Iowa State Surges Past Jayhawks, 63-53
Coach Brandon’s Press Conference
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas women’s basketball headed to the locker room at halftime with a double-digit lead over Iowa State, but a second-half offensive surge lifted the Cyclones to a 63-53 win over the Jayhawks on Tuesday evening, inside Allen Fieldhouse.
A five-point second quarter left the Cyclones trailing 28-18 at the intermission, their lowest-scoring first half of the season. Kansas torched ISU on 46 percent shooting to carry a lead into the third quarter for the first time in Big 12 competition this season. The second half belonged to Iowa State, connecting on 14-of-27 (.519) from the field and put together multiple scoring runs to take down the Jayhawks.
The Cyclones (12-9, 4-6 Big 12) were led by junior guard Seanna Johnson, who tallied 20 points and five rebounds. Tuesday marked just the second time this season that the Big 12’s leader in double-doubles (13) was held to five or fewer rebounds. Redshirt sophomore guard Jadda Buckley entered the matchup leading the Cyclones in assists with 120 on the year, ranking third in the Big 12. Buckley continued the trend, setting a new career-high with 11 dimes and adding on 14 points for her second double-double of the season.
Junior forward Jada Brown put forth a career day for the Jayhawks (5-17, 0-11 Big 12). The Las Vegas, Nevada native notched a career-best 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting, her highest shooting percentage of the season. Brown also matched the team-high in rebounds with four boards. The Jayhawk starters struggled from the field, combining on 10-of-34 (.294) shooting for 27 points. Freshman guard Kylee Kopatich and sophomore guard Chayla Cheadle led the starters in scoring with eight and seven points, respectively. Brown’s team-high 14 points marked the second-consecutive game that a bench player led the squad in scoring.
Junior forward Caelynn Manning-Allen helped the Jayhawks break out to an early 3-0 lead with a layup and a free throw. A 9-0 run from the Cyclones followed, with the Jayhawks going 0-of-4 from the field and committing five turnovers over the same stretch.
Kansas locked in over the final two minutes of the quarter, determined to not wind up in familiar territory trailing in the early going. The Jayhawks knocked down their final five baskets of the period to erase the deficit and sit even, 13-13.
Iowa State struck first in the second quarter with a jumper from freshman forward Meredith Burkhall to break the tie, but Cheadle answered for Kansas with a three-pointer to shift the score in favor of KU. A jumper from Iowa State’s Buckley at the 7:22 mark put the Cyclones back on top, but only for a moment.
Over the remainder of the quarter, the Jayhawks shut down Iowa State defensively and put together their best first half shooting performance in Big 12 play this season. The Cyclones were held to a single point and ended the half with 13 turnovers, matching their season average per game. Kansas took advantage, scoring the final 10 points of the quarter to lead 28-18 at the intermission. Sinking 12-of-26 shots (.462) left the Jayhawks with their first half time lead against a Big 12 opponent since claiming a 35-21 advantage over the Cyclones last season.
An 8-2 run from ISU to begin the second half forced Kansas head coach Brandon Schneider to call a timeout at the 7:20 mark, with the lead cut to just four points. Out of the timeout, Kopatich knocked down a jumper from just past the free throw line, but a 7-1 scoring streak by the Cyclones would leave the two teams locked, 33-33.
With just over three minutes left in the quarter and immediately after Kansas’ 10-point lead disappeared, freshman guard Aisia Robertson drove into the lane and put up a floater that deflected off the rim. Robertson gathered her own rebound, missed the put-back, collected her second offensive board of the possession and banked in a jumper to help Kansas reclaim the lead. Unfortunately for the Jayhawks, it would be their last of the game. Iowa State responded by netting the next eight points, and 10 of the last 13 points of the quarter, to carry a 43-38 advantage into the final 10 minutes of action.
A 7-0 run for the Jayhawks knotted the game up early in the fourth quarter, but four-straight field goals from the Cyclones sparked a 10-0 counter to give Iowa State its first double-figure lead of the night. Kansas would cut the deficit back to single digits twice, but could not come closer than six points for the rest of the contest. Iowa State would go on to break its five-game losing streak with a 63-53 victory.
KANSAS 53 // IOWA STATE 63
FEB. 2, 2016 – LAWRENCE, Kan.
• Iowa State put a dent in the overall series, 47-34, with the victory.
• KU still leads the all-time series against the Cyclones in Allen Fieldhouse, 27-10.
• The Jayhawks are 119-204 all-time against Big 12 Conference foes.
• The Jayhawks turned away a season-high eight shots at the rim – led by freshman forward Tyler Johnson’s three swats. The last time a Kansas team blocked more shots occurred on Feb. 25, 2015 when KU rejected 11 attempts against Kansas State.
