of our fours and fives. We’ve got to do a better job of giving effort there to get inside and keep some possessions alive. It’s pretty obvious that we struggle on the offensive end of the floor and we need to get as many cheap buckets as we can.”
On being down 17-0 in the first quarter:
“A lot of that was Texas. I thought that we shot ourselves in the foot a bunch. We turned it over. I thought we looked intimidated and timid in far too many spots. The frustrating thing is I don’t think we played a possession that way against Baylor. I’m disappointed that it took that kind of start for us to snap out of it and play a little better in the second quarter. I think it says something about them (Texas). They are playing a team that hasn’t won a game in the league. A team they are, obviously, supposed to beat, but they came in really engaged and focused. I just think it says something about their mentality and what they are playing like right now.”
On assessment of the team:
“I’m looking at it just more about Big 12 play right now. We’ve had a tough start, I also think we have played some of the better competition that we will face in the league and we’re going to turn around and play West Virginia at West Virginia, who’s playing really well. I think you have got to focus on the next practice and the next game, especially with the team that we have and even use moments when you’re down by significant margin, to continue to stay focused and try to make the next possession better than the previous one.”
On why it was so difficult to score in the paint:
“I think scoring around the rim was going to be difficult tonight. Caelynn (Manning-Allen), obviously, struggled going 2-for-11, she was out of sorts the entire game and it affected her on the defensive end as well. We count on her too much for her to have that kind of performance and to give us any chance of success.”
On key points for the rest of the season to have more success:
“Well, a lot of teams we haven’t seen yet. Example would be we are seeing West Virginia for the second time. We struggled with the switching, we got to do a better job against that. We turned it over too much against them. I think we turned it over against them more than what we did tonight, so you have to continue to try to get better and hopefully the second time around, especially when we catch people at home that we saw on the road first, give yourself a little better chance.”
Kansas sophomore guard Lauren Aldridge
On getting down 17-0 early in the game:
“Obviously, it’s frustrating, I think a lot of it happened in transition and that’s the problem. We have talked about it in practice numerous times. Like coach Brandon (Schneider) said, we were sending three people back and it just felt like they were shooting layups on the other end. So, that’s the frustrating part of it, that we weren’t assignment correct in transition. Like coach said, we were shooting ourselves in the foot and that’s why the 17-0 run happened.”
On what she has tried to improve on this year:
“I say right now, I’m working on is the next play mentality, where you miss a shot or turn it over, you miss an assignment, you got to move on to the next play.”
Texas Head Coach Karen Aston
“I thought our team got off to a fast start, a really good start, once again. I thought we were ready to play and then we got bogged down a little bit. Kansas settled down and started making shots in the second quarter. We regrouped at halftime and got our big girl involved a little bit and we got on the boards a little better. We finished good and I am pleased with this effort. You are always pleased with getting a road win.”
On Kansas head coach Brandon Schneider and how he inherited a young basketball team:
“I can relate to that as well. I’ve known Brandon a very long time and we talked a little bit before the game and I told him that he is doing a good job and his guys are playing really hard. These two (Imani Boyette and Empress Davenport) can attest to what it feels like to play as freshman in the Big 12 and to sort of get thrown into the fire because they were during their freshman year. They learned a lot of lessons throughout, but Brandon is doing a great job, those kids are playing really hard and they will continue to get better every day.”
On the amount of depth that Texas has and how big of a weapon that is for them:
“I think it is a big weapon for a few reasons. For example, tonight Brooke (McCarty) got two quick fouls and Imani got a few tonight too, so I think that we can counter some foul issues when we run into them. We’ve done a really good job of not running into many foul problems, but if we do, I think that we have a chance to counter that with our depth. We can also keep the tempo raised, which I think is a good thing, and I think our depth is improving because our young players are getting better. In particular, I think Jordan (Hosey) is starting to really understand what the value of her minutes are and what attention to detail is all about. Obviously, Ariel’s (Atkins) contributions are good for our depth and then Brady (Sanders) is getting healthy, so I think when you look at all that, our depth is really improving.”
Texas senior guard Empress Davenport
On the leadership that she and Imani Boyette have given this season:
“I think our leadership is huge because Imani and I came in with Coach Karen, so we know what she expects in this system. We know the level of intensity we have to bring going into practices and our games, so I think we rub off on the younger players to a degree. They know what to expect when they get on the floor. I think our leadership is coming along.”
The Jayhawks hit the road for a rematch with the Mountaineers on Saturday, Jan. 16, in Morgantown, West Virginia. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. and fans can follow the action on the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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