Kansas drops Big 12 opener at Iowa State, 71-69

AMES, Iowa. – Kansas women’s basketball went into one of the toughest environments in the Big 12 Conference and overcame a seven-point deficit and forced overtime before Iowa State edged the Jayhawks, 71-69, on Thursday night inside Hilton Coliseum.

Once owning a six-point lead early on in the final quarter, Kansas (9-3, 0-1 Big 12) had to fight to extend the game beyond regulation with a contested 3-point basket from junior guard Kylee Kopatich. Although chances were there, the Jayhawks couldn’t complete a second comeback effort against the Cyclones (7-5, 1-0 Big 12) in overtime and dropped their first Big 12 matchup of the season.

Kansas was led by a trio of juniors who each netted double digits. Junior guard Christalah Lyons had a team-best 19 points, while adding six assists and four rebounds in 45 minutes of play. Lyons’ 19 points marks her eleventh double-figure scoring effort in 12 games. Kopatich earned her first double-double of the 2017-18 season, scoring 15 points and 11 rebounds. She also played in all 45 minutes of the extended game. Junior guard Austin Richardson rounded out KU’s trio with 13 points and six rebounds.

Iowa State’s junior guard Bridget Carleton led all scorers with 30 points and nine rebounds, falling just shy of a double-double. Junior forward Bride Kennedy-Hopoate concluded Iowa State’s double-digit scorers with 15 points and six rebounds.

The Cyclones were the first on the board with a Carleton 3-pointer in the opening seconds of the game. Senior guard Emily Durr added two free throws to give ISU an early 5-0 lead, but the Jayhawks settled into a rhythm and netted the next four points with layups from junior guard Brianna Osorio and Richardson to put KU within one.

Iowa State went on a 6-0 run to take an 11-4 lead midway through the first quarter, but Kansas answered with six-straight points, including a pair of free throws from Lyons and a four-straight points from Kopatich to stay within one.

The Cyclones connected on their next two 3-pointers to take back a seven-point lead, but Kansas outscored the Cyclones 7-1 in the final minute of the quarter with a pair of layups from Lyons, freshman center Bailey Helgren and a 3-point basket from Richardson. The Jayhawks trailed 18-17 after the first 10 minutes of the game.

Carleton began the second quarter in the same fashion as the first, netting a 3-pointer in the first 20 seconds of the period. Following Carleton’s long-range bucket, Lyons added three points of her own. The Dallas, Texas native converted a steal into a layup and connected on one of her two free throws to keep Kansas within one early on in the second period.

 Kennedy-Hopotae netted the next four points for the Cyclones with a layup and a pair of baskets from the charity stripe to give Iowa State a 25-20 lead. The Jayhawks outscored ISU 11-4 in the final seven minutes of the half, to give Kansas a 31-29 lead going into the locker room.

Iowa State and Kansas traded off buckets throughout the opening four minutes of the second half with neither team leading by more than two points. Following a three-minute scoring drought for both teams, Lyons and Kopatich netted back-to-back layups to extend the Jayhawks lead, 48-42.

After shooting 1-of-7 from the field, freshman forward Madison Wise knocked in a jumper for the Cyclones and completed the 3-point play with a free throw. Kennedy-Hopotae added a layup to put Iowa State within one. Richardson scored two more points for the Jayhawks, but another jumper from ISU’s Wise would keep the Cyclones within one, 50-49.

The Jayhawks started the final 10 minutes with five-straight points featuring baskets from redshirt-sophomore center Tyler Johnson and a long-range shot from Richardson to extend the Kansas lead to six. The Cyclones continued to fight back outscoring Kansas 7-2 following the Jayhawks’ 5-0 start to the quarter.

Johnson and Lyons each netted buckets following the Cyclones’ run, but Carleton scored six unanswered points with a pair of layups and two free throws to give Iowa State a three-point lead with 19 seconds remaining. The Cyclones couldn’t hold onto the lead, as Kopatich sent the game into overtime with a game-tying contested 3-pointer with 10 seconds remaining in regulation.

Iowa State took an early 67-64 lead in overtime after Carleton completed a 3-point play the old-fashioned way. Osorio knocked in a free throw to keep Kansas within a possession, but back-to-back layups from Carleton extended ISU’s lead to six with two and a half minutes remaining.

Lyons added four points for the Jayhawks to cut the lead to two, but neither team was able to score in the final two minutes. After nabbing a steal, Kopatich wasn’t able to convert another clutch 3-pointer, as the Jayhawks fell, 71-69.

The Jayhawks face TCU for a New Year’s Eve matchup on Sunday, Dec. 31 at 2 p.m. inside Allen Fieldhouse. KU’s Big 12 home opener will be broadcast on the Jayhawk Television Network/ESPN3 and the Jayhawk Radio Network.




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