Freshmen lead Kansas to 70-58 victory over Oral Roberts
LAWRENCE, Kan.– Kansas’ freshman duo shook off a slow debut in the season opener and bounced to lead the Jayhawks past Oral Roberts, 70-58, in Allen Fieldhouse on Tuesday evening.
Guards Aniya Thomas and Brooklyn Mitchell combined for 30 points and were two of four Jayhawks to net double figures in the victory. Thomas led KU with 17 points and two steals.
Kansas burst out of the gates in the opening stretch, mounting a 29-11 lead after the first quarter of play. The Jayhawks led by as many as 21 early on and held on to their double-digit advantage throughout the second half.
The Jayhawks maintained an adept offensive attack throughout the game, shooting 40.7 percent from the field. Mitchell and Thomas led the offensive charge for Kansas, combining for 68.8 percent shooting from the floor. Coming off a sluggish start to their freshmen campaigns, both guards recorded career-high scoring totals. The duo also combined to force three turnovers.
Additionally, sophomore center Bailey Helgren anchored the Jayhawks defensively with nine total rebounds, tying her career high. She also contributed 10 points, which was the best scoring performance of her career.
Senior forward Austin Richardson and senior guard Brianna Osorio were also active on the glass, grabbing 10 and eight rebounds, respectively.
- For the second year in a row, Kansas has started the season 2-0.
- Kansas started the game off on an 18-2 run, connecting on 71.4 percent (10-of-14) of its attempts in the opening 10 minutes.
- Four Jayhawks had a double-figure scoring night, led by the duo of freshmen, Aniya Thomas with 17 points and Brooklyn Mitchell with 13 points. Senior guard Brianna Osorio added 11 points, while sophomore center Bailey Helgren chipped in 10 points.
- Thomas notched a career-high 17 points, shooting 70 percent from the field (7-of-10) in her second game donning the Crimson and Blue.
- Helgren nearly posted her first career double-double with a career-high 10 points and nine rebounds, tying her career high set against UMKC.
- Helgren’s career night was topped off by perfect shooting from the floor (3-of-3) and the free-throw line (4-of-4).
- Senior forward Austin Richardson fell just shy of a second-straight double-double with eight points and 10 rebounds.
Head Coach // Brandon Schneider
On what he was impressed with:
“I was happy with holding that team to 58 points. They’re a very good offensive team and have some prolific 3-point shooters. I was pleased with how well we competed on the glass.”
On his evaluation of freshman guards Brooklyn Mitchell and Aniya Thomas:
“I think [Brooklyn Mitchell and Aniya Thomas] have the chance to play quite a bit, especially when our three guards that started were 5-for-25. When they’re not having good nights, you go to some other people. I thought they played really well.”
Freshman Guard // Aniya Thomas
On her mentality today:
“My mentality was to play lock down defense and contribute to the team as much as I could on offense. I just needed to be disciplined and play my game.”
On Mitchell’s performance:
“She did well offensively and defensively. She contributed and attacked. She played her game just like she was supposed to.”
Sophomore Center // Bailey Helgren
On Brooklyn and Aniya’s performance:
“I think it’s huge. We are all confident in them and know that they can contribute to our team. I think it’s great that they could both bounce back from their first game.”
On the importance of rebounding:
“I think it’s a huge emphasis for us to attack, especially in transition because we know we can run. That’s how we score a lot of the times when the defense isn’t set up.”
Kansas will play host to Alabama A&M on Sunday, November 18 at 2 p.m., inside Allen Fieldhouse. Fans can watch the game on the Jayhawk Television Network/ESPN+ or listen on the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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