Kansas falls to No. 15 West Virginia, 74-54
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas women’s basketball dropped its second-straight Big 12 Conference game to a nationally-ranked opponent as No. 15 West Virginia ran past the Jayhawks, 74-54, on Wednesday night inside Allen Fieldhouse.
Kansas (11-5, 2-3 Big 12) came within four points of West Virginia (15-2, 3-2 Big 12) in the third period before an 11-0 run lifted the Mountaineers to a double-digit lead that was never relinquished, handing the Jayhawks their second-straight loss to a team in the top-25 polls.
The Jayhawks were led by junior guard Kylee Kopatich, who notched 17 points on 6-of-14 shooting from the field. Junior forward Austin Richardson added 10 points and seven rebounds as the only other Jayhawk to reach double figures.
Four West Virginia players netted double-digit scoring efforts in the Mountaineers’ victory. Junior guard/forward Naomi Davenport led all scorers with 22 points and added six rebounds. Following closely behind was senior forward Teana Muldrow with 19 points and nine rebounds, following just shy of a double-double. Junior guard Katrina Pardee and senior guard Chania Ray added 15 points and 12 points, respectively.
After nearly two minutes without offense from either team, junior guard Christalah Lyons wove in and out of the West Virginia defense to draw a foul and sink two free throws, giving the Jayhawks a 2-0 lead. The Mountaineers went on a 7-0 run sparked by a pair of baskets from senior forward Kristina King layup to take a 7-2 lead.
Kansas answered with two-straight layups from Richardson and Kopatich to come within one, but Davenport and redshirt junior center Theresa Ekhelar put the Mountaineers back up by five. Lyons knocked in another free throw and Kansas trailed just 11-7 after the first 10 minutes.
The Jayhawks outscored WVU 7-2 in the first two minutes of the quarter to cut the lead to 14-13. After Muldrow sank a pair of free throws, a Kopatich 3-pointer tied the game up at 16, but following the Olathe, Kansas native’s long-range basket, the Mountaineers went on a 15-3 run to take a 10-point lead with just under two minutes left in the half.
Kansas’ only points during West Virginia’s run came were a 3-pointer from junior guard Brianna Osorio. KU was able to head into the locker room down by single digits, after WVU had led by as many as 12 with under a minute to play thanks to a Kopatich 3-pointer to end the half, 34-25.
KU cut the Mountaineers’ lead to as small as four early on in the third quarter with a Kopatich layup and five-straight points from Lyons, but an 11-0 WVU run extended its lead to 19 with four minutes to go in the period. Richardson cut the lead to 52-37 with two baskets, but a Pardee 3-pointer kept the Mountaineers up by 18 going into the final 10 minutes.
The Jayhawks tipped off the final 10 minutes on a 7-0 run narrowing the West Virginia lead to 11, but the Mountaineers’ steady offense throughout the fourth quarter lifted them past the Jayhawks, 74-54, on Wednesday night inside Allen Fieldhouse.
The Jayhawks head to Austin to face the No. 8 Texas Longhorns on Saturday, Jan. 13 at 1 p.m. for their third-straight top-25 matchup. The broadcast will air on the Longhorn Network and the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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