Jayhawk Insider: Breaking records behind the arch
By: Hadyn Krause
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The game plan wasn’t to break any 3-point records on Wednesday night against No. 2 Baylor, but that’s just what Kansas did after making 14 triples, the most in a single game by the Jayhawks in program history.
Head coach Brandon Schneider wanted his team to move the ball from side to side and for his guards to be shot ready. Fortunately for Kansas, its duo of Jessica Washington and Kylee Kopatich were shot ready and capitalized on those chances from beyond arc, combing for 11 of KU’s record-setting 14 threes.
While this milestone was unplanned and unexpected, the Jayhawks took advantage of their consistent 3-point shooting when facing the size of the nationally-ranked Lady Bears.
“I think we’re a really good 3-point shooting team” said Schneider. “We don’t want to rely on that, but it is a big part of how we play. Again, Baylor is different. They are so big that getting points in the paint, no matter who you are, is really difficult. Tonight, we shot 28 of them. Fortunately, we did a good job, I think we shot 50 percent.”
Washington, a sixth-year guard, knocked down six threes’, finishing the game with 18 points. She connected on 6-of-9 attempts from behind the arch, which is one triple shy of her career-best seven treys that she sank at Kansas State in 20016. All of Washington’s points against Baylor came from 3-point range.
“My mentality was to let it fly” said Washington. “You’re not going to get many layups against a team like that.”
Kopatich contributed five threes to the record-breaking night. She was pleasantly surprised after finding out what the team had accomplished.
“I didn’t even know” Kopatich said. “We just hit open shots and it came in our favor that way.”
Both Kopatich and Washington have made 34 triples on the year. Kopatich sits second in the Big 12 Conference in 3-point field goal percentage, connecting on 44.7 percent her attempts from long range. Washington averages 2.6 threes per game, placing her third in the Big 12, while Kopatich is right behind her at fourth with 2.4 per game.
As a team, Kansas’ total 3-point field goal percentage is second in the Big 12 at 37.2 percent, as well as sitting second in 3-point field goals made with 7.7 per game and 115 total treys on the year.
Along with Kopatich and Washington, helping the Jayhawks surpass the record was senior guard Chistalah Lyons, senior guard Austin Richardson and sophomore guard Micaela Wilson, all connecting from the 3-point line.
While the No. 2 Lady Bears came on top at the end of the night with the win, the Jayhawks ended the game shooting 50 percentage from the 3-point line, while the Lady Bears made 2-of-5 (.400 percent) from behind the arch.
“They are going to be up there in the National Championship”, Kopatich said. “When we are watching, we’re going to say we were right up there with them. If we had the confidence, we did in the second and third quarter, it would have been a completely different game.”
The Jayhawks will look to continue their hot shooting from long range three-point against Oklahoma State on Saturday, Jan.19 at 12 p.m., inside Allen Fieldhouse.
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.