• KU’s early 3-0 lead was the first time in four games that it held any lead in a game.
• After the Jayhawks scored their final five field goals in the first quarter, KU finished the opening session tied, 13-13, marking the first time Kansas has not trailed after the first quarter in Big 12 Conference play this season.
• KU held a lead for the first time at the half of a Big 12 contest this season, 28-18. A 10-point advantage was Kansas’ largest lead in Big 12 play so far this season.
• The double-digit advantage was the first time KU registered a lead against a team in the Big 12 at halftime since the Jayhawks’ bout with the Cyclones on March 2, 2015.
• Kansas’ defense held ISU to 18 first half points (7-for-26, 26.9 percent), marking its lowest point total in the first half of a game this season.
• Despite the Jayhawks’ strong first two frames, they were outscored by the Cyclones 25-10 in the third quarter.
• The Jayhawks finished with 26 bench points, the second-most chipped-in by the subs this season, trailing only a 28-point effort from the reserves in the season-opener against Texas Southern on Nov. 15.
• KU finished making just three three-pointers, which ties a season low.
• Junior forward Jada Brown had a strong first half, going 4-for-4 with 9 points. She ended the game with a career-high 14 points making 86 percent of her shots (6-of-7), marking the second-consecutive game that a bench player has led Kansas in scoring.
• Freshman forward Tyler Johnson tied a career high with three blocks – marking the third time in 2015-16 she has rejected three shots.
• Freshman guard Kylee Kopatich shot perfect from the free throw line, going 4-for-4. She now leads KU in free throws made on the season with 49.
Kansas Head Coach Brandon Schneider
“I compliment Jada Brown on her play tonight and her stat line, it’s been a long time since we have had a player with a shining stat line. I thought her defensive energy and activity level that really got her into the flow of the game and that paid some dividends for us on the offensive end. We knew that Iowa State’s bench is a little short right now and it’s in a situation where they don’t foul and can’t foul very much and we thought it was going to be important to attack the basket, and Jada did that and it paid dividends for her.”
On if the team’s offensive output was just as good as the defensive:
“I think those two things are related, I thought defensively in the first have we really followed the game plan and played like we wanted to, we were disruptive, we did a pretty good job keeping the ball out of Johnson’s hands and we did a good job of keeping Buckley out of the paint for the most part. The second half, in the third quarter, I can’t really explain to you why we came out of the locker room like that, we didn’t have much life or energy, it looked as if we changed our defense, but in fact we hadn’t and they, obviously, scored forty-five points in the second half. I think your defense can affect your offense and vice versa.”
On the great offense in the first half:
“We did it without Kylee or Lauren making shots, I thought we had some other guys step up and make some plays. Obviously, Jada (Brown) and Timeka (O’Neal) made some shots, Jayde (Christopher) came in and gave us a little spark. I would really like to go with her a lot more, but when they don’t guard you, it makes it really tough to mount any type of a comeback or sustain any lead, playing three on five or four on five.”
On the confidence level after playing well against Texas Tech and Iowa State:
“Go back to Texas, I think we played well there the second half and played them even. I know it wasn’t always against their starters, but I felt like that half we could use as some momentum going into the (Texas) Tech game and the Iowa State game. We hadn’t made shots in two months and at Texas Tech we didn’t make any shots, I mean three of our starters go 4- for-27. Then tonight we have a little bit of that same thing with Lauren and Kylee going 4-of-18. We have said this all along, for us to score it’s got to be by committee. We don’t have a player that is going to get 20 like a Brittany Martin, Bria Holmes or Seanna Johnson. We just don’t have that. For us to score enough points to win, a guy need to get six, other guy gets eight and on down the line and we just haven’t been able to put that together yet.”
On how he sees improvement for the rest of the season:
“It’s hard to throw out a lot of compliments when you lose, but I have said this to a lot of different people, ‘If you come to one of our practices and you didn’t know anything about what was going on, whether we were 11-0 or 0-11 because I think that is how they practice every day.’ That is a credit to them as people and not for one second have they strayed from what we are trying to do.”
On the good things they’ve done in past games and how much progress he’s seen:
“I hope so, I think that’s why you practice. Our goal every day is to continue to try and get better. I think tonight that we made some plays that maybe we wouldn’t have. I think Jada (Brown) did and I think Jayde (Christopher) did. Anytime we see a bright spot, those are a result of practice, staying focused and engaged in the game and trying to get better.”
