Kansas falls to TCU on the road, 83-68

Video Link HighlightsStats Download Link Final Box (.pdf)

FORT WORTH, Texas – In the tale of two halves, Kansas women’s basketball came out of the gate on fire to start the game, but cooled off in the latter half as TCU ran away with the victory, 83-68, on Sunday evening inside Schollmaier Arena. 
In the first half, neither squad was able to establish control of the ballgame and the lead traded back and forth between the home and visiting benches. The contest was tied seven times and saw nine lead changes in the first 20 minutes with both teams vying for a solid lead. KU’s hot shooting from the floor, especially the 3-point line kept the first half close. KU shot above average in the first half, connecting on nearly 40 percent of its attempts.
Despite starting the game on fire, KU’s (6-13, 0-8 Big 12) offense cooled down coming out of halftime and the Horned Frogs (10-9, 2-6 Big 12) took advantage of their opponents’ scoring droughts and miscues. TCU capitalized on the momentum shift coming out of the intermission and quickly increased its one-possession lead into double digits.
Coming off the bench, Kansas’ reserves produced 36 points, its fifth game contributing 30 or more points and most since scoring 39 at Kansas State (1/11). The Jayhawks’ defense entered the contest forcing 19.4 turnovers per game and forced TCU to turn the ball over 15 times.  
For the fourth game in a row, redshirt junior guard Jessica Washington led Kansas in scoring with 19 points. Since the start of Big 12 Conference play, Washington is averaging 19.5 points per game, which leads the league. The Tulsa, Oklahoma native has netted double figures in six of her last eight outings. She also recorded six rebounds and five assists. Sophomore guard Kylee Kopatich and redshirt sophomore guard McKenzie Calvert each added 10 points. Kopatich shot 50 percent from the 3-point line after making two of her four attempts from long range.
TCU saw four Horned Frogs reach double figures in the first meeting between the two programs. Junior guard AJ Alix paved the way with 22 points behind an 8-for-12 effort from the field. Senior guard Jadda Butts added 13 points, while redshirt sophomore forward Amy Okonkwo contributed 11 points. Sophomore center Jordan Moore registered her third double-double of the season after recording 13 points and 16 boards.
KU struck first, but TCU went on a quick 5-0 run to take its first lead of the night. Washington sank her first attempt from the 3-point line to even the score, 5-5, before both teams went without scoring for nearly four minutes. Calvert ended the scoring drought with her first triple and regained the lead for Kansas, 8-5, with just under five minutes to play in the quarter.
As the Jayhawks battled to take control of the game, the Horned Frogs fought back and kept the game close in the opening minutes. For the second time in the first period, TCU tied the game and then reclaimed the lead after scoring seven-straight points. The late first quarter run gave TCU a 14-11 advantage heading into the second period.
The second quarter got off to a slow start with neither team able to convert its attempts from the floor for nearly two minutes. TCU added to its lead, but not before Kopatich cut the Horned Frogs’ lead, 16-14, with her first triple of the game. Back-to-back treys from senior guard Timeka O’Neal gave KU the lead, 23-21, for the first time since the opening period, but TCU answered with five-straight points, as the advantage continued to sway back and forth in the waning minutes of the first half. Despite the ballgame being tied seven times, TCU headed to the break halftime with a 37-34 advantage over the Jayhawks.
Kansas shot 39 percent from the field in the opening half, including a 7-for-15 mark from the 3-point line. O’Neal led the Jayhawks with nine points after making 3-of-4 from long range.
Washington brought the game within one on the first possession of the second half, but TCU immediately pushed the lead back up to three. The Horned Frogs went on a 6-0 run, extending their advantage, 45-37, before Calvert ended the run with a drive to the basket. By the halfway mark of the third quarter, TCU had mounted a 10-point lead, its largest of the contest to that point. Despite its best efforts to erase the double-figure advantage, Kansas couldn’t slow the Horned Frogs in the third period. TCU outscored KU, 25-15, in the third and entered the final 10 minutes with a 62-49 lead.
Kopatich began the fourth quarter with her second triple of the night, as KU continued to battle from behind on the road. Despite a closer fourth period, Kansas couldn’t overcome the deficit created by the Horned Frogs in the quarter before. TCU maintained it double-digit advantage down the stretch as the Horned Frogs won the first meeting of the season, 83-68.  

The Jayhawks continue their two-game road stretch on Wednesday, Jan. 25 at Oklahoma State. Tipoff against the Cowgirls is slated for 7 p.m., on FOX Sports Southwest Plus and the Jayhawk Radio Network.

KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.