Kansas begins Big 12 Championship against K-State
Redshirt sophomore Tyler Johnson
|Game 30: vs. Kansas State|
LAWRENCE, Kan. — Kansas women’s basketball faces in-state rival Kansas State on Friday, March 2 at 6 p.m., inside Chesapeake Energy Arena in the opening round of the Big 12 Championship. The game will be be broadcast on the Fox Sports College Network and the Jayhawk Radio Network.
Following the Jayhawks
Jayhawk fans can follow all of the action throughout the 2018 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship on Twitter (@KUwbball) and live stats on statbroadcast.com. All of the Big 12 Championship matchups will be broadcast on the Fox Sports College Network.
- Since the inception of the Big 12 Championship in 1997, Kansas has recorded a 14-21 mark in conference postseason action. Dating back to 1983, the Jayhawks are 33-32 in league postseason play.
- KU played in the championship game in 1998, but lost to Texas Tech, 71-53. The last championship title that Kansas won was in 1993.
- In Friday’s opening-round matchup, Kansas and Kansas State meet for the third time this year with the Wildcats owning a 2-0 advantage in the series.
- Kansas State has a 72-46 advantage in the all-time series, which began in 1969. KU trails K-State, 2-3, when meeting in the Big 12 Championship.
- The Jayhawks are 1-7 this season against ranked Big 12 opponents. Kansas notched its first Big 12 win over a top-25 opponent since 2014 on Feb. 21 when KU beat No. 25/23 Oklahoma St., 66-59.
- Kansas owns a 124-242 all-time record against Big 12 Conference foes.
- Redshirt sophomore center Tyler Johnson matched her career-high 15 points and added 10 rebounds for her first double-double of the season against Iowa State (2/27).
- Junior guard Christalah Lyons continues to pace the Kansas offense with 26 double-digit scoring efforts in 29 games. Lyons is averaging 14.7 points per game.
- When Brandon Schneider-coached teams are leading with less than five minutes to play, his overall record is 367-15, and 22-3 at Kansas.
Lyons Tabbed All-Big 12 Honorable Mention
Junior guard Christalah Lyons earned All-Big 12 Honorable Mention honors for her efforts on the hardwood during her first season with the Jayhawks. Lyons becomes the second Jayhawk to earn all-conference honors under third-year head coach Brandon Schneider and the 40th KU women’s basketball to be recognized by the Big 12 Conference since 1997.
About the Jayhawks
The Jayhawks enter the 2018 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship with a 12-17 record and finished the 2018 Big 12 Conference slate with a 3-15 mark. Kansas began conference play 2-1 before suffering a 12-game losing skid. KU ended its losing streak with a win over No. 23 Oklahoma State on Feb. 21.
Two Jayhawks are leading the way for Kansas, averaging double figures on the season. Junior guard Christalah Lyons is netting a team-best 14.7 points per game, recording 26 double-digit scoring efforts in 29 games in her first season with the Jayhawks. Additionally, the Dallas, Texas native is connecting on 42.8 percent of her attempts from the floor and dishing out a team-best 3.1 assists per game. Junior guard Kylee Kopatich is averaging 13.3 points per game, while knocking in the second-most 3-point field goals in the Big 12 with 41 to date. The Olathe, Kansas native is shooting a team-best 37.1 percent from long range for the season. Both Kopatich and Lyons have surpassed the 1,000 minutes played mark this season. Kopatich has played a team-leading 1,016 minutes, while Lyons follows closely behind playing 1,001 minutes.
Collectively, Kansas is averaging 62.0 points and has a scoring margin of -5.4. The Jayhawks are shooting 38.2 percent from the field and 29.3 percent from the 3-point line.
Kansas remains one of the league’s best defensive teams, holding its opponents to shooting 39.3 percent from the field for the season, which is third in the league. The Jayhawks are also third in the Big 12 for 3-point field goal percentage defense, keeping their opponents to connecting on just 31.4 percent of their long-range attempts during the 2017-18 campaign. KU has held its opponents to 67.4 points per game, which is fifth-lowest in the league.
Scouting the Wildcats
Kansas State enters the Big 12 Championship sitting just above the .500 mark with a 15-14 overall record and a 7-11 conference record. The Wildcats have won their last two meetings heading into the Big 12 Championship.
Three Wildcats have led the way for K-State women’s basketball this season. Junior guard Kayla Goth is averaging a team-best 16.7 points per game, while also averaging a Big 12-leading 6.9 assists per game. Goth’s 199 assists to date rank ninth in the nation. Sophomore forward Peyton Williams and freshman guard Rachel Ranke are scoring 14.2 and 12.1 points per game, respectively. Williams leads the Wildcats with 196 rebounds on the season (6.8 rpg). As a whole, Kansas State has scored 67.9 points per game against its opponents.
The K-State defense is holding its opponents to 66.6 points per game and boasts the fourth-best field goal percentage defense in conference play. KSU’s Big 12 opponents are shooting 41.8 percent from the field.
This Day in Kansas Women’s Basketball History
Record on March 2: 6-3
Kansas owns a 6-3 mark on March 2 and plays on the second day of March for the 10th time in program history. In 2015, senior Bunny Williams sank the first points for the Jayhawks and Kansas never relinquished the lead from that point on to nab a 68-64 victory over Iowa State on Senior Day.
With 958 points so far in her career in the Crimson and Blue, junior guard Kylee Kopatich is just 34 points away from the 1,000 point mark. Kopatich will be the 29th 1,000-point scorer in Kansas women’s basketball history should she achieve this accomplishment. The last Jayhawk to score 1,000 career points was fellow Olathe, Kansas native Natalie Knight, who ended her Jayhawk career with 1,081 points. Should Kopatich net 1,000, she would be the eighth Kansan to earn the accomplishment.
The winner of the Kansas vs. Kansas State matchup will advance to the quarterfinals round of the 2018 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship to face No. 1 seed Baylor on Saturday, March 3 at 1:30 p.m., inside Chesapeake Energy Arena. The game will be broadcast on the Fox College Sports and the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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