On Iowa State taking the lead in the second half:
“Buckley kept getting the ball in the lane and she gets in there to pass. She reverse pivots, so the people who are guarding on the perimeter turn and watch her (Buckley) and their guy cuts to the basket. We just didn’t play the entire possession. They play a different way and she (Buckley) especially gets into the lane – almost like when you feed a post and the post plays it out to shooters. She drives it in there deep and then reverse pivots and looks for people. It is not something you play against all the time, but it is something we prepared for quite a bit going into this game.
Kansas sophomore guard Chayla Cheadle
On Kylee’s halftime shot and not carrying the momentum into the third quarter:
“It was good that she got the shot. We went into the locker room and had realized we still had a whole other half and I think we lost our energy coming back out at the half.”
On the upcoming Baylor game:
“Personally, I go into every game looking to work and get up for a challenge. I hope my teammates come ready and prepared to fight because it is going to be a huge one. I definitely think we can go there and get that win if we work hard and keep our energy level up.”
Kansas junior forward Jada Brown
On carrying her confidence from tonight into the Baylor game:
“Definitely. I will be doing whatever it takes; continuing to work hard and try to get it right to come out with that W.”
On giving up the first lead of the season in the Big 12:
“Definitely, and being on our home court and having a good crowd with us tonight it is definitely hard to swallow, Especially having that much of a lead since we haven’t had a lead like that in a long time, you think we would come out on top.”
Iowa State head coach Bill Fennelly
“I told our team, ‘I don’t know if I’ve ever been more disappointed in the first half in the way we played at Iowa State, but probably even more proud in the play in the second half.’ I thought Jadda (Buckley) and Seanna (Johnson) were incredible in the second half. Kansas is a team that defends great and we had a terrible time with them – turning the ball over at record rates, but had a great second half and Seanna and Jadda played like All-Big 12 players. They led us and that’s what you need from your best players.”
On what you saw from Kansas that you didn’t see in the first meeting:
“I thought their defense was better. They really got up into us. They made it really hard for us to enter the ball into some of our stuff. We had to a lot more dribble-ball- screen action that we haven’t done a whole lot. Jadda was getting a little tired but made some really good decisions – had 11 assists. We got Seanna in space after a really tough first half. I thought defensively we were better, you know to be down 10 at half and win by 10, that’s a combination of better offense and better defense. I thought we really did a good job on Lauren (Aldridge) and Kylee (Kopatich) – they hit some tough shots.”
On what went wrong in the second quarter:
“I don’t think we scored the last seven minutes of the quarter. I would say most of it was Kansas’ defense. I thought we were ultra-tentative, people didn’t want the ball. Sometimes they stood around and waited for somebody else to make a play. We missed a couple layups, missed a couple free throws. That’s been our problem. We’ve had three-to-five minute spurts, unfortunately, it was seven. Luckily our defense was good enough, we were only down 10 and not worse. But that’s been our Achilles heel. We’ve been able to play 34 to 35 decent minutes but the five minutes we don’t play, kills us. That was the case in the second quarter today. Luckily, we got out to a good start in the third quarter and made it a game.”
On what the message in the locker room was after the game:
“A little bit of relief. We’ve lost five games in-a-row. You’re down 10 at halftime, things look kind of bleak. But the message I gave them was, I couldn’t be more proud of how we battled in the second half and Seanna and Jadda were dynamic in everything that we did offensively. I think that was the difference in the game for us – to just put the ball in those guys’ hands and say ‘go make plays,’ and they made a lot of plays.”
On keeping Kansas from scoring:
“We talked a lot about that. They do a lot of false motion, they do a lot of dribble-drive and they run the clock down. They have a lot of good ball screens. They hurt us in the post a little bit because they spread us out. We knew that we just had to get the pace going. I thought in the first half they (Kansas) completely dictated the pace of the game. Second half, we tried to get a shot or get things moving before they set their defense. When they set their defense, we really had a hard time in the first half. In the second half, I think we got them on the move a little bit better and got some dribble penetration. Any time you get any dribble penetration usually something good can happen. We didn’t get that in the first half.”
On what he thinks of Brandon Schneider and his first season:
“This is a great, great place. It’s a great venue, great school, with a tremendous basketball tradition both men’s and women’s. They are going to be fine. I think you have to give them a lot of credit. There’s no way you would have known that team hasn’t won a conference game the way they competed and that’s a tribute to the coaches, the kids, to the fans. I thought the crowd was good. They are going to be just fine. They know what they are doing and I’m sure they are going to save some of these box scores and remember, their time will come.”
The Jayhawks head to Waco for their third-straight road game in the Lone Star State on Saturday, Feb. 6. The matchup with No. 4 Baylor is set to tip off at 2 p.m. and fans can follow the action on the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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