Cold-shooting Jayhawks fall at West Virginia, 76-46
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Kansas women’s basketball struggled to match West Virginia’s offensive pace, as the Jayhawks fell to the Mountaineers, 76-46, on Wednesday night inside WVU Coliseum.
The hot-shooting Mountaineers (19-7, 7-7 Big 12) shot their best game of Big 12 play from the field, connecting on 52 percent (26-of-50) of their shots from the field in the victory over the Jayhawks (11-14, 2-12 Big 12). While WVU shot above 50 percent, the Jayhawks couldn’t get the momentum going in their favor after shooting just 25 percent from the floor.
Kansas was led by three Jayhawks, who netted double digits. Junior guard Kylee Kopatich scored a team-best 12 points for her 17th double-digit scoring effort of the season. Redshirt-sophomore center Tyler Johnson netted her first double-digit scoring performance in league action with 10 points, while adding six rebounds. Junior guard Christalah Lyons notched her 22nd double-figure scoring effort of the season with 10 points.
Senior forward Teana Muldrow led West Virginia with her fifth double-double performance in conference play, scoring 21 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Junior guard/forward Naomi Davenport netted 15 points, while junior guard Katrina Pardee added 13 points for the Mountaineers.
Kansas was the first on the board with a Kopatich layup at the 9:30 mark of the first period. However, West Virginia quickly answered and took control from that point on with a 15-0 run. At the halfway mark of the opening period, WVU lead, 15-2.
The Jayhawks would rely on the free throw line for the majority of the first quarter, not hitting another field goal until the 1:16 mark when junior forward Austin Richardson netted a layup that was the start of four unanswered Kansas points.
Senior guard Sydney Benoit increased the Jayhawk point total to double figures and knocked in her second 3-point basket of her career as time expired, narrowing the Kansas deficit, 29-12, at the end of the first quarter.
West Virginia stretched its lead 24 after Muldrow began the second quarter with four-straight points as a part of a 7-0 Mountaineer run to start the period. After the Jayhawks allowed 29 Mountaineer points in the opening 10 minutes, Kansas held WVU to just 11 points and 27.3 percent from the field in the second quarter, but the Jayhawks still struggled to make plays on the offensive end.
KU netted all nine of its points in the second period with less than five minutes to play in the half and ended the half on 7-2 run to diminish West Virginia’s lead to below 20 points, heading into the locker room down, 40-21.
Johnson halted WVU’s 6-0 run to start the latter half with a layup. Kopatich netted her first trey of the night following a Pardee jumper, but following the long range basket from the Olathe, Kansas native, the Jayhawks faced a scoring drought.
During KU’s offensive struggles in the third quarter, the Mountaineers went on a 12-0 run, including seven straight from Davenport. WVU’s 12-straight points extended its lead, 60-26, but Kansas ended the quarter on a 7-3 run. Richardson sparked the Kansas run with steal that resulted in a 3-point play the old-fashioned way, still, the Jayhawks trailed, 63-33, going into the final 10 minutes of the game.
The Kansas offense started to get into a rhythm in the final 10 minutes of the game, matching WVU’s 13 points in the fourth period. The Jayhawks knocked in six-straight points during a stretch in the quarter, but West Virginia’s lead early on was too great to surpass as Kansas fell to the Mountaineers, 76-46.
Kansas concludes a two-game road trip at No. 3 Baylor on Saturday, Feb. 17 at 1 p.m., inside the Ferrell Center. The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Southwest and the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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