Jayhawks return home to face Oklahoma
|Jan. 30 // 7 p.m.|
|Jayhawk Radio Network|
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas women’s basketball returns home to Allen Fieldhouse after a two-game road swing to face Oklahoma on Wednesday, Jan. 30 at 7 p.m.
Wednesday’s matchup with the Sooners is the first of the 2019 series with Oklahoma. The game will be broadcast on the Jayhawk Television Network/ESPN+ and the Jayhawk Radio Network.
- The senior duo of Kylee Kopatich and Christalah Lyons combined for 34 of KU’s 53 points at TCU (1/27). Kopatich led the Jayhawks with a season-high tying 19 points, while Lyons chipped in 15 points.
- Kopatich snagged a career-best six steals against the Horned Frogs, growing her total on the season to a team-leading 34. The Olathe, Kansas native is tied for second in the Big 12, averaging 2.0 steals per game.
- KU outrebounded its opponent for the seventh time this season, grabbing 38 rebounds to TCU’s 29 on Sunday afternoon.
- Despite a season-high 22 turnovers against the Horned Frogs, Kansas has the third fewest turnovers per game in the league with an average of 14.1.
- Kansas has held its opponents to shooting only 26.6 percent from the 3-point line, which is second in the Big 12 and ranks 24th best in the nation. The Jayhawks have limited their opponents to making just 68 total 3-pointers this season with the next closest Big 12 opponent allowing 89 treys.
- Lyons is shooting a team-best 73.5 percent from the free throw line (min. 40 attempts). Lyons ranks eighth in the Big 12 from the charity stripe.
- Five Jayhawks are shooting 30 percent or better from the 3-point line, including sixth year Jessica Washington (41.9 percent), Kopatich (40.2 percent), junior Mariane De Carvalho (37.5 percent), senior Austin Richardson (30.2 percent) and Lyons (30.2 percent).
THIS DAY IN KANSAS WOMEN’S BASKETBALL HISTORY
Record on Jan. 30: 5-7
On January 30, 2010, Kansas defeated former Big 12 rival Missouri, 61-59, in Columbia for the Border Showdown. Freshman forward Carolyn Davis recorded a career-high 20 points and pulled down nine rebounds in the win.
ABOUT THE JAYHAWKS
Kansas looks to end its four-game losing skid and earn its second win in Big 12 play with a victory over Oklahoma. The Jayhawks have lost the last six games to the Sooners. Kansas’ offense is paced by senior guard Christalah Lyons who is dishing out 3.4 assists per game. Lyons has posted two 20-point performances in Big 12 play, averaging a team-leading 14.0 points per game against conference opponents and 11.3 points overall. Two-time 2018-19 Big 12 Player of the Week Jessica Washington leads Kansas in scoring with 15.1 points per game, while connecting on 37.7 percent of her attempts from the floor and 41.9 percent of her shots from beyond the arc. Senior guard Kylee Kopatich is averaging 11.5 points and is shooting 41.9 percent from the floor and 40.2 percent from the 3-point line. Kansas’ defense is led by sophomore center Bailey Helgren with 6.3 rebounds and 0.8 blocks, while Kopatich leads KU with 2.0 steals, the second-best in the conference. Senior Austin Richardson leads Kansas with 15 blocks on the season and serves as KU’s second-leading rebounder with 5.5 rebounds per game. Collectively, the Jayhawks limit their opponents to 59.9 points per game, while holding them to 26.6 percent from beyond the 3-point line.
SCOUTING THE SOONERS
Oklahoma and the Jayhawks enter Wednesday night’s matchup with identical records (1-6) in Big 12 play, with each team looking for their second win in league play. A tough nonconference schedule helped prepare the young OU team that has eight freshmen, three sophomores and two seniors. Oklahoma played three teams that were in the top 25 polls in nonconference play, including South Florida, DePaul and then-No. 1 UConn, where the Sooners led the Huskies for all but the final five minutes of the game. The Sooners offense is led by freshman Taylor Robertson, who leads the Big 12 in 3-point field goals made (66), 3-point field goals per game (3.67), 3-point field goal percentage (44.0 percent) and free throw percentage (91.8 percent). Robertson is averaging 16.2 points and shooting 45.7 percent from the field. Sophomore Shaina Pellington (13.8), freshman Madi Williams (12.3) and sophomore Ana Llanusa (11.6) assist Robertson offensively as the three other Sooners averaging double-digit scoring. Williams leads Oklahoma with 8.8 rebounds, while averaging 0.8 blocks per game. Two Sooners have dished out over 50 assists, including Pellington (59) and freshman Tatum Veitenheimer (61). Following a win over Texas Tech in their Big 12 opener, the Sooners have lost the last six league games.
Kansas women’s basketball’s comeback effort fell short at TCU, falling 58-53, on Sunday afternoon inside Schollmaier Arena. Despite trailing by just one point with a minute remaining in the game, the Jayhawks couldn’t complete the come-from-behind attempt and fell to 11-7 overall and 1-6 in Big 12 play. The senior duo of Kylee Kopatich and Christalah Lyons led the Jayhawks, combining for 34 of KU’s 53 points. Kopatich finished the day with 19 points, eight rebounds and a career-best six steals, while Lyons added 15 points, six assists and four rebounds.
