Jayhawks topped at Kansas State, 91-67
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas women’s basketball started the second edition of the Dillons Sunflower Showdown strong, but couldn’t match Kansas State as the Wildcats continued to build momentum as the game went on. K-State topped the Jayhawks, 91-67, on Saturday afternoon inside Bramlage Coliseum.
After trailing by only one point at the end of the first quarter, the Jayhawks (12-16, 3-14 Big 12) couldn’t continue their offensive presence from the opening 10 minutes throughout the rest of the contest. While KU cooled off in the second half, K-State (14-14, 6-11 Big 12) stayed on pace to sweep the 2018 Dillons Sunflower Showdown series on the hardwood.
On the road, Kansas saw four Jayhawks net double figures. Junior guard Kylee Kopatich scored a team-best 17 points, including five baskets from long range. Redshirt-sophomore center Tyler Johnson netted a career-high 15 points, while grabbing five rebounds and dishing out three assists. Junior guard Christalah Lyons and junior forward Austin Richardson concluded KU’s double-digit scorers with 14 points and 12 points, respectively.
Kansas State junior guard Kayla Goth paced the Wildcats’ offense with a double-double, netting 21 points and 12 assists. Sophomore forward Peyton Williams added 21 points, while freshman guard Rachel Ranke and senior forward Kaylee Page scored 19 points and 13 points, respectively.
Richardson ignited Kansas’ offense through the first 10 minutes of play, scoring 12 of the Jayhawks’ 19 first period points. After K-State owned an early 9-5 lead, Richardson sparked seven unanswered KU points to put Kansas ahead 12-9 with just under six minutes remaining in the quarter.
The Wildcats stayed right with the Jayhawks throughout the remainder of the period, ending their three-minute scoring drought with four unanswered points to take back a 13-12 advantage. For the final four and a half minutes of the first quarter, the Wildcats and Jayhawks traded off the lead, but K-State owned a 20-19 lead heading into the second quarter after ending the period with a Ranke three.
K-State stretched its lead to nine after going on an 8-0 run to start the second period and holding the Jayhawks scoreless for the opening three minutes. Kopatich knocked in her second three of the afternoon to put Kansas back within six, but Goth earned the points right back for the Wildcats with a three-point play the old-fashioned way.
Kansas State’s next three baskets all came from beyond the 3-point line, giving the Wildcats their largest lead of the day, 40-26. Kopatich netted KU’s last six points of the half with two 3-pointers to diminish KSU’s lead to 10, heading into the halftime break.
After shooting 52 percent from the floor in the first half, the Jayhawks couldn’t get shots to fall in the third period, shooting just 35.7 percent from the field to start the second half. Through the first two and a half minutes of the half, Lyons was the only Kansas player with a bucket, scoring the first seven points of the half for KU. The Jayhawks could never settle into an offensive groove that matched that of Kansas State’s and entered the final 10 minutes, trailing 71-52.
Junior forward Kali Jones started the final 10 minutes with a layup to push the K-State lead past the 20-point margin, but the Jayhawks netted the next six points, capped by a Lyons steal that converted to a layup. The lead was too great for the Jayhawks to overcome as the Wildcats to the 2018 series with the 91-67 victory.
The Jayhawks conclude the 2017-18 regular season with Iowa State on Tuesday, Feb. 27 at 7 p.m., inside Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas will celebrate Senior Day prior to tip off with the Cyclones. The game will be broadcast on the Jayhawk Television Network/ESPN3 and the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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