Jayhawks Fall to No. 18 Oklahoma in Big 12 Opener, 67-44
NORMAN, Okla. – Kansas women’s basketball battled back from a 10-point halftime deficit, and came within four points in the third quarter before a 17-1 second-half run halted KU’s momentum, as No. 18 Oklahoma downed the Jayhawks, 67-44, on Wednesday night inside the Lloyd Noble Center.
Midway through the third period, Kansas cut what was once a 16-point lead for the Sooners (10-2, 1-0 Big 12) to just four points. The crowd fell quiet, and the Jayhawks (5-7, 0-1 Big 12) held the momentum. Unfortunately, the shots stopped falling and Oklahoma began to take charge inside. The Sooners logged 36 points in the paint and 15 offensive rebounds to put the game out of reach for Kansas.
Freshman guard Kylee Kopatich led the way for the Jayhawks with 10 points, her 10th double-digit performance of the season. Kopatich shot 4-of-12 from the field, and sank two of KU’s four three-pointers. Sophomore guard Chayla Cheadle came off the bench for nine points and tied Kopatich and junior forward Caelynn Manning-Allen for a team-high five rebounds. Freshman forward Tyler Johnson tallied eight points off the bench on 4-of-5 shooting
Junior guard Derica Wyatt shot exceptional in the first half for Oklahoma with four three-pointers on six attempts. Wyatt finished the game with 14 points on 5-of-9 shooting. Senior forward Kaylon Williams posted a game-high 21 points and nine rebounds, and filled out the line with two assists and two steals. Redshirt junior guard Maddie Manning logged just three points, but recorded five of Oklahoma’s 15 assists.
Oklahoma claimed seven of the game’s first nine points and following a three-pointer from Kopatich, extended the lead with a 9-0 run to push the score to 16-5. A free throw from Manning-Allen with less than 30 seconds remaining in the quarter would be the final point for Kansas, as the Jayhawks shot 2-of-13 from the field in the opening ten minutes of action.
Kansas faced a 16-6 deficit heading into the second quarter, and struggled to make up ground, committing five turnovers over the first four minutes of the period. With the score at 27-11 in favor of Oklahoma, the Jayhawks hit three straight baskets to put together a 7-0 run in just over a minute of game time. A three-point bucket from redshirt junior Timeka O’Neal cut the Sooner lead to single digits at the 2:12 mark, but Oklahoma would connect on one more field goal before the end of the half to carry a 10-point lead into the intermission.
The Jayhawks emerged from the locker room on a mission and found success early in the quarter. The Jayhawks went on two separate 4-0 runs separated by an Oklahoma basket, quickly cutting the deficit to just four points. The Sooners responded with their fifth long-range basket of the contest, but a pair of Jayhawks baskets brought the deficit back to four points at the 4:30 mark. The Sooners then took off on a 9-2 scoring streak to end the quarter, as Kansas missed the mark on its final six field goal attempts to conclude the third period.
Kansas looked to chip away at an 11-point deficit heading into the final 10 minutes of action, but the shooting woes from the third quarter carried over into fourth period. The Jayhawks connected on one of their first six attempts, while Oklahoma went 4-of-8 from the field to push its lead to 19 points, 56-37, with 4:26 remaining in the game.
Cheadle put up five-straight points for Kansas in just over one minute of action, but the Sooner lead still did not dip below 18 points. A 7-0 Oklahoma run stretched the lead to 25 points with just over one minute to play, and a layup from Johnson just before the buzzer ended the contest with a 67-44 victory for the Sooners.
Oklahoma 67, Kansas 44
Dec. 30, 2015 – Norman, Oklahoma
LLOYD NOBLE CENTER
Attendance: 5,328 (Capacity: 11,562)
- With Wednesday night’s victory, Oklahoma improved to 35-30 over Kansas in the all-time series.
- Kansas now has an 11-15 mark against the Sooners when playing in the Lloyd Noble Center.
- Kansas has trailed heading into the halftime break six times this season and is 1-5 when behind after the first 20 minutes of play.
- The Jayhawks are 119-194 overall against Big 12 Conference foes.
- KU’s bench outscored Oklahoma’s bench, 23-15. The Jayhawks’ bench has combined for 20 or more points in a game five times.
- Kansas’ 44 points tied its season-low for offensive output in a single game. KU also netted just 44 points against against UMKC (12/10).
- Freshman guard Kylee Kopatich ended the night with 10 points for Kansas, marking her ninth-straight game scoring in double figures. The Olathe, Kansas native has posted 10 double-digit scoring efforts this season.
- Kopatich has led the Jayhawks in scoring four times in 2015-16.
- Sophomore guard Chayla Cheadle finished the night with nine points behind 4-of-8 shooting from the field. Cheadle’s 50 percent shooting marks the second time this season she has shot 50 percent or higher in a game this season.
Kansas Head Coach Brandon Schneider
On the comeback in the third quarter:
“Well, I thought when we cut it to four, they took their effort and toughness to another level. They got out in transition and they were really starting to get on the offensive glass. To give up 17 second-chance points is way too many. We’ve got to do a better job of getting a body on a body. They just played harder in some situations. I thought our ones and twos fell asleep, not covering in transition and they had some runouts. That was really the difference. I thought Chayla Cheadle played much better, I was really proud of her. I thought Jayde Christopher did some good things. Tyler (Johnson), obviously, finished around the basket. Caelynn (Manning-Allen) got some good shots and just couldn’t finish. OU is an awful good basketball team and I was really proud of how we competed against them in the second and third quarters. We just have to continue to fight.”
On difficulties with communication:
“Well, I think with this particular team, regardless of time or score, you have to coach these young guys every possession. Every opportunity is a chance to get better. Jayde (Christopher) sometimes can get the ball up the court really quickly and she just needs to make sure that everyone is in their spot before she gets us into a particular set.”
On Chayla Cheadle’s dive for the ball late in the game:
“Every chance is a chance to get better, it’s an opportunity to continue to fight and become something we’re trying to become. We have a lot of work to do, but we have to celebrate each and every improvement. With our youth and inexperience, we make our fair share of mistakes, but when guys do things the right way, those need to be celebrated. And I feel like our staff and our bench is handling that the right way.”
The Jayhawks face the West Virginia Mountaineers in their Big 12 home opener on Sunday, Jan. 3. The contest is slated for 2 p.m., inside Allen Fieldhouse. Fans can follow along on the Jayhawks Television Network, as well as the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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