Cowgirls Take Down Jayhawks on Superhero Day, 74-46
LAWRENCE, Kan. – A 57 percent second-half shooting performance from Oklahoma State stifled Kansas’ hopes of a comeback on Sunday afternoon, as the Jayhawks fell on Superhero Day, 74-46.
The Cowgirls (15-4, 5-3 Big 12) entered Sunday’s matchup coming off an overtime victory against Iowa State, where they shot 53 percent from the field, their best shooting effort in conference play this season. The hot shooting continued for the visitors, ending the contest with a 52 percent field goal percentage to earn their third consecutive Big 12 victory.
Senior guard Brittney Martin, who leads the Big 12 in both points and rebounds per game this season, logged 24 points and tied her season-high with 17 boards, both game-high marks. Senior guard Roddricka Patton, scored only two points on 1-of-4 shooting, but recorded more assists than anyone else on the court with 13 dimes. Three other Cowgirls reached double-figure scoring, with sophomore center Kaylee Jensen, sophomore forward Mandy Coleman and freshman guard Karli Wheeler tallying 15, 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Freshman guard Kylee Kopatich led the Jayhawks (5-14, 0-8 Big 12) as the only player with double-digit points, finishing the afternoon with 14 points on 4-of-11 shooting. The Olathe, Kansas native drained two triples and remained solid from the charity stripe, converting on all four of her free throw attempts. Freshman forward Tyler Johnson made the most of her third career start, putting in a career-high nine points on an efficient 4-of-6 shooting performance. Kansas swiped a season-high 11 steals on Sunday, and freshman guard Aisia Robertson contributed the most for the Jayhawks with three takeaways.Kids dressed up as their favorite superheroes to take the court on Sunday
Turnovers proved to be costly for the Jayhawks in the early going. Five giveaways before the five-minute mark of the first quarter put Kansas down by 13, with eight of the Cowgirls points coming off of turnovers. A quick 5-0 run from the Jayhawks with baskets on back-to-back possessions brought the lead back to single digits with 5:04 left in the opening period. Freshman guard Jayde Christopher came off the bench to put in a layup for the Jayhawks’ final points of the quarter, trailing 17-7.
Five-straight points from Kopatich in a span of just 20 seconds cut the Cowgirls’ lead to just six points at the 6:49 mark of the second quarter. A 6-0 run from OSU followed, pushing the lead to 12 points, Oklahoma State’s largest advantage to that point. Despite converting on their final six field goal attempts of the half, turnover issues manifested for the Cowgirls as well. Three giveaways in the final 3:09 of the half allowed the Jayhawks to remain within striking distance at the intermission, trailing 34-21.
After Kansas connected on its first two field goals of the third quarter, it appeared that the momentum might shift in the favor of the home team. A 1-of-9 shooting slump, unfortunately followed, allowing Oklahoma State to string together a 14-2 run to close out the third period. The Jayhawks’ deficit stretched to 23 points with a put-back shot at the buzzer from Oklahoma State’s Jensen to give the visitors the lead, 54-31.
After connecting on just 2-of-10 three-pointers in the first 30 minutes of play, the Jayhawks sank three of their last five long-range attempts, with Kopatich, Robertson and sophomore guard Lauren Aldridge all getting in on the action. Bright spots continued to appear for the Jayhawks in the waning moments of the game, as Robertson snatched away two steals and Christopher dished out two assists to bring her total on the afternoon to four. Martin and the Cowgirls had an answer for everything Kansas threw their way and Oklahoma State prevailed with the 74-46 win.
KANSAS 46 // OKLAHOMA STATE 74
JAN. 24, 2016 – LAWRENCE, Kan.
•Oklahoma State took the advantage in the all-time series after Sunday’s contest, but Kansas still leads 32-31.
•Kansas fell to 13-14 all-time against the Cowgirls in Allen Fieldhouse.
•The Jayhawks are 120-201 all-time against Big 12 Conference foes.
•Head coach Brandon Schneider sent out the starting lineup of four guards: sophomore Lauren Aldridge, redshirt junior Timeka O’Neal, freshman Kylee Kopatich and sophomore Chayla Cheadle, along with freshman Tyler Johnson in the paint for Kansas.
•The Jayhawks swiped a season-high 11 steals against Oklahoma State, including seven in the first half alone. Kansas surpassed its previous high this season of 10 was against Baylor. KU swiped 11 possessions from opponents twice last season.
•In the past 4 games combined, KU has scored six points off of fast breaks, the Jayhawks matched that run with six fast break points in this game alone.
•Oklahoma State’s 23 assists were the most by a Kansas opponent since Baylor dished 27 against the Jayhawks on Feb. 6, 2013.
•The Cowgirls also boxed-out Kansas and grabbed 42 rebounds, outrebounding KU by 16 (42-26). Sunday’s game marked the 13th contest an opposing team has grabbed more rebounds than the Jayhawks.
•KU made 7-of-8 free throws against the Cowgirls, over the previous five contests the Jayhawks have only missed 13 free throw attempts.
•Freshman F Tyler Johnson netted a career-high nine points in her third career start. She surpassed her previous high of eight points.
•Freshman G Aisia Robertson tied her career high of three steals, contributing to the Jayhawks’ season high of 11 steals this game. Robertson also swatted a career best two shots.
•Sophomore G Chayla Cheadle tied a career-high with nine rebounds against Oklahoma State.
