No. 17 Oklahoma State Takes Down Jayhawks, 71-49
STILLWATER, Okla. – A slow start and cold shooting in the opening half led to Kansas dropping its road contest at No. 17 Oklahoma State, 71-49, on Wednesday evening, inside Gallagher-Iba Arena.
While the Jayhawks got off to cold start to the night, the Cowgirls (20-7, 10-6 Big 12) came out of the gate on fire. Senior guard Brittney Martin along with sophomore center Kaylee Jensen accounted for 26 of Oklahoma State’s 37 first-half points. At the intermission, OSU owned a commanding 18-point lead and didn’t look back in the second half.
Martin connected on 12-of-16 shots, for a game-high 24 points, and pulled down seven boards. Jensen was not far behind, finishing the evening with 18 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.
Sophomore guard Lauren Aldridge led the Jayhawks (5-22, 0-16 Big 12) on the night with 13 points, her 17th double-digit scoring performance of the season. Freshman guard Kylee Kopatich dished out a career-high five assists, helping Kansas to its fifth-straight game with 10 assists or more. Freshman forward Tyler Johnson put in the last basket of the game to finish the game with 11 points, her third-career double-digit scoring performance.
A three-pointer from sophomore guard Chayla Cheadle at the 5:28 mark, Kansas’ first of the game, cut the Cowgirls’ early six-point lead in half. Oklahoma State responded with a 6-0 run to boost its advantage. The Jayhawks were perfect from the free throw line in the first quarter, sinking all four of their attempts. Despite making only two field goals, Kansas escaped the first quarter trailing by only eight points.
After Aldridge put in Kansas’ first bucket of the second quarter, the Cowgirls took off on an 11-2 scoring streak over the next three and a half minutes. Oklahoma State’s lead reached 20 points with 3:20 left in the second quarter as the Jayhawks continued to struggle from the field. At the halftime break, Kansas shot 25 percent from the field, while the Cowgirls finished at 51.3 percent.
The Jayhawks shot an improved 40 percent from the field in the third quarter, but missed the mark on their final four shots. The cold finish allowed the home team to build on their halftime advantage, carrying a comfortable 22-point lead into the final 10 minutes of play.
Kansas continued to hit shots in the fourth quarter, but the Cowgirls refused to give up ground. The Jayhawks shot 46.4 percent from the field in the second half, including 4-of-7 from beyond the arc. Aldridge and Johnson netted seven and nine points, respectively, but Oklahoma State only extended its lead. Kansas made its last three shots, but Oklahoma State put in its last five attempts of the night for the 71-49 victory.
Oklahoma State 71, Kansas 49
Feb. 24, 2016 – Stillwater, Oklahoma
Attendance: 3,725 (Capacity: 13,611)
- With the loss, Kansas trails Oklahoma State, 33-31, in the all-time series.
- Kansas drops to 13-14 against the Cowgirls when playing inside Gallagher-Iba Arena.
- Kansas has faced eight nationally-ranked opponents in 2015-16 and are 0-7 against foes in the national polls.
- Kansas has faced seven nationally-ranked opponents in 2015-16 and are 0-7 against foes in the national polls.
- Kansas dished out 10 assists, five from freshman guard Kylee Kopatich, for the fifth-consecutive game.
- The Jayhawks finished the night at Oklahoma State 7-of-8 from the free throw line (.875) for the second-highest mark from the charity stripe this season.
- Sophomore guard Lauren Aldridge led the Jayhawks with 13 points, her team-leading 17th double-digit scoring effort this season.
- Aldridge has led Kansas in scoring on 13 occasions.
- Freshman forward Tyler Johnson logged her third double-figure scoring performance with 11 points against the Cowgirls. All three of Johnson’s double-digit scoring efforts have occurred during Big 12 play.
- Freshman guard Kylee Kopatich dished out nearly half of KU’s assist total on Wednesday night against Oklahoma State. Kopatich’s five assists is a new career high for the Olathe, Kansas native.
- Junior forward Caelynn Manning-Allen has swatted away a team-high 36 blocks this season and 78 in her career. She needs 17 more to crack Kansas’ top-10 season list and seven to etch her name into the junior record.
Kansas head coach Brandon Schneider
On senior guard Brittney Martin’s performance:
“Well, she’s so efficient. I don’t think there is any question in my mind that she should be MVP of this league. You look at everything she brings to this team: points, rebounds, steals, offensive rebounds. She’s really an impact player.”
On sophomore center Kaylee Jensen:
“We just don’t have a matchup for her, with her size and strength. It’s hard to guard low-post players in this league at Baylor, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Kansas State, obviously. That’s something we have to address in recruiting; we need to find a player that can play on the low block and be a defensive presence.”
On liking Kansas’ energy:
“Well, second half. First half, I thought our shot selection was really poor. Defensively, we missed assignments on things that we specifically worked on a great deal in preparation for this game. Second half, I thought our shot selection was a lot better. We lost the second half by three points and that’s giving up, I think, six points on out-of-bounds plays. The second half was much better, so there were some positives we could draw from that, but obviously a short turnaround getting ready for Texas Tech.”
On competing on the boards despite the size difference:
“Well the big difference tonight was shooting percentage. Their best players were really efficient and made shots. In the first half, our shot selection was really bad. We’re taking shots we’ve never practiced. That’s something we addressed at half time, and I thought we played much cleaner in that regard.”
Kansas concludes its 2015-16 home slate with Texas Tech on Saturday, Feb. 27 at 7 p.m., inside Allen Fieldhouse. The game will air on both the Jayhawk Television and Jayhawk Radio Networks.
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