Jayhawks conclude exhibition play with Washburn
LAWRENCE, Kan. — Kansas women’s basketball concludes exhibition play for 2018-19 against Washburn on Sunday, Nov. 4 at 2 p.m., inside Allen Fieldhouse.
The Jayhawks are 7-0 against the Ichabods when facing off in exhibition play since the two teams begin playing biennially in 2006. The game will air on ESPN+ and the Jayhawk Radio Network.
- Kansas’ 90-83 win over Fort Hays State marks the Jayhawks’ 27th-straight exhibition victory.
- Brooklyn Mitchell‘s 17 points against Fort Hays State (10/28) are the first time a KU freshman has scored double figures in an exhibition matchup since 2015 when Kylee Kopatich scored 10 points against Emporia State.
- Four Jayhawks finished with double figures in the first exhibition matchup including Mitchell (17 points), Austin Richardson (17 points), Brianna Osorio (16 points) and Kopatich (13 points).
- The Jayhawks return all five starters from the 2017-18 season, including All-Big 12 Honorable Mention selection Christalah Lyons.
- Lyons led Kansas in scoring with 14.8 points per game, notching double figures in 27 of KU’s 30 games last season.
- Kopatich is 21 points away from becoming the 29th Jayhawk to join the 1,000 point club.
THIS DAY IN KANSAS WOMEN’S BASKETBALL HISTORY
Record on Nov.4: 0-0
Kansas women’s basketball is playing for the first time on Nov.4.
SCOUTING THE ICHABODS
Washburn rounded out the top half of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) standings in 2017-18, finishing sixth with a 11-8 record in conference play and a 20-10 overall record. WU looks to build on last year’s performance even further, being selected fourth in the preseason coaches poll and third in the preseason media poll. The Ichabods led the MIAA in assists per game with 15.2 per game last season and returns its two leading scorers in Reagan Phelan (14.9 ppg) and Alexis McAfee (12.0 ppg). The Ichabods lost All-MIAA Tournament Team member Axelle Bernard, who averaged 11.0 points and 8.2 rebounds last season.
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. This marks the first time since the 2013-14 season that Kansas has received votes in the coaches’ poll.
YEAR OF THE SENIOR
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.
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. Additionally, Brittany Franklin also joins the Jayhawks this season after spending her freshman season on the sidelines due to a knee injury. KU returns all five of their starters from the 2017-18 season in a lineup that includes four seniors, Christalah Lyons, Brianna Osorio, Kylee Kopatich and Austin Richardson and one junior, Tyler Johnson. The Jayhawks’ starting lineup has 183 combined starts between them. Kansas also 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.
1,000 POINT CLUB
Senior guard Kylee Kopatich is quickly approaching the 1,000 point mark with 979 points through her first three seasons with the Jayhawks. Just 21 points shy of the accomplishment, Kopatich will become the 29th Jayhawk in Kansas women’s basketball history to join the 1,000 point club. Additionally, senior guard Jessica Washington is just 54 points away from scoring 1,000 points in her college basketball career. Washington scored 451 points at the University of North Carolina and has scored 495 points in just one season with the Jayhawks, bringing her collegiate total to 946 points.
The Jayhawks had two players selected to the Preseason All-Big 12 team. Senior guards Christalah Lyons and Jessica Washington were both selected to the preseason honorable mention team. Lyons was named All-Big 12 Honorable Mention in her debut season with the Jayhawks last year. Washington is returning from a knee injury that kept her sidelined last season. As a junior, Washington was named the 2017 Big 12 Newcomer of the Year and named to the All-Big 12 Second Team.
At the conclusion of the 2017-18 season, the Jayhawks kept their opponents to shooting just 39.4 percent from the field and scoring just 67.5 points per game. Through 30 games last season, the Jayhawks had the third-best field goal percentage defense (39.4) and fourth-best 3-point field goal percentage defense (31.6) in the Big 12 Conference.
BEATING THE BEST
Kansas’ “Tough and Together” mantra has proved successful when facing top opponents in recent years. Last season, the Jayhawks beat two opponents that were ranked in the top-25 at some point throughout the season. KU topped TCU, 86-77, inside Allen Fieldhouse (12/31). The Horned Frogs were later ranked No. 24 in the AP polls. The Jayhawks also downed then-No. 23 Oklahoma State, 66-59 (2/21) for their first win against a nationally ranked opponent since 2014.
Kansas begins nonconference play against local foe UMKC on Wednesday, Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. inside Allen Fieldhouse. KU’s matchup with the ‘Roos begins a five-game homestand for the Jayhawks to tipoff the regular season. Fans can watch all of the action on the Jayhawk Television Network/ESPN+ or listen on the Jayhawk Radio Network. Single-game tickets are also available for purchase, ranging from $8-$15 at kuathletics.com.
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