The Jayhawks have forced an impressive 333 turnovers on the year and have forced at least 20 turnovers on nine occasions this season. Kansas forced a season-high 26 turnovers twice this season against Iona (11/25) and at TCU (1/27). While Kansas has been forcing a lot of turnovers, the Jayhawks have limited their own. KU is one of three teams in the Big 12 with less than 260 turnovers on the season with 254. Baylor, who has 238 turnovers and Oklahoma State who has 246 on the season are the only other teams with less than 260 turnovers. KU’s 14.1 turnovers per game are the third fewest turnovers in the Big 12. The Jayhawks boast the best turnover margin in the league (+4.4) and 28th best in the nation.
After a record-breaking 3-point performance with 14 treys against then-No. 2 Baylor (1/16), Kansas’ 131 triples to date continue to inch closer to surpassing last year’s total of 173. KU is averaging 7.3 3-pointers, which is second among Big 12 teams and 83rd in the nation. The Jayhawks have connected on 34.1 percent of their attempts from beyond the arc, which is fifth-best in the conference. Nine Jayhawks have made a triple this season, including five that have made at least 10. Senior Kylee Kopatich and sixth year Jessica Washington lead the way with 39 and 36 threes, while senior Austin Richardson has made 16 treys, while junior Mariane De Carvalho and senior Christalah Lyons have made 15 and 13 triples, respectively. Sophomore Micaela Wilson (5), senior Brianna Osorio (4), and freshmen Aniya Thomas (2) and Brooklyn Mitchell (1) have all made a long range bucket for the Jayhawks. Kansas has made 11 or more 3-pointers on five separate occasions this season, 11 against George Mason (11/21), 12 at LSU (11/29), 11 against Northwestern (12/20), 12 against Iowa State (1/5) and 14 against Baylor (1/16).
THE FLOOR GENERAL
Coming off of an impressive junior campaign where she garnered All-Big 12 Honorable Mention honors, senior Christalah Lyons has settled into a groove leading Kansas’ offense this season. The 5-5 guard posted a career-best 24 points against Iowa State (1/5) for her first 20-point performance of the year to begin Big 12 Conference play. Two games later, Lyons followed up with another 20-point performance scoring 20 points in KU’s first Big 12 win of the season against K-State (1/13). Lyons has posted double-figure scoring efforts in five of KU’s seven league games to date and is averaging a team-best 14.0 points in Big 12 play and 11.3 points overall. Lyons is dishing out 3.4 assists per game so far this season which is 13th in the Big 12, with a team-high 62 during her senior campaign. The Dallas native has 27 turnovers thus far and has had zero turnovers in three games this season. Lyons’ 27 turnovers are the third fewest in the Big 12 among players in the top 15 for assist to turnover ratio. With an assist to turnover ratio of 2.3, Lyons is fifth in the Big 12, trailing only four Baylor players. Lyons is 37th in the nation for assist to turnover ratio.
CLIMBING UP THE RANKS
Senior Kylee Kopatich has been putting her stamp on the Kansas record books since she first stepped foot onto James Naismith Court. The Olathe, Kansas native has ranked among the top five for 3-point field goals made by a freshman with 45 (4th), sophomore with 53 (3rd), junior with 69 (2nd) and is on track to make the most 3-pointers by a senior in KU history. Kopatich is 27 triples away from surpassing fellow Olathe South HS grad Natalie Knight for the most 3-pointers by a Kansas senior. The 5-10 guard has made 206 career 3-pointers and is just 32 treys away from becoming Kansas’ all-time 3-point field goal leader. Her 206 career 3-pointers are the most by a Jayhawk since 2015, when Knight ended her career with 178 triples. With 623 3-point field goal attempts, Kopatich is second all-time for 3-point attempts. Beyond the 3-point line, Kopatich is 23 steals away from moving into 10th all-time for steals with 178 through her career thus far. Additionally, Kopatich needs to play just 124 minutes to move into 10th all-time for minutes played with 3,497 minutes played to date.
Senior Kylee Kopatich and sixth year Jessica Washington have been lethal from beyond the 3-point line this season. The duo has been nearly identically from long range with Kopatich making 39 treys and Washington adding 36 triples so far this season. Washington is shooting 41.9 percent from long range, which is the third-best 3-point shooting percentage by a senior in KU history and the highest percentage by a senior since the 1992-93 season. Kopatich has the second-best percentage on the team, shooting 40.2 percent from beyond the arc. Washington (2.6) and Kopatich (2.3) are third and sixth in the Big 12 for 3-point field goals made, respectively. Washington is second for 3-point field goal percentage, while Kopatich is in fifth.
Kansas set a single-game 3-point record making 14 treys against the then-No. 2 Lady Bears. KU connected on 50 percent (14-of-28) of its attempts from long range with five Jayhawks notching threes in the process. Sixth year Jessica Washington and senior Kylee Kopatich combined for 11 of the 14 triples, while sophomore Micaela Wilson and seniors Christalah Lyons and Austin Richardson added one 3-pointer each. Washington (6) and Kopatich (5) each tied their season highs for 3-pointers made in a single game.
Kansas travels to West Virginia to take on the Mountaineers on Sunday, Feb. 3 at 2 p.m., inside WVU Coliseum. The game available on the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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