Kansas and No. 2 Baylor meet in midweek tilt
|Jan. 16 // 7 p.m.|
|Jayhawk Radio Network|
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas women’s basketball returns home to Allen Fieldhouse for a two-game homestand beginning with No. 2/4 Baylor on Wednesday, Jan. 16 at 7 p.m.
The matchup with the Lady Bears marks the second time in the last four games that the Jayhawks have faced a nationally-ranked opponent. The game will be broadcast on the Jayhawk Television Network/ESPN+ and the Jayhawk Radio Network.
- The Jayhawks picked up their first Big 12 Conference win of the season and first win against K-State since 2014 in the first Dillions Sunflower Showdown of the season, beating the Wildcats 61-54 in Bramlage Coliseum on Sunday.
- Kansas has been getting out to a fast start, outscoring its opponents 246-163 in the first quarter.
- KU has held its opponents to shooting only 24.9 percent from the 3-point line, which leads the Big 12 and ranks 13th best in the nation. The Jayhawks have limited their opponents to making just 53 total 3-pointers this season with the next closest Big 12 opponent allowing 76 treys.
- With 44 rebounds to K-State’s 34, the Jayhawks outrebounded their opponent for the sixth time during the 2018-19 campaign.
- 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.
- Senior guard Christalah Lyons’ 20 points against KSU (1/13) mark her second 20-point performance of the season with both coming during Big 12 play. Lyons is averaging 17.7 points in league play through three games.
- Senior forward Austin Richardson notched her second double-double of the season and first since UMKC (11/7) with 12 points and 10 rebounds against Kansas State (1/13).
THIS DAY IN KANSAS WOMEN’S BASKETBALL HISTORY
Record on Jan. 16: 5-8
On January 13, 1994, Kansas extended its winning streak to eight games with an 84-71 victory over Iowa State. The Jayhawks recorded 13 steals and had five players notch double-figure scoring efforts, led by Charisse Sampson with 21 points.
ABOUT THE JAYHAWKS
Coming off of their first Big 12 win of 2018-19, the Jayhawks are looking for their first win against Baylor since 2014. Kansas’ offense is paced by senior guard Christalah Lyons who is dishing out 3.2 assists per game, ranking her 15th in the league through KU’s 14 games. Lyons has posted two 20-point performances in Big 12 play, averaging 17.7 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 15.3 points per game, while connecting on 38.6 percent of her attempts from the floor and 39.4 percent of her shots from beyond the arc. Senior guard Kylee Kopatich is averaging 11.5 points and is shooting 44.3 percent from the floor and a team-leading 42.0 percent from the 3-point line. The Kansas defense has once again proven to be one of the best in the league and the nation, ranking among the top 35 in the country for field goal percentage defense (35.5 percent), 3-point field goal percentage defense (24.9 percent) and scoring defense (56.6 ppg). Sophomore center Bailey Helgren leads the Jayhawks with 6.8 rebounds, while Kopatich leads KU with 1.9 steals, the fifth-best in the conference. Senior Austin Richardson leads Kansas with 1.07 blocks per game and serves as KU’s second-leading rebounder with 6.1 rebounds per game, coming off of a double-double performance at K-State (1/13) with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
SCOUTING THE LADY BEARS
Baylor enters Wednesday night’s matchup with Kansas with an overall record of 13-1 and 3-0 mark in the Big 12 Conference. The Lady Bears faced four ranked opponents during nonconference play, notching wins in three of those outings, beating then-No.23/RV Arizona State, then-No. 18/19 South Carolina and then-No. 1/1 UConn. Baylor’s victory over UConn snapped a 126 game regular season winning streak for the Huskies, a record that dated back to 2014. The Lady Bears rank first in an astounding 12 of the 21 statistical categories kept by the Big 12 and are one of two teams with undefeated league records. BU leads the nation in assists per game (22.8), defensive rebounds per game (35.0), field goal percentage defense (30.0) and rebound margin (18.5). The Lady Bears rank second in the nation for rebounds per game (49.3) and third in the nation for scoring margin (27.4), respectively. Kalani Brown boasts a team-best 15.2 points per game, followed by Lauren Cox (11.5), NaLyssa Smith (11.0) and Chloe Jackson (10.7). Brown also leads the team with 7.3 rebounds per game, while blocking the second most shots on the team with 1.5. Cox blocks a team high 2.4 shots per game, while grabbing 6.6 rebounds.
KANSAS STATE LEFTOVERS
Kansas earned its first Big 12 Conference win with a 61-54 victory over rival Kansas State in the Dillions Sunflower Showdown. 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.
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 15.3 points per game, which is the ninth best in the Big 12 Conference. With 28 3-pointers to date, the 5-8 guard is second on the Kansas team and fifth in the Big 12 for 3-pointers made, while her 3-point field goal percentage is second on the Kansas team and the 10th best in the league. Washington has posted 10 double-figure scoring efforts, including three 20-point performances this season in the 12 games that she’s appeared in.
The Jayhawks win over Kansas State (1/13) in the Manhattan edition of the Dillons Sunflower Showdown not only marked KU’s first Big 12 win of 2018-19, but also their first win over the Wildcats in the Brandon Schneider era. KU’s last victory over its in-state rival came in 2014, despite two near victories over KSU last season.
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 the 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 with 20 points in KU’s first Big 12 win of the season against K-State (1/13). Lyons is averaging 11.3 points, while dishing out 3.2 assists per game so far this season. The Dallas native has just 21 turnovers thus far, which is the second fewest in the Big 12 among players in the top 15 for assist to turnover ratio. Lyons has dished out a team-leading 45 assists this season, which places her 15th in the league. With an assist to turnover ratio of 2.1, Lyons is seventh in the Big 12 and 57th in the nation.
The Jayhawks have forced an impressive 261 turnovers this season, including a season-high 22 forced turnovers at LSU (11/29). While Kansas has been forcing a lot of turnovers, the Jayhawks have limited their own. KU is one of two teams in the Big 12 with less than 200 turnovers on the season with 196. Baylor, who has 193 turnovers on the season, is the only other team with less than 200 turnovers. KU’s 14.1 turnovers per game are the 47th fewest in the nation, while Kansas is third in the Big 12. The Jayhawks boast the second-best turnover margin in the league (+4.57) and 32nd best in the nation.
LIGHTS OUT FROM LONG RANGE
Despite making a season-low tying two 3-pointers against K-State (1/13), the Jayhawks surpassed the 100 mark with 101 treys to date, inching closer to surpassing last year’s total of 173. KU is averaging 7.2 3-pointers, which is second among Big 12 teams and 123rd in the nation, while connecting on 35.9 percent of their attempts from beyond the arc, which is third-best in the conference and 35th-best in the nation. Senior Kylee Kopatich is shooting a team-best 42.0 percent from the 3-point line, while sixth year Jessica Washington is connecting on 39.4 percent of her attempts from beyond the arc. Kopatich’s 42.0 percent is seventh in the league and 47th in the nation, while Washington’s percentage places her 10th in the Big 12. Kopatich (29) and Washington (28) 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). KU then matched that record again in its Big 12 debut against Iowa State (1/5), making 12 treys for the second time in the 2018-19 campaign. Kansas has made 11 or more 3-pointers on four separate occasions this season, 11 against George Mason (11/21), 12 at LSU (11/29), 11 against Northwestern (12/20) and 12 against Iowa State (1/5).
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 (fourth), field goal percentage defense (fourth) and 3-point field goal percentage defense (first). Kansas has held its opponents to 56.6 points per game, while limiting opponent shooting percentages to 35.5 percent (FG) and 24.9 percent (3 FG). The Jayhawks are snagging the third-most steals per game in the Big 12 with 9.1 led by senior guard Kylee Kopatich (fifth) with 1.9 steals per game. Senior forward Austin Richardson (11th) and sophomore center Bailey Helgren (T-13th) serve as KU’s rim protectors with 1.07 and 1.0 blocks per game, respectively.
The Jayhawks complete their two-game homestand with Oklahoma State. Kansas and the Cowgirls tip off on Saturday, Jan. 19 at 12 p.m. The game will be broadcast on the Jayhawk Television Network/ESPN+ and the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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