Kansas downs Oklahoma State, advances to quarterfinals

OKLAHOMA CITY – Kansas women’s basketball held off Oklahoma State in the fourth quarter, as the Jayhawks downed the Cowgirls, 76-66, on Friday night inside Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Oklahoma State narrowed Kansas’ lead to just one point in the fourth quarter, but the Jayhawks never relinquished the lead as KU went on to win its first game in the Big 12 Championship since 2016.
The Jayhawks improved to 13-17 overall and 34-33 in league postseason play, dating back to 1983.
Kansas jumped out to a hot start, shooting an impressive 50 percent from the field and 66.7 percent from the 3-point line, while limiting the Cowgirls to just eight points in the first period and owned a 15-point lead after the first 10 minutes of play.
The Jayhawks extended that lead to 20 early in the second quarter, owning a 30-10 advantage with seven minutes remaining in the second quarter before going cold from the floor. Despite shooting only 29.4 percent in the second quarter, KU maintained a seven-point lead at the halftime break.
Three Jayhawks combined for 26 of KU’s 35 points in the first 20 minutes with seniors Christalah Lyons and Austin Richardson scoring nine each, while freshman Aniya Thomas chipped in eight points.
Oklahoma State outscored the Jayhawks 25-20 in the third period to cut KU’s lead to two with 10 minutes remaining, but Kansas’ seniors stepped up down the stretch to keep the Jayhawks’ season alive.
Four Jayhawks ended the night in double figures led by the senior duo of Lyons (21) and Kylee Kopatich (20), who combined for 41 points. Thomas and Richardson chipped in 12 points and 11 points, respectively.
Oklahoma State was led by sophomore Vivian Gray, who notched 25 points, while sophomore Braxtin Miller and junior Clitan de Sousa added 16 and 10 points.
Head Coach Brandon Schneider

Opening Statement:
“Well, I was really happy with how well our players executed the game plan. I thought we did a much better job of exhibiting patience on offense and working for the best shot and not just the first shot. They’ve got a terrific team, two terrific players in particular in (Braxtin) Miller and (Vivian) Gray and we wanted to make them work for everything. We felt like if we could hold them under 40 we would have chains and I think they got 41. Proud of our team tonight.”
On the difference between tonight and the last meeting:
“In Stillwater, we took 20 shots on the first side of the floor and we took 5 shots on the third side of the floor. That’s not a recipe for good offense. You’re not making your defense work, giving them perhaps a chance that you can take advantage of. That’s really what we harped on for the last couple of days is just making them guard, a little bit deeper in the shot clock. We felt like we could get higher percentage shots and spread the ball around a little more.”
On starting the Big 12 Championship with a win:
“I’m just happy for our seniors. They’ve continued to really have great attitudes. Coming to practice every day, despite the Big 12 record, with the mentality of getting better. They’ve stayed very committed to being great teammates.”
Senior Guard Kylee Kopatich
On thoughts going into tonight’s game:
“That today wasn’t going to be our last game. We really didn’t want to end it that way. We knew we were so much better than that, and I think we proved that tonight.
On what different this time against OSU:
“We have six seniors on our team now and none of us wanted this to be our last game. We prepared better than we have the last two games and we followed the game plan a little more precise this time.”
Senior Guard Christalah Lyons
On thoughts going into tonight’s game:
“I think we have a winner’s mentality.”
On what different this time against OSU:
“I think we followed Coach Brandon’s game plan. He said he wanted us to move the ball more and that we would have open shots if we do. So we did and we ended up with a win.”


  • For just the third time this season, Kansas held an opponent to single digits in the opening quarter, limiting the Cowgirls to just eight points in first period.
  • Kansas’ 35 first half points mark the 24th time this season that the Jayhawks have scored at least 35 points in a half.
  • Senior Christalah Lyons surpassed 90 assists for the second-straight season with four assists against OSU, bringing her total to 92 during her senior campaign.
  • Senior Kylee Kopatich became Kansas’ all-time leader for minutes played with 35 minutes played against OSU. She has 3,922 career minutes played.
  • With three triples against Oklahoma State, Kopatich now has the fourth-most 3-pointers made by a Kansas senior. 

The Jayhawks face Iowa State in the quarterfinals tomorrow night at 6 p.m. inside Chesapeake Energy Arena. The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Network and the Jayhawk Radio Network.




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