Kansas Head Coach Brandon Schneider
“Well, I think (Britney) Martin proved statistically, how good of a player she is. She is deserving of being on the Wade Trophy Watch List and a potential first team All-American. (She) effects the game in so many different ways on the stat sheet, but where she effects the game even more is just in your plan. How you’re going to slow her down and limit he?. We just don’t have someone we can guard her man-to-man with without taking one of our 4’s and match up with a little bit of size. If you do that than your 3’s have to guard their 4’s. Just not a good matchup for us. They did a good job executing. We played four different defenses trying to be disruptive in some form or fashion.”
On the importance of Kylee and Tyler stepping up with Lauren having an off game:
“Well, I don’t know that Lauren had an off game. Tyler has been finishing plays and shooting the ball well. You can see that just looking at her percentage. Today she was 4-for-6. We just need to get that six number up more. I felt there were times we could get it to her and we didn’t. Especially following her making a basket you’d like to come down and play through the person that just made a play for you.”
On if the game plan of the other team’s they play is to take Lauren Aldridge out of the game offensively:
“I would say at this point her and Kylee have been the focus, which effects them, obviously. They aren’t the kind of players you want to always just make plays off the bounce. So people are always crowding them and getting up into them to take away their ability to catch and shoot. That’s where we have to continue to do a better job of creating shots for them. Whether it’s with other people being more aggressive or when we are screening to try and get them open.”
On freshman forward Tyler Johnson’s progress and improvement:
“She’s made a lot of progress. Very intelligent. She’s a player that wants to get better. Is really of our front line players is the most aggressive to come in and get extra work with coaches. She has a really nice skill set. The advantage for her this year is the amount of playing time she is getting as a freshman and I would say the same for Kylee. In any normal situation these guys may be playing half the minutes that they’re getting. But with the roster the way it is they have a great opportunity to improve and develop while playing minutes in the Big 12.”
On finishing with more turnovers than assists and the problems that causes:
“I think it’s a big stat and a big factor. Again, it’s difficult for us to get Lauren and Kylee shots. Or it has been. Right now if I was trying to get an assist I would be trying to play inside to Tyler as much as I could. We’ve had some other post players that have gotten some touches around the basket and we’ve made plays and just haven’t finished. I did think we got a couple of transition baskets today and that’s something we stressed a lot going into the game so it’s nice to see some of those.
On giving up quick double-digit leads:
“It’s very troubling. You don’t ever want to be down double-digits early. I think it’s a factor that makes it even more difficult for our team. I think that when we get behind, we get younger in that we mentally get younger. We lose focus, we make more mental mistakes which causes that to snowball. That’s the biggest concern for me. So if we don’t get off to a great start, how do we stay engaged whether I’m in the game or not and how do I really get locked in top try and do something about it rather than, and this kind of comes along with losing, ‘here we go again.’ Nothing positive is going to happen out of that mental approach.”
Freshman Forward Tyler Johnson
On taking advantage of being able to start:
“I’m trying to take more advantage. I just want to do anything I can to help my team be more successful.”
On the upcoming gave at Texas:
“Last time (against Texas) we had a lot of silly turnovers like we had in this game. We didn’t execute. We’ve just got to make sure we follow the game plan and we trust the game plan. We need to do more of that.”
Freshman Guard Kylee Kopatich
On Kansas’ turnovers:
“I think it was silly turnovers, honestly. Half of our turnovers were travels, so we did that to ourselves. It’s not like we were trying to make a play and it got deflected and they got the steal. It was a travel or stepping out of bounds. So we need to remove that.”
Oklahoma State Head Coach Jim Littell
“Coming in here and getting a win, we are trying to become a better road team and we did a lot of positive things today. I thought we guarded a lot better in the second half. I thought they beat us off the dribble quite a bit in the first half and got to the rim, but we had good balance. Anytime we could have four people in double figures we are very please, Brittney Martin had a typical game for her, 24 points and 17 rebounds. I thought she just had an exceptional outing on that. Kaley Jensen got going a little bit in the second half; Mandy Coleman scored some baskets off of the drives. The balance really helped us a lot today.”
On Brittany’s performance:
“She is our superwoman, I’ve been in this a long time, close to 40 years, and she is just the best natural rebounder that I have ever been around. She just has a nose for the basketball and she has versatility, scoring in a lot of different ways, and I’m glad she is on my team.”
On LaTashia Jones evolution:
“LaTashia is a talent that has the ability to step out and shoot the ball on the perimeter and go inside. She did some good things sealing today, she just continues to get better each day. She had some work to do guarding and getting better to play more minutes and I think she has done that, but we like LaTashia. She is a great teammate, she has a skillset to her that I think will be very good for the years to come in this league, and I think she is going to be a really good player for us. Its hard being a freshman in this league, a lot of times you can’t be like Brittney Martin or Andrea Riley or somebody like that comes in and averages double figures in this league. It is a maturation process, it is being able to grow in this league and I think LaTashia has done very well this year.”
On Kansas performance:
“Their kids continue to play hard, and I have known Brandon Schneider for a long, long time and he is going to get it done here, he is going to do special things here. He is a good basketball coach that comes from a good basketball family, and you know my first year when we took over at Oklahoma State we were 0-16 and it takes some time to turn a program around, but there is no doubt in my mind that guy will do it, he is a good basketball coach and Kansas will see good things in the future.”
Oklahoma State Senior Guard Brittney Martin
On her performance today:
“I don’t pay attention to the stats until after the game when people tell me, I guess playing hard pays off.”
The Jayhawks hit the road for a match-up with the No. 6 Texas Longhorns on Wednesday, Jan. 27, in Austin, Texas. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. and fans can follow the action on the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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