Jayhawks head to LSU for first road matchup
|Nov. 29 // 6 p.m.|
|Baton Rouge, La.|
|Jayhawk Radio Network|
LAWRENCE, Kan. — Kansas women’s basketball hits the road for the first time this season when traveling to LSU on Thursday, Nov. 29 at 6 p.m., inside the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
The Jayhawks and the Tigers face off in the 2018 SEC/Big 12 Challenge, which is in its fifth year, and is one of 10 games played between the two conferences. KU and LSU will be tipping off for just the second time in program history and first time since 1990. Fans can follow all of the action by watching on the SEC Network or listening on the Jayhawk Radio Network.
- With a 5-0 start to the season for the second-straight year, Kansas is one of six schools with both undefeated men’s and women’s basketball programs. Kansas men’s and women’s basketball has a combined 10-0 record.
- KU owns a 1-1 record in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge dating back to 2016.
- Kansas is fourth in the Big 12 in both blocked shots and steals, averaging 5.4 blocks and nine steals. Redshirt-senior Jessica Washington garnered Big 12 Player of the Week honors, averaging 23.5 points behind a 53.8 shooting percentage last week.
- Washington became the second Jayhawk to reach the 1,000 point mark this season, joining senior Kylee Kopatich.
- Redshirt-freshman Brittany Franklin built off of her career performance against George Mason (11/21) and tied her career high with seven rebounds and notched her first points as a Jayhawk with nine against Iona (11/25).
- Senior Christalah Lyons leads the league in assist/ turnover ratio at 3.6, dishing out 18 assists with just five turnovers on the season.
- Sophomore Bailey Helgren continues to climb the ranks of several Big 12 categories, sitting 12th in the league for rebounding with 7.6 boards per game and fourth in the conference in blocked shots with 2.0 per game.
THIS DAY IN KANSAS WOMEN’S BASKETBALL HISTORY
Record on Nov. 29: 8-4
Kansas is playing on the 29th of November for the second-straight season. On Nov. 29, 2017, Christalah Lyons led the Jayhawks with a career-high 22 points in KU’s 63-48 victory over UMKC. Lyons’ 22 points was her first career 20-point performance.
SCOUTING THE TIGERS
LSU enters the 2018-19 campaign, coming of a 19-10 overall record and a sixth place finish in the SEC (11-5). Just five games into this season, the Tigers own a 4-1 record with their lone loss coming against Tulane in a two-point loss at home. Junior Ayana Mitchell and sophomore Khayla Pointer lead the way offensively as LSU’s only two players averaging double figures. Mitchell leads the Tigers with 13.8 points and 13.4 rebounds per game, posting team-leading scoring performances twice on the year. Pointer serves as LSU’s floor general with 12.8 points and 4.6 assists per game. Collectively, the Tigers are scoring 60 points per game and outscoring their opponents by nine. LSU has held its opponents to shooting 36 percent from the field and just 20.7 percent from long range.
Kansas has two current players on the roster from the state of Louisiana. Sophomore Micaela Wilson, a native of Rayville and freshman Brooklyn Mitchell, a native of New Orleans will be returning to their home state in Thursday’s matchup against LSU. Wilson is averaging 3.8 points and 2.4 rebounds, while Mitchell is averaging 4.6 points and shooting 41.2 percent from the floor.
Coming off a season-ending injury, redshirt-senior Jessica Washington is averaging a team-leading 19.7 points and 3.0 rebounds in just three games. The Tulsa, Oklahoma native earned Big 12 Player of the Week honors after posting her third career 30-point performance against George Mason (11/21) including four-straight 3-pointers to start the game. Washington has led the Jayhawks in scoring in back-to-back contests and has netted double figures in all three games she’s played in this season.
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 8.8 points, while dishing out 3.6 assists per game so far this season. The Dallas native has just five turnovers thus far, while dishing out 18 assists, for the best assist to turnover ratio in the Big 12 Conference.
WELCOME TO THE BLOCK PARTY
With sophomore Bailey Helgren leading Kansas’ defensive efforts, the Jayhawks are fourth in the Big 12 with 5.4 blocked shots per game. Helgren along with redshirt-freshman Brittany Franklin and senior Austin Richardson all rank among the top-15 rim protectors in the league. Averaging 2.0 blocks, Helgren is fourth in the Big 12, while Franklin (T-7th) and Richardson (15th) follow, averaging 1.5 and 1.0, respectively.
Kansas’ senior-heavy roster has garnered some national attention, as the Jayhawks are receiving votes in the USA Today Coaches’ Top-25 Poll. 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 has six votes in the second poll of the season. The Jayhawks have received votes in both week one and two, along with the preseason poll. This marks the first time since the 2013-14 season that Kansas has received votes in the coaches’ poll.
1,000 POINT CLUB
Two senior Jayhawks have reached the 1,000 career point milestone in back-to-back games. Kylee Kopatich was the first player to achieve the feat, hitting the 1,000 point mark against George Mason (11/21). Jessica Washington followed, hitting the mark against Iona (11/25). All of Kopatich’s 1,000 points come from her time playing at Kansas, while Washington’s points are split between Kansas and her time at the University of North Carolina.
Kansas continues its two-game road tilt at Nebraska on Wednesday, Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. inside the Pinnacle Bank Arena. The game can be listened to on the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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