Horned Frogs Roll Past Jayhawks, 70-44
LAWRENCE, Kan. – TCU took advantage of Kansas’ second-half offensive struggles to run away with a 70-44 victory on Wednesday night inside Allen Fieldhouse.
A 15 percent shooting performance in the third quarter and a scoreless streak that spanned over 10 minutes of game time allowed TCU to extend its lead from six points to 19 by the end of the period. The Horned Frogs (14-11, 6-8 Big 12) shot 46.3 percent from the field on the night, and never looked back after the third-quarter breakout.
Freshman guard Aisia Robertson led the Jayhawks (5-20, 0-14 Big 12) in scoring for the first time this season, finishing the night with a career-high 11 points. The San Francisco, California native filled her stat line with two rebounds, two assists and three steals. Junior forward Caelynn Manning-Allen pulled down seven boards for the eighth time this season, and posted six points and one block. For the second-straight game, Kansas recorded double digit assists and steals.
TCU saw double-figure scoring performances from three different Horned Frogs. Sophomore guard AJ Alix led all scorers after netting 15 points. Alix shot 6-of-10 from the field and 3-of-5 from beyond the arc. Senior guard Zahna Medley connected on 6-of-12 attempts for 13 points and dished out three assists, while senior forward Veja Hamilton sank all four of her free throw attempts on the way to a 12-point game.
Freshman G Kylee Kopatich finished the night with eight points
After the two teams traded baskets to start the game, a steal and fast-break layup from Kopatich gave Kansas an early 8-4 lead. TCU pulled in front for the first time after a steal by Alix led to a three-pointer at the other end at just under the two-minute mark of the opening quarter. The Horned Frogs held the lead for the remainder of the period, capped off by a buzzer-beating triple to push the advantage to 18-14.
A steal by Robertson led to another run-out basket for Kansas’ first points of the second quarter at the 6:21 mark. The cold start, caused by 0-of-3 shooting and four turnovers, allowed the visitors to build an eight-point lead.
The margin hovered around eight points for much of the quarter, until stretching to double digits for the first time on a three-point play from Hamilton with 2:12 left in the half. A TCU layup with 30 seconds would be the final bucket of the second quarter, giving the Horned Frogs the 35-23 lead at the break.
After missing the mark on all six three-point attempts in the first half, it took the Jayhawks just 19 seconds to hit a triple in the third quarter. Less than two minutes later, another long-range basket, this time from sophomore guard Lauren Aldridge, cut the deficit to six points. The Horned Frogs responded with a 13-0 run, shutting Kansas down for the final seven minutes and 55 seconds of the third quarter. The Jayhawks shot 0-of-16 during the stretch to find themselves trailing 50-31 heading into the final quarter of play.
TCU connected on first four shot attempts of the fourth quarter, while Kansas continued to struggle to find the bottom of the bet. Freshman guard Kylee Kopatich knocked down a free throw at the 7:22 mark to end the scoring drought, and drained a jumper 41 seconds later, concluding the 11-minute stretch without a field goal.
The Jayhawks closed the game out strong, scoring the final eight points and holding TCU scoreless over the last three minutes of play, but the turnaround came too late. At the final buzzer, TCU emerged with the win, 70-44.
- Kansas fell to 4-5 all-time against TCU and 2-2 inside of Allen Fieldhouse
- The Jayhawks are now 119-207 all-time against Big 12 Conference foes.
- By forcing 19 turnovers tonight, the Jayhawks forced more turnovers than they committed for the ninth time this season.
- Kansas scored 21 points in the second half, which is the third-lowest amount of points scored in a second half this season.
- The Jayhawks recorded 10 steals on the night, marking the fourth time this season Kansas has stolen the ball away at least 10 times in a game.
- For just the third time in Big 12 play, Kansas handed out 10 assists and ran away with 10 steals in a game.
- Junior forward Caelynn Manning-Allen recorded seven rebounds for the eighth time this season.
- Freshman guard Aisia Robertson netted a career-high 11 points against the Horned Frogs. Her scoring outburst was good enough to lead the Jayhawks in scoring for the first time in her career.
- Sophomore guard Chayla Cheadle recorded 5 rebounds tonight, making this the eighth time this season she has accomplished this task.
Kansas Head Coach Brandon Schneider
“Obviously, we’re not happy with the way our season has gone and what our record is, but tonight’s been the first time that I have been really disappointed in how we represented ourselves. Especially the last 13 or 14 minutes of that ball game. I think we have been a team, regardless of the score, has continued to play extremely hard and continue to fight. I don’t know that we did that to the extent that we have all year long and that’s not how we want to represent ourselves. It’s not the culture we’re trying to build, definitely want to address that and get that corrected.”
On if he was surprised on the team’s effort:
“We felt like it was a home game, a game we can be in and have a chance to win, and I think there were many moments in the game where we continued to demonstrate that. We cut the lead to six in the second half, coming out of the locker room and then we just kind of went off the reservation and got away from sharing the ball and playing together. We took some really questionable shots. I think sometimes you want to remind your players that there is a lot more people in the arena that are watching the game, these games are actually televised and you might not want to take some of the shots because it didn’t look really good. Again, that’s not how we want to play and that’s disappointing.”
On if team took too many quick shots in the second half:
“Well, TCU is a team that has given up over 70 points in Big 12 play. You have to give them a chance to break down and make a mistake. That was really kind of our focus going in, if we didn’t have something we really liked early in the possession and we just didn’t do that. We wanted to keep our post players inside more and try to play to them because there are very few matchups in this league where the size is similar. I think we even had some size advantages tonight and didn’t exhibit the practice necessary to exploit any of those matchups. That just amount to not following the game plan”
On if Aisia Robertson was supposed to be the main focus on offense:
“No, I think she was a little to amped up. That’s not really what we probably need from her. I want her to shoot the ball, obviously, I’m never going to tell a player (not to shoot). But when you go 5-for-17, there’s probably some shots that were questionable. She took a one-foot runner on the baseline and those are shots that we would like for Tyler (Johnson) to have a chance to take. She leads our team in field goal percentage and for her two only get two shots would not be part of the plan.”
On if he is worried about the mood of the team:
“Well, I think as a coach when you are not having the year that you want, you always have to be aware of that. But that’s not what we have been, even in our practice, I have been really happy with the kind of practices we have had and it’s something we addressed in the locker room. We will talk about again tomorrow. We have too many people whether it’s our families, our fan base over 2,500 people and our administration, there are too people are behind us, are supporting us, want the aid in the process of turning this around and we owe them more than that and I didn’t think we represent the right way in that regard.”
TCU Head Coach Raegan Pebley
“Whenever you can get a road win in the Big 12, that’s something to celebrate. We are really grateful and glad that we could get it. This is a tough place to play. Not only because it’s a Kansas team that I feel has proved they are one of the most, if not the most, offensively disciplined teams in the Big 12 but they have that ability to shoot the three, which is the great neutralizer in basketball. So, we feel very fortunate and we will take it and run with it.”
On Kansas Head Coach Brandon’s first season:
“I love coaches’ kids. I’m a coaches’ kid, he’s a coaches’ kid, and I love to coach coaches’ kids. He is so invested in women’s basketball and in this game. I think he’s a great addition to the Big 12 and I love what he’s done with his staff. I know it’s frustrating to start this way, but all of the other coaches in the league see what he’s doing and believe he’s a great addition.”
On whether or not she notices the work ethic of Kansas’ team that Coach Brandon talks about:
“Absolutely we see that. Like I said, when you see a team that executes as well as they do and creates and hustles after loose balls like they do, you can tell that there’s some great internal leadership that’s happening with that team and that they’re still engaged and invested in their season.”
Kansas continues its homestand with No. 21 Oklahoma on Saturday, Feb. 20 at 2 p.m., inside Allen Fieldhouse. Saturday’s contest against the Sooners is KU’s annual ‘Jayhawks for a Cure’ game with events helping raise breast cancer awareness, while also honoring both survivors and those who have lost their battle with cancer.
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