Jayhawks conclude nonconference play with Vermont
|Dec. 30 // 2 p.m.|
|Jayhawk Radio Network|
LAWRENCE, Kan. — Kansas women’s basketball concludes both 2018 and nonconference play with Vermont on Sunday, Dec. 30 at 2 p.m. inside Allen Fieldhouse.
The Jayhawks host the Catamounts for the first itme in program history and look to keep their perfect record at home intact heading into Big 12 Conference play in 2019.
- The Jayhawks won the Desert Division title at the Duel in the Desert Tournament in Las Vegas last week with wins over Washington State and Northwestern.
- Sixth year Jessica Washington was named MVP of the Desert Division with senior Kylee Kopatich joining Washington on the all-tournament team.
- Washington garnered Big 12 Player of the Week honors for the second time this season and the third time during her career after averaging 18.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists during the Duel in the Desert Tournament.
- The Jayhawks have been getting out to a fast start, outscoring their opponents 193-105 in the first quarter.
- Senior Christalah Lyons ranks second in the league in assist/turnover ratio at 3.0, dishing out 33 assists with just 11 turnovers on the season. Lyons is averaging 3.3 assists, which is the 15th best in the Big 12 Conference.
- Six Kansas players are shooting 33.3 percent or better from long range, including Kopatich (42.3), Washington (39.2), Mariane De Carvalho (37.5), Austin Richardson (33.3), Brooklyn Mitchell (33.3) and Lyons (33.3).
- The Jayhawks have the second-most 3-pointers per game and third-best 3-point field goal percentage in the Big 12, averaging 7.5 treys per game and shooting 35.9 percent from long range.
THIS DAY IN KANSAS WOMEN’S BASKETBALL HISTORY
Record on Dec. 30: 13-6
On Dec. 30, 1994, Kansas outscored Baylor 50-38 in the second half to top the Lady Bears, 85-68, in Waco. Angela Aycock led the Jayhawks with 24 points, four rebounds and two assists on the night.
ABOUT THE JAYHAWKS
The Jayhawks enter Sunday’s matchup against the Catamounts with a 9-1 mark and a perfect 6-0 record inside Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas has opened the season 9-1 for just the second time since 2012-13 and the first time under Head Coach Brandon Schneider. KU’s experienced roster boasts seven seniors with four in the starting lineup. Offensively, the Jayhawks are led by sixth year Jessica Washington, who averages 16.3 points on 41.0 percent shooting from the field and 39.2 percent shooting from beyond the 3-point line. Senior Kylee Kopatich is KU’s only other player to average double figures with 11.2 points, shooting 45.1 percent from the floor and a team-best 42.3 percent from long range. Kopatich and senior Christalah Lyons lead Kansas with 18 steals each. Lyons is scoring 9.8 points, while dishing out a team-leading 3.3 assists per game. Senior Austin Richardson and sophomore Bailey Helgren serve as the Jayhawks’ rim protectors with 11 blocks each, while averaging 5.7 and 6.4 rebounds per game, respectively. Collectively, Kansas has the second-best turnover margin (4.0) in the Big 12 Conference, forcing 18.7 turnovers per game, while having the fourth-fewest turnovers in the league with 147 on the season. Kansas has relied heavily on its 3-point shooting this season, boasting the second-most 3-pointers per game (7.5), while shooting the third-best 3-point field goal percentage in the Big 12 at 35.9 percent.
SCOUTING THE CATAMOUNTS
Vermont began the 2018-19 season 4-7 and looks to bounce back against Kansas, after suffering three-straight losses before the holiday break. The Catamounts, who are led by first year interim head coach Alisa Kresge, finished with a seventh place mark in the America East Conference and an 8-22 record in the 2017-18 season. Offensively, UVM is averaging 54.5 points per game, while connecting on 37.5 percent of their attempts from the floor. Junior Hanna Crymble boasts a team-high 17.6 points per game, while grabbing 5.5 rebounds. Crymble is the lone Catamounts averaging double figures with senior Candice Wright coming in second on the team with 7.9 points. Wright is averaging 5.5 rebounds and a team-best 3.0 blocks per contest. Defensively, the Catamounts allow their opponents to shoot 37.6 percent from the field and 30.0 percent from beyond the arc.
DUEL IN THE DESERT LEFTOVERS
Kansas was named the Desert Division Champions of the 2018 Duel in the Desert Tournament on Dec. 20 after defeating Washington State and Northwestern in the two-day event. The Jayhawks beat Washington State, 71-63, on Dec. 19 and went on to beat Northwestern, 66-57, on Dec. 20 for the title. Sixth year Jessica Washington was named the Desert Division MVP with senior Kylee Kopatich joining her on the Desert Division All-Tournament team. Washington averaged 18.5 points per game, while connecting on 50 percent of her shots in two games. Kopatich averaged 16 points and made eight treys, shooting 57.1 percent from long range in the two contests.
Sixth year Jessica Washington has had no problem finding her groove again after coming off a season-ending injury in 2017-18. The 2017 Big 12 Newcomer of the Year has garnered Big 12 Player of the Week honors twice already this season, most recently in week seven after being named Desert Division MVP at the Duel in the Desert Tournament. Washington has been named Big 12 Player of the Week three times in her career. The Tulsa, Oklahoma native leads the Jayhawks with 16.3 points per game, which is the 10th best in the Big 12 Conference. Washington is shooting 41.0 percent from the field and 39.2 percent from long range this season. With 20 3-pointers to date, the 5-8 guard is second on the Jayhawks for 3-pointers made, while her 3-point field goal percentage is the 10th best in the league.
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 9.8 points, while dishing out 3.3 assists per game so far this season. The Dallas native has just 11 turnovers thus far, which is the fewest in the Big 12 among players in the top 15 for assist to turnover ratio, while dishing out 33 assists. With 3.3 assists per game, Lyons sits 15th in the league in assists per game, while ranking second in the conference and tied for 18th in the nation for assist to turnover ratio (3.0).
LIGHTS OUT FROM LONG RANGE
The Jayhawks have made nearly half of the amount of 3-pointers they made last season in just the first 10 games of the season. Kansas made 173 total treys last year, while the Jayhawks have already notched 75 this season. KU is averaging 7.5 3-pointers, which is second among Big 12 teams and connecting on 35.9 percent of their attempts from beyond the arc, which is third-best in the conference. Three Jayhawks are shooting 35 percent or better from long range. Senior Kylee Kopatich is shooting a team-best 42.3 percent, while sixth year Jessica Washington and junior Mariane De Carvalho are shooting 39.2 and 37.5 percent, respectively. Kopatich’s 42.3 percent is seventh in the league, while Washington’s percentage places her 10th. Kopatich (22) and Washington (20) are the only two Jayhawks with 20 or more 3-pointers. The Jayhawks connected on 12 of their 21 attempts at LSU (11/29), for the second-most triples made in a single game in Kansas program history, falling just one 3-pointer shy of tying the program record (13). Kansas has made 11 or more 3-pointers on three separate occasions this season, 11 against George Mason (11/21), 12 at LSU (11/29) and 11 against Northwestern (12/20).
Kansas has put on stifling defensive performances game in and game out thus far in the 2018-19 season. The Jayhawks rank among the top four in the Big 12 in scoring defense (third), field goal percentage defense (fourth) and 3-point field goal percentage defense (second). Kansas has held its opponents to 55.1 points per game, while limiting opponent shooting percentages to 33.9 percent (FG) and 27.0 percent (3 FG). The Jayhawks are snagging the third-most steals per game in the Big 12 with 9.4 led by seniors Christalah Lyons and Kylee Kopatich who are each averaging 1.8 steals per game.
The Jayhawks have forced an impressive 187 turnovers this season, including a season-high 22 forced turnovers at LSU. While Kansas has been forcing a lot of turnovers, they have limited their own. The Jayhawks are one of four teams in the Big 12 with less than 150 turnovers on the season with 147. West Virginia, Oklahoma State and Baylor are the only team with fewer turnovers in the Big 12. KU’s 147 turnovers are the 41st fewest in the nation, while Kansas is second in the Big 12 and 58th in the nation in turnover margin.
The Jayhawks tipoff Big 12 Conference play against Iowa State on Saturday, Jan. 5 at 1 p.m. inside Allen Fieldhouse. This marks the second-straight season that the Jayhawks begin league play against the Cyclones. The game will be broadcast on FSN and the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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