Jayhawks edge K-State in Dillons Sunflower Showdown
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas women’s basketball earned its first Big 12 Conference win with a 61-54 victory over rival Kansas State in the Dillions Sunflower Showdown on Sunday afternoon inside Bramlage Coliseum.
KU improved to 11-3 and 1-2 in Big 12 play with its win over K-State, its first win over the Wildcats since 2014.
A trio of seniors led the Jayhawks in the win with Christalah Lyons leading the charge, netting a game-high 20 points and grabbing a season-high seven rebounds. Lyons’ 20 points are her second 20-point performance of the season. Austin Richardson posted her second double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds, while Kylee Kopatich added 10 points.
The Wildcats (10-6, 1-3) were led by junior Peyton Williams with 19 points and eight rebounds. Senior Kayla Goth and sophomore Rachel Ranke also posted double-figure scoring efforts with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Goth added team-leading seven assists for K-State.
The Jayhawks started out hot on a 9-2 run early in the game, but only scored two more points off of free throws from sophomore Micaela Wilson in the remaining 6:43 in the first quarter. Kansas State evened the score at 11, ending the period with five unanswered points.
Kansas jumped out to a 17-11 advantage with a 6-0 run to start the second quarter sparked by a Lyons jumper. K-State’s Williams knocked in a pair of free throws to split up the Kansas runs as the Jayhawks went on another run with 11-straight points, including five from Richardson.
KU’s lead grew to as many as 15, but the Wildcats tried to narrow the margin to single digits. The Jayhawks had an answer to everything K-State did, owning a 32-20 advantage at the half.
Kansas State outscored the Jayhawks 16-14 in the third period to come within 10 heading into the final 10 minutes of play. The Wildcats ended the period on a 13-5 run with five-straight points from Williams.
The Jayhawks never regained a double-digit lead in the final quarter as Kansas and K-State went bucket for bucket in the last 10 minutes of the game. The Wildcats came within four points with just 31 seconds remaining in the game, but Kansas went 3-of-4 from the charity stripe to seal the victory and give KU its first win over K-State in 10 games.
- KU’s victory over Kansas State marks the first win against the Wildcats since 2014 and first in the Brandon Schneider era.
- With 44 rebounds to K-State’s 34, the Jayhawks outrebounded their opponent for the sixth time during the 2018-19 campaign.
- Senior guard Christalah Lyons’ 20 points mark her second 20-point performance of the season with coming in Big 12 play.
- Senior forward Austin Richardson notched her second double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
- Senior guard Kylee Kopatich has made a 3-pointer in 10 of the 13 contests she’s appeared in with one trey made against K-State.
- After holding the Wildcats to just nine points in the second quarter, Kansas has now held an opponent to single digits in a single period eight different times this season.
- Freshman guard Aniya Thomas scored five points on the afternoon, including her first field goal since Vermont (12/30) and first 3-point basket since Oral Roberts (11/13).
Head Coach Brandon Schneider
On beating Kansas State in Manhattan:
“Road wins are hard to come by in this league regardless of who the opponent is. We were really disappointed in our performance in Lubbock on Wednesday. Because of that, this became a really important game for us.”
On celebrating the win:
“I think our program has been through a lot the past few years. We feel like we really have it going in the right direction. We have made a lot of progress. I think when the players play at a high level in a key win like this, they have every right to celebrate.”
On KU’s run in the second quarter:
“They got in a little bit of foul trouble and I thought that was key. We made some key baskets. I thought that some players came off the bench and give us a spark, but regarding that stretch without looking at the film I feel like we really guarded.”
On Kansas State’s late run:
“We had to make some adjustments. They started hurting us with the pick and pop. I felt like Jones hurt us with a couple post ups, so we had to make some adjustments there. They had really gotten into a rhythm. We needed to stay patient on offense and continuing to try to get good shots. Their zone was really big and wide and I think they did a good job of being disruptive. We were patient enough to get some quality looks.”
Senior guard Christalah Lyons
On winning against a rival opponent:
“I think it’s a great feeling. We had wonderful practices before this game. We trusted coach Brandon and his game plan.”
On her role during the game:
“I was just trying to do my job. Just trying to get my teammates open and getting them open shots.”
The Jayhawks return home for a two-game homestand with No. 4/4 Baylor and Oklahoma State. Kansas and the Lady Bears tip off on Wednesday, Jan. 16 at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on the Jayhawk Television Network/ESPN+ and the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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