Kansas hosts Cyclones on Senior Night
Senior Sydney Benoit
|Game 29: vs. Iowa State|
LAWRENCE, Kan. — Kansas women’s basketball closes out the 2017-18 regular season against Iowa State on Tuesday, Feb. 27 at 7 p.m., inside Allen Fieldhouse. In addition to the final home game of the season, the Jayhawks will honor the careers of their three seniors prior to tip. The game will be broadcast on the Jayhawk Television Network/ESPN3 and the Jayhawk Radio Network.
Around the Arena
Kansas will honor its 2018 seniors Sydney Benoit, Chayla Cheadle and Eboni Watts prior to Tuesday’s matchup with Iowa State. Additionally, Kansas is hosting a fandemonium event where fans will have the opportunity to win prizes at each timeout.
- The Jayhawks are 27-11 when facing the Cyclones inside Allen Fieldhouse and own a 47-37 overall record against Iowa State.
- Kansas won both matchups with Iowa State in the 2014-15 season, but the Cyclones have since won the last five games, including a 71-69 win in overtime to tipoff 2018 conference play.
- Through 27 games, Kansas sits third among Big 12 teams in field goal percentage defense. The Jayhawks are holding their opponents to shooting 39.3 percent from the field, trailing only Baylor and West Virginia in the category.
- KU has held its opponents to 31.4 percent shooting from behind the 3-point line this season, ranking third in the Big 12.
- Redshirt-sophomore center Tyler Johnson netted a career-high 15 points in her third start of the season at Kansas State (2/24).
- Junior guard Christalah Lyons continues to lead the Jayhawks offensively, scoring 14.7 points per game. The Dallas, Texas native has registered double-digit scoring efforts in 25 of KU’s 28 games this season, including three 20-point performances.
- 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.
Kansas will celebrate the career’s of its three-member senior class prior to tipoff against Iowa State. A four-year member of the program, forward Chayla Cheadle has registered 569 points and 437 rebounds in her career. Guards Eboni Watts and Sydney Benoit both joined Kansas after successful junior college careers. Watts has appeared in 24 games this season, notching a career-high five points and six rebounds at St. John’s (12/18). Benoit knocked in her first 3-point field goal against Texas (1/31) and grabbed a career-high five rebounds twice.
About the Jayhawks
Kansas enters Tuesday’s senior night matchup looking to even the 2018 series after Iowa State took the first meeting in overtime. The Jayhawks are 12-16 on the season and 3-14 in Big 12 Conference play. KU heads into its 2018 home finale having won one of its last two games, the first win over a ranked foe since 2014.
A trio of 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. She has notched double-digit scoring performances in 25 of KU’s 28 games in 2017-18. Lyons is also connecting on 42.7 percent of her attempts from the field. Junior guard Kylee Kopatich is sinking 38.9 percent of her shots from long range and averaging 13.6 points. Kopatich has started every game this season alongside Lyons and leads the team in minutes played with 991 after playing all 40 minutes at Kansas State (2/24). Junior guard Brianna Osorio started Big 12 Conference play on a hot streak and has notched 10 double-digit scoring performances in 16 conference matchups. The Las Vegas, Nevada native is averaging 10.0 points per game in, while connecting on 40.4 percent of her attempts from the floor.
Collectively, Kansas is averaging 62.2 points and has a scoring margin of -5.2. The Jayhawks are shooting 38.1 percent from the field and 29.7 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 third in the Big 12 in 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 67.5 points per game, which is fifth-lowest in the league.
Scouting the Cyclones
Iowa State enters the final game of the regular season with a 12-16 overall record and a 6-11 mark in Big 12 Conference play. Despite having won three of their last five games, the Cyclones have lost their last two contests on the hardwood. ISU is seventh in the league standings with one game left to play until the Big 12 Championship in Oklahoma City.
Iowa State paces its offense from beyond the 3-point line, leading the Big 12 with 242 long-range baskets. Junior guard Bridget Carleton and senior guard Emily Durr lead the ISU offense as the only two Cyclones netting double figures with 18.9 and 11.6 points per game. Carleton sits in fourth place in scoring in the Big 12. Durr is connecting on 39.6 percent of her attempts from the field, while dishing out a team-best 104 assists. The Cyclones are averaging 66.8 points per game and shooting 38.5 percent from the field and 32.9 percent from outside.
Defensively, Carleton leads the Cyclones in rebounding, blocked shots and steals, recording 6.7 rebounds, 0.9 blocks and 2.2 steals per game. Although ISU leads the Big 12 in 3-point field goals made, ISU sits ninth in the league for 3-point field goal percentage defense, allowing their opponents to connect on 34.0 percent of their attempts from long range this season.
The Series Breakdown
Kansas leads the overall series over the Cyclones, 47-37.
The Jayhawks won both of the meetings with ISU in the 2014-15 season, but since then the Cyclones have won the last five matchups.
Last Time Out
After once owning a six-point lead early on in the final quarter in the first meeting with ISU, Kansas had to fight to extend the game beyond regulation with a contested 3-point basket from junior guard Kylee Kopatich. The Jayhawks weren’t able to complete a second comeback effort, falling 71-69, in overtime in their first Big 12 matchup of the season. Junior guard Christalah Lyons led Kansas with 19 points and six assists, while Kopatich added 15 points.
This Day in KU Women’s Basketball History
Record on Feb. 27: 3-7
Kansas owns a 3-7 mark on the 27th day of February and will play for the 11th time in program history on Tuesday night. In 1985, Kansas shot 58.2 percent from the field, while out rebounding the Nebraska 45-34 in a 105-86 victory over the Huskers. Vickie Adkins led the Jayhawks with 36 points and Philicia Allen added a 20-point effort.
With 962 points so far in her career in the Crimson and Blue, junior guard Kylee Kopatich is just 38 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.
Around the League
The Jayhawks’ defense has ranked among the top in the Big 12 so far throughout the 2017-18 season. Kansas ranks third in field goal percentage defense and fourth in 3-point field goal percentage defense, holding its opponents to 39.3 percent from the field and 31.4 percent from beyond the arc through 28 games this season. Individually, junior guards Christalah Lyons and Kylee Kopatich all rank in the top-26 for scoring in conference play. Lyons ranks 11th in league with 15.1 points per game, while Kopatich is 21st in the conference play with 12.5.
Kansas heads to Oklahoma City for the 2018 Big 12 Championship on March 2-5. The Jayhawks first game of the tournament will be played on Friday, March 2 inside Chesapeake Energy Arena.
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