Jayhawks can't slow Sooners, 89-52

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NORMAN, Okla. – On the heels of its first Big 12 Conference victory of the season, Kansas women’s basketball couldn’t find an answer for Oklahoma’s offense, as the Sooners swept the 2017 series with an 89-52 victory on Wednesday morning inside the Lloyd Noble Center.
Oklahoma (17-6, 8-3 Big 12) not only shot above average in the second meeting between the Jayhawks (7-15, 1-10 Big 12), but connected on a season-high 59.3 percent of its attempts from the field, including a 6-of-13 (46.2) mark from the 3-point line. While the hot-shooting Sooners couldn’t be slowed, Kansas converted just 27.7 percent of its shots and couldn’t find a rhythm on the road.  
Sophomore guard Kylee Kopatich recorded a team-best 14 points behind a 6-for-9 effort from the field. Her 14 points marked her 12th double-digit scoring performance of the year and the first time this Big 12 season to lead the Jayhawks’ offense. Redshirt junior guard Jessica Washington netted 11 points, including a pair of shots from long range. Senior forward Jada Brown grabbed a team-best seven boards off the glass.
OU’s potent offense saw four Sooners tally double-digit scoring efforts on Wednesday morning, led by redshirt senior guard Maddie Manning, who delivered a game-high 19 points. Redshirt senior guard Peyton Little scored 16 points, while junior guard Gabbi Ortiz and senior guard Gioya Carter rounded out the double-figures scorers with 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Oklahoma opened the game with a 15-2 run to take an early lead over of the Jayhawks. The Sooners hot-shooting aided in jumping out to a double-digit advantage by the halfway mark of the first quarter. OU shot 83 percent from the field compared to KU’s 21 percent from the floor in the opening quarter. Back-to-back makes from senior forward Caelynn Manning-Allen and Kopatich reduced the deficit to single digits, but the Sooners stormed back to reclaim a double-figure lead, 19-7, with three minutes to play in the period. Senior guard Timeka O’Neal closed out the first 10 minutes with a pair of triples, but Oklahoma maintained its double-digit advantage at the end of the period, 24-13.  
The Jayhawks attempted to chip away at their deficit with the help of makes from the 3-point line in the second quarter. KU saw two Jayhawks sink triples in the second period and connected on 40 percent of their tries from long range. With each triple, KU began to erase its deficit, but the Sooners had an answer to halt any momentum that Kansas was building. Despite keeping the ballgame closer in the latter part of the first half, Oklahoma maintained its advantage with a 10-0 run to end the half and heading into the locker room with a 45-28 lead.
Kopatich finished the first half with 10 points behind a 4-for-7 effort from the field to lead Kansas’ offense early on. Washington concluded the opening 20 minutes with nine points, including a pair of triples. Brown grabbed a team-best four rebounds in the first half, as Kansas outrebounded the Sooners, 19-16.
The Sooners began the second half with a 10-0 run before Washington recorded the first KU bucket of the third quarter. Following Washington’s make, Kansas went bucket-for-bucket with OU for the next several possessions, but Oklahoma continued to lead Kansas, 61-35, at the first media timeout of the season half.
Coming out of the timeout, the Jayhawks were held scoreless for span of nearly three minutes as the Sooners went on a 7-0 run. Sophomore guard Jayde Christopher ended the drought with a make from the charity stripe, but OU charged ahead and owned a 70-36 lead in the final minutes of the period. After outscoring Kansas, 10-6, in the waning minutes of the third, Oklahoma took a 71-41 advantage into the final period.
Kansas kept the fourth period close for the first five minutes as OU outscored KU, 7-6. OU’s Manning sank the Sooners’ fifth triple of the game, which sparked six unanswered Oklahoma points. Manning-Allen ended the Sooner run with a pair of free throws, but OU’s offense got started again and ended the game on an 11-5 run. The Jayhawks couldn’t overcome OU’s potent offense as the Sooners claimed the 2017 series with an 89-52 victory.

Kansas hosts TCU on Sunday, Feb. 5, for its annual ‘Jayhawks for a Cure’ game. Fans who wear pink to the game will receive $5 admission. Tipoff against the Horned Frogs is at 1:30 p.m., inside Allen Fieldhouse.

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