Kansas outlasts Oral Roberts, 64-56, in double overtime

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LAWRENCE, Kan. – It took Kansas women’s basketball an extra 10 minutes, but clutch shooting and a late rally down the stretch sealed the 64-56 victory over Oral Roberts on Wednesday evening inside Allen Fieldhouse.

In the Jayhawks’ (2-2) first overtime game of the season, Kansas outlasted the Golden Eagles with a 10-2 run in the final two minutes of the second overtime period. Sophomore guard Kylee Kopatich tied the ballgame, 54-54, and sparked the final run of the night. Sophomore guard Jayde Christopher gave the Jayhawks the lead with a triple from the right side of the arc, her lone basket of the game, which gave KU an advantage that wouldn’t be relinquished. Kopatich finished the night with 12 points, including seven of KU’s last 10 points.

Redshirt sophomore guard McKenzie Calvert led all scorers with 21 points, tying her career-high mark for the second game in a row. Calvert has netted double figures in all four of Kansas’ games this season and is averaging 19.8 points per game in 2016-17. Along with her 12 points, Kopatich grabbed nine boards to finish the game a rebound shy of a double-double.

Oral Roberts’ Faith Ihim recorded a double-double after tallying 18 points and 18 rebounds, while junior guard Lakota Beatty finished the night with 14 points. Kansas held the Golden Eagles to a 32 percent shooting percentage from the field and 23.1 percent from the 3-point arc.

Junior guard Chayla Cheadle rattled home the first bucket of the night as the Jayhawks and Golden Eagles traded baskets back and forth during