Kansas’ late rally falls short against Texas Tech
LAWRENCE, Kan. — Senior Austin Richardson stepped up in the final minutes of the game, nailing a critical 3-pointer to even the score with Texas Tech, but the Lady Raiders halted KU’s come-from-behind attempt and defeated the Jayhawks, 75-71, on Sunday afternoon inside Allen Fieldhouse.
Trailing for most of the second half, the Jayhawks (12-12, 2-11) inched their way back in the game with several runs, but the Lady Raiders (12-13, 3-11) held off Kansas’ comeback down the stretch.
With 44 seconds remaining in regulation, Richardson drained a triple to tie the ballgame as Allen Fieldhouse erupted in applause and a timeout was called. Despite tying the game, KU was never able to regain the lead as the Lady Raiders sealed the victory after going 4-for-8 from the free throw line in the final 30 seconds.
Kansas came out of the gate firing, using a 14-3 run over a six-minute stretch in the first quarter to take an 18-10 lead heading into the second. This included holding the Lady Raiders to 21 percent (4-for-19) shooting from the field in the quarter. After Texas Tech went on a 14-3 run to end the first half, Kansas headed into the break with a narrow advantage, 38-37.
Facing an eight-point deficit entering the final period, Kansas was able to even the score, but wasn’t able to take the lead in the final seconds of the game.
Kansas finished with three Jayhawks netting double figures. Senior Kylee Kopatich led the way with 19 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter, and a team-high five assists. Freshman Brooklyn Mitchell contributed 12 points, while Richardson added 10.
The Lady Raiders were led by junior Brittany Brewer, who recorded a double-double after registering 20 points and 10 rebounds.
Kansas Head Coach // Brandon Schneider
On Kylee Kopatich’s performance in the fourth quarter:
“I think it is something we expect. I thought her and Austin (Richardson) both made some big plays. I thought Brooklyn (Mitchell) came in, with (Christalah Lyons) unable to go, and did a lot of good things as well.”
On team’s execution over the final few minutes:
“We had two advanced possessions. One we got it to who we wanted to get it to and I think she fumbled it. I was trying to call timeout. Brooklyn probably should have called timeout and I think that is going to be a great learning moment for her. They got a jump ball and the possession arrow was theirs. And then the other advance play we had we just didn’t read the defense. We threw it right to them. We weren’t patient enough to read the defense. So those two possessions the answer would be no.”
On what he saw from his team in the fourth quarter:
“I think that the group that we played today, the group that we worked with the last couple days in practice, they are still really into it. They still think that we can get better. And obviously, they are confident that we have the opportunity to compete and win some ball games. I think for seniors you expect that, but for two freshmen, who played quite a bit today, that is something that I am encouraged by.”
On what he has seen from Mitchell and Thomas
“They continue to learn. I think Aniya (Thomas) is a player who always is trusted on the defensive end. And I pulled at her to give us some more offense. Brooklyn (Mitchell) is a player that we have really pulled at to just be more aggressive. Today we didn’t have a lot of options at the point guard position, but I thought Brooklyn gained some valuable experience in a really close game.”
On the run by Texas Tech at the end of the first half
“Two flurries were really the difference in the game. The last 90 seconds of the first half, they made four three-pointers. We did a poor job of getting matched up in transition and then we didn’t guard the ball screen the correct way. And then there was another flurry in the second half of offensive rebounding. When you have two moments, or flurries in games, where you made compound mistakes those are going to get you beat in most situations.”
- Kansas’ 42 rebounds mark the sixth time this season and just the second time in Big 12 play that KU has grabbed at least 40 boards.
- Brooklyn Mitchell’s 12 points mark the freshman’s first double-digit scoring performance since November 13 when she had 13 points against Oral Roberts.
- Mitchell’s three assists also mark a career best.
- With three triples against Texas Tech, senior Kylee Kopatich is 16 3-pointers away from owning the Kansas senior class record and 21 treys away from becoming KU’s all-time 3-point field goal leader.
- Kopatich dished out a team-high five assists against Texas Tech, a season-best mark.
- Senior Chelsea Lott posted the first double-figure rebounding effort of her career, pulling down a team-high 10 rebounds.
- Senior Austin Richardson has posted six-straight double-digit scoring performances with 10 points against Texas Tech. Richardson fell one rebounds shy of her third double-double of the season, ending the night with nine boards.
The Jayhawks hit the road for a two-game road tilt beginning at No. 1/1 Baylor on Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 6 p.m., inside the Ferrell Center. The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Southwest and the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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