Jayhawks close out homestand with Iona
|Nov. 25 // 2 p.m.|
|Jayhawk Radio Network|
LAWRENCE, Kan. — Kansas women’s basketball concludes its five-game homestand with Iona on Sunday, Nov. 25 at 2 p.m., inside Allen Fieldhouse.
The Jayhawks and the Gaels will be facing off for the third time in history and the for the second time in Lawrence.
- The Jayhawks 4-0 start to the year is the second- straight year to open with fourth wins in a row after their first 20-point win of the 2018-19 campaign with a 77-56 win over George Mason (11/21).
- Redshirt-senior Jessica Washington posted her third 30-point performance of her career and first of the season, scoring 30 points against GMU (11/21).
- Senior Kylee Kopatich became the 29th Jayhawk to score 1,000 points in her career, when she notched 14 points against George Mason (11/21) to bring her career total to 1,005 points.
- Redshirt-freshman Brittany Franklin grabbed a game-high and career-best seven rebounds against the Patriots (11/21).
- Sophomore Bailey Helgren is ranks fourth in the Big 12 Conference with eight total blocks and 2.0 blocks per game in the first four contests of the season.
- A trio of Jayhawks rank in the Big 12’s top 15 for free throw percentage, including senior Brianna Osorio who sits in seventh (83.3 percent ), freshman Brooklyn Mitchell follows in eighth (80.0 percent) and sophomore Helgren rounds out the trio in 11th (75.0 percent).
- Christalah Lyons is fourth in the league for assist to turnover ratio with just four turnovers through four games, while dishing out 16 assists.
THIS DAY IN KANSAS WOMEN’S BASKETBALL HISTORY
Record on Nov. 25: 7-5
Kansas recorded 23 steals in a 76-63 victory over UCLA in the consolation game of the Amana-Hawkeye Classic on Nov. 25, 1990. Misti Chennault recorded a team-high 22 points, followed by Terrilyn Johnson with 19 points.
SCOUTING THE GAELS
After starting out the season on a three-game losing skid, the Gaels picked up their first win of the season in a 52-43 victory over George Washington. Iona has played just eight players throughout the 2018-19 season with Morgan Rachu leading the way as the Gaels lone player averaging double-digit scoring with 15.8 points. Rachu also leads Iona with 5.3 rebounds per game. As a team, the Gaels were selected to finish 10th out of 11 teams in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
Redshirt-senior Jessica Washington made her season debut against Alabama A&M (11/18) after coming back from a season-ending knee injury last season. The former Big 12 Newcomer of the Year has posted 42 points in two games this season, including nine 3-pointers. Washington posted her third career 30-point performance and first of the season with a 30-point game against George Mason (11/21). The Tulsa native opened the game with four-straight 3-pointers.
THE FLOOR GENERAL
Coming off of an impressive junior campaign where she garnered All-Big 12 Honorable Mention honors, senior guard Christalah Lyons has settled into a groove leading the Kansas offense this season. Lyons is averaging 11.0 points, while dishing out 4.0 assists per game so far this season. The Dallas native has just four turnovers thus far, while dishing out 16 assists, for the fourth-best assist to turnover ratio in the Big 12 Conference.
NO SOPHOMORE SLUMP HERE
Sophomore Bailey Helgren has started her sophomore campaign on a high note, breaking career-high marks in each of the Jayhawks’ first two games. Helgren’s five blocks in the season opener were a career-best. The 6-5 center is averaging 2.0 blocks per game with eight total blocks on the season. The Edina, Minnesota native is also averaging 7.3 rebounds per game, good enough for second on the Kansas team. Helgren also scored double figures for the first time in her career, scoring 10 points on a perfect 3-of-3 from the floor against Oral Roberts (11/13). The 6-5 sophomore was just one rebound shy of her first career double-double.
RELYING ON THE RETURNERS
Kansas is going to rely heavily on its experienced players this season with 10 players from a season ago returning to the Jayhawk roster. Kansas returns 93.8 percent of scoring from the 2017-18 season as well as its leading scorers from the last two seasons with Lyons (14.8 ppg) from the 2017-18 season and Jessica Washington (17.1 ppg) from the 2016-17 season. Additionally, the Jayhawks return seven seniors to the 2018-19 roster, accounting for 46.6 percent of the total roster. Kansas has the largest senior class in the Big 12 Conference this season with the next closest Big 12 school having four seniors. The Jayhawks boast the largest senior class in KU history since the 2008-09 season when Kansas had eight seniors on the roster.
Kansas’ senior-heavy roster has garnered some national attention, as the Jayhawks are receiving votes in the USA Today Coaches’ Top-25 Poll ahead of the 2018-19 season. KU received 14 points in the preseason poll, voted on by The USA TODAY Sports Board of Coaches made up of 32 head coaches at Division I institutions and one vote in the first poll of the season. This marks the first time since the 2013-14 season that Kansas has received votes in the coaches’ poll.
1,000 POINT CLUB
Senior guard Kylee Kopatich has become the 29th Jayhawk to reach the 1,000 point mark with 14 points against George Mason (11/21). Washington scored 451 points at the University of North Carolina and scored 495 points in just one season with the Jayhawks. After scoring 42 points in two games this season, Washington’s collegiate total has now reached 988 points.
Kansas hits the road for the first time this season at LSU on Thursday, Nov. 29 at 6 p.m. inside Pete Maravich Assembly Center. Fans can watch all of the action on ESPN+ or listen on the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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