Hot-shooting Jayhawks top Washington State
LAS VEGAS – Behind a season-best 55.8 field goal percentage, Kansas women’s basketball topped Washington State, 71-63, in the Jayhawks’ first game of the Duel in the Desert Tournament at Cox Pavilion on Wednesday afternoon.
After both teams got out to a slow start, Kansas (8-1) found its groove offensively, owning a 16-6 lead after the first 10 minutes of play. Richardson paced the KU offense with seven points to start the game. Defensively, the Jayhawks held Washington State to just 15 percent (2-of-13) from the field, while forcing 10 turnovers in the first period.
Washington State narrowed the Kansas lead to as small as four in the second period but a 15-4 run over the last three and a half minutes gave the Jayhawks a 15-point advantage heading into the locker room at the half. The KU run was sparked by eight unanswered points, including back-to-back 3-pointers from Kopatich.
Despite being outscored in the second half, 39-32, the Jayhawks, who led by as many as 19 at one point, held onto an eight-point lead to top Washington State. Kansas shot an impressive 71.4 percent from the floor in the second half and 55.8 percent overall.
The Jayhawks were led by a trio of seniors who each notched double-digit scoring efforts. Jessica Washington led the offensive charge with 15 points and three assists, while Kylee Kopatich and Austin Richardson added 13 points each. Kopatich also grabbed a team-high eight rebounds.
Head Coach Brandon Schneider
On overall performance:
“I thought for 36 minutes we were tough and gritty on the defensive end. We didn’t finish with the same energy and pride that we expect from those that wear a Kansas uniform.”
On Jessica Washington, Kylee Kopatich and Austin Richardson:
“I thought Jessica (Washington) and Kylee (Kopatich) both made timely shots for us when Washington State made runs, and Austin (Richardson) was efficient as well. We left a lot of points out there, but for the most part we did a pretty good job knocking the dust off after our 10-day layoff.”
On quick preparation and not knowing the opponent:
“We have a scout already prepared on both of these opponents (Northwestern and Wichita State) and different assistant coaches in charge of the preparation. It will be a great opportunity to watch them live. We also get more rest than they do, and I think it is important that our players get back to the hotel and start their recovery process.”
- The Jayhawks shot a season-best 55.8 percent from the field with nine players scoring against Washington State.
- Sixth-year Jessica Washington’s 15 points mark the third time this season that the guard has led the Jayhawks in scoring.
- Senior guard Kylee Kopatich’s three 3-pointers mark the third-consecutive game where she has made at least three long range buckets. Kopatich had 13 points on the night.
- Senior Austin Richardson concluded Kansas’ trio of double-digit scorers, matching Kopatich’s 13 points, seven of which came in the first period.
- With five assists on the night, senior Christalah Lyons dished out five assists or more for the fifth time this season, while having just one turnover.
Kansas will face the winner of the Wichita State/Northwestern matchup tomorrow, Thursday, Dec. 20 in Cox Pavilion with a 7 p.m. (CST) start time. Fans can follow all of the action by watching on FloHoops with a paid subscription or by listening on the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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