Kansas fends off late Pitt State rally, 57-50
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas women’s basketball concluded its exhibition play with a 57-50 victory over Pittsburg State after fending off a second-half comeback attempt by the Gorillas on Sunday afternoon inside Allen Fieldhouse.
The Jayhawks were led by junior guard Kylee Kopatich who scored 18 points on 50 percent shooting and grabbed seven rebounds. Redshirt sophomore Tyler Johnson contributed nine points and two rebounds in 16 minutes of play.
Junior guard/forward Brenlee McPherson led the Gorillas with 14 points, two rebounds and one assist. Junior forward Madison Northcutt notched a double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds.
Kansas started play off with strong defensive presence, holding the Gorillas to just two points in the first five and a half minutes of the game. After its first basket from guard Mikaela Burgess, Pitt State went 0-for-6 on its next six field goal attempts. A pair of runs throughout the first quarter, including an 8-0 run to end the period, allowed Kansas to take an 11-point lead going into the second quarter. Kopatich led the Jayhawks with eight of KU’s 21 first-period points.
Pitt State held the Jayhawks to just 10 points in the second period. Northcutt completed a three-point play to put the Gorillas within one point with two minutes left in the quarter. Kansas struggled offensively throughout the second quarter, shooting just 16.7 percent (2-of-12) from the field. The Gorillas took advantage of the Jayhawks scoring drought, going on a 10-0 run over three minutes. KU outscored Pitt State 5-1 in the waning minutes of the first half to head into the locker room with a 31-26 lead at the half.
Kansas continued to struggle offensively in the third quarter scoring 10 of its 16 points from the free throw line. A jumper from junior guard Christalah Lyons started the quarter off for the Jayhawks before KU went dry from the field for nearly seven minutes. Despite poor shooting, Kansas completed a 6-0 run to end the quarter with a 47-32 lead.
After difficulties on the offensive end in the last two quarters, KU shot 45.5 percent (5-of-11) in the final period to secure its final exhibition victory of the 2017-18 season. Pitt State rallied early in the quarter with a trio of three pointers, but the Jayhawks held off to win 57-50.
Kansas women’s basketball opens the season with Campbell on Sunday, Nov. 12 at 2 p.m. inside Allen Fieldhouse.
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