Kansas opens Big 12 play with No. 25 Iowa State
|vs. Iowa State|
|Jan. 5 // 1 p.m.|
|Fox Sports Network|
|Jayhawk Radio Network|
LAWRENCE, Kan. – For the second-straight season, Kansas women’s basketball will begin Big 12 Conference play against Iowa State. The Jayhawks and the Cyclones tipoff on Saturday, Jan. 5 at 1 p.m., inside Allen Fieldhouse.
Kansas looks to snap a six-game losing streak against the Cyclones on Saturday and keep its perfect 7-0 mark inside Allen Fieldhouse intact.
- The Jayhawks ended nonconference play 10-1 which was their best nonconference record since the 2010-11 season when Kansas started the season 13-1.
- Since the inception of the Big 12 Conference in 1997, Kansas owns a 5-16 record in league openers.
- The Jayhawks will face the Cyclones for the second-straight season to begin Big 12 play. Kansas is 0-6 in the last six outings against ISU, after falling in 71-69 in overtime in last season’s Big 12 opener against Iowa State.
- KU has been getting out to a fast start, outscoring its opponents 208-116 in the first quarter.
- Kansas’ defense is holding its opponents to 33.4 percent shooting from the floor and 25 percent from long range for the fourth-best field goal percentage defense and second best 3-point field goal percentage defense in the Big 12 Conference, while ranking 17th in the nation for both categories.
- The Jayhawks are limiting their opponents to just 53.4 points per game which is the third-best scoring defense in the league and the 13th best in the nation.
- The Jayhawks held Vermont (12/30) to just 36 points in KU’s nonconference finale, which was just the 11th time that Kansas didn’t allow an opponent to score more than 36 points in the Jayhawks’ 51-year history.
- Kansas limited the Catamounts to 13 first-half points, which is the fewest points allowed in a first half since 2004.
THIS DAY IN KANSAS WOMEN’S BASKETBALL HISTORY
Record on Jan. 5: 6-6
On Jan. 5, 1999, the Jayhawks extended their winning streak to eight games with a 84-74 victory over Baylor. Lynn Pride’s 28 points and eight rebounds led Kansas, while Brooke Reves and Jennifere Jackson finished with 18 points and 13 points, respectively.
ABOUT THE JAYHAWKS
Following its best nonconference performance since the 2010-11 season, Kansas (10-1) looks to continue that momentum into Big 12 Conference play. The Jayhawks meet the Cyclones for the second-straight season to begin league play. Kansas suffered an overtime loss last season at Iowa State in its Big 12 opener, but went on to win the next two games. Kansas’ offense is paced by senior guard Christalah Lyons who is dishing out 3.1 assists per game, ranking her 15th in the league. Lyons’ assist to turnover ratio (2.6) not only ranks among the best in the Big 12 (4th), but the Dallas native also ranks 28th in the nation for the feat. Two-time 2018-19 Big 12 Player of the Week Jessica Washington leads Kansas in scoring with 15.9 points per game, while connecting on 40 percent of her attempts from the floor and 40.4 percent of her shots from beyond the arc. The Kansas defense has once again proven to be one of the best in the league and the nation, ranking among the top 20 in the country for field goal percentage defense (33.4 percent), 3-point field goal percentage defense (25 percent) and scoring defense (53.4 ppg). Sophomore center Bailey Helgren leads the Jayhawks with 6.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game, while Lyons leads KU with 1.8 steals, the sixth-best in the conference. Senior Austin Richardson and redshirt-freshman Brittany Franklin also assist the Jayhawks defensively with 11 blocks each, while Richardson serves as KU’s second-leading rebounder with 5.8 rebounds per game. The Jayhawks look to snap a six-game losing streak to ISU and pick up their first Big 12 win of the season against the Cylones on Saturday afternoon.
SCOUTING THE CYCLONES
Iowa State entered Big 12 Conference play with a 10-2 start in the nonconference slate, including impressive wins over then-No.24 Miami and once-ranked Drake. The Cyclones two losses during nonconference play came at then-No. 16 Iowa and at receiving votes-South Dakota. ISU entered league play with a monsterous 96-58 victory against Kansas State where five Cyclones notched double-figure scoring efforts. Iowa State’s offense relies heavily on making shots from long range with an impressive 117 (9.0 per game) made from beyond the 3-point line this season to lead the Big 12. No other Big 12 team has made 100 3-pointers yet this season. Senior guard Bridget Carleton’s 18.6 points per game lead the Cyclones, ranking her third in the league. Freshman guard Ashley Joens and sophomore center Kristin Scott are averging 11.8 and 11.5 points, respectively. Defensively, Iowa State allows opponents to score nearly 60 points per game at 59.2, while the Cyclones’ opponents are connecting on 33.4 percent of their attempts from the floor. Carleton leads ISU in rebounds (8.7), blocks (1.6) and steals (2.3). Carleton’s 2.3 steals are the most in the Big 12 Conference. Iowa State looks to continue a six-game winning streak against the Jayhawks on Saturday afternoon.
With 11 different Jayhawks contributing to the score, an offensive explosion and a lockdown defensive effort from the opening tip to the final whistle led Kansas to a 77-36 win against Vermont inside Allen Fieldhouse. For just the 11th time, Kansas didn’t allow its opponent to score more than 36 points, marking one of the best defensive performances in KU’s 51-year history. With three players scoring in double figures, it was senior Brianna Osorio leading the way with 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting. Sixth year Jessica Washington added 13 points of her own, including a trio of triples, while senior Austin Richardson showed her consistency and unselfishness with 11 points and 7 rebounds.
Sixth year Jessica Washington has had no problem finding her groove again after coming off a season-ending injury in 2017-18. The 2017 Big 12 Newcomer of the Year has garnered Big 12 Player of the Week honors twice already this season, most recently in week seven after being named Desert Division MVP at the Duel in the Desert Tournament. Washington has been named Big 12 Player of the Week three times in her career. The Tulsa, Oklahoma native leads the Jayhawks with 15.9 points per game, which is the ninth best in the Big 12 Conference. With 23 3-pointers to date, the 5-8 guard leads Kansas and is fourth in the Big 12 for 3-pointers made, while her 3-point field goal percentage is second on the Kansas team and the 10th best in the league.
THE FLOOR GENERAL
Coming off of an impressive junior campaign where she garnered All-Big 12 Honorable Mention honors, senior guard Christalah Lyons has settled into a groove leading the Kansas offense this season. Lyons is averaging 9.5 points, while dishing out 3.1 assists per game so far this season. The Dallas native has just 13 turnovers thus far, which is tied with Baylor’s Lauren Cox for the fewest in the Big 12 among players in the top 15 for assist to turnover ratio. Lyons has dished out a team-leading 34 assists this season, which places her 15th in the league. With an assist to turnover ratio of 2.6, Lyons is fourth in the Big 12 and 28th in the nation.
LIGHTS OUT FROM LONG RANGE
The Jayhawks have made nearly half of the amount of 3-pointers they made last season in just the first 11 games of the season. Kansas made 173 total treys last year, while the Jayhawks have already notched 81 this season. KU is averaging 7.4 3-pointers, which is second among Big 12 teams and connecting on 35.8 percent of their attempts from beyond the arc, which is third-best in the conference. Two Jayhawks are shooting 40 percent or better from long range. Senior Kylee Kopatich is shooting a team-best 42.3 percent, while sixth year Jessica Washington is connecting on 40.4 percent of her attempts from beyond the arc. Junior Mariane De Carvalho follows closely behind, shooting 37.8 percent. Kopatich’s 42.3 percent is ninth in the league, while Washington’s percentage places her 10th. Washington (23) and Kopatich (22) are the only two Jayhawks with 20 or more 3-pointers. The Jayhawks connected on 12 of their 21 attempts at LSU (11/29), for the second-most triples made in a single game in Kansas program history, falling just one 3-pointer shy of tying the program record (13). Kansas has made 11 or more 3-pointers on three separate occasions this season, 11 against George Mason (11/21), 12 at LSU (11/29) and 11 against Northwestern (12/20).
Kansas has put on stifling defensive performances game in and game out thus far in the 2018-19 season. The Jayhawks rank among the top four in the Big 12 in scoring defense (third), field goal percentage defense (fourth) and 3-point field goal percentage defense (second). Kansas has held its opponents to 53.4 points per game, while limiting opponent shooting percentages to 33.4 percent (FG) and 25.0 percent (3 FG). The Jayhawks are snagging the third-most steals per game in the Big 12 with 9.8 led by seniors Christalah Lyons (6th) and Kylee Kopatich (T-7th) who are each averaging 1.8 steals per game.
The Jayhawks have forced an impressive 209 turnovers this season, including a season-high 22 forced turnovers at LSU (11/29). While Kansas has been forcing a lot of turnovers, the Jayhawks have limited their own. KU is one of two teams in the Big 12 with less than 155 turnovers on the season with 154. Kansas and Baylor are tied for fewest turnovers in the league at 154. KU’s 14.0 turnovers per game are the 48th fewest in the nation, while Kansas is third in the Big 12.
The Jayhawks hit the road for a two-game road tilt at Texas Tech and at Kansas State. Kansas and the Lady Raiders tipoff on Wednesday, Jan. 9 at 7 p.m. inside United Spirit Arena. The game can be listened to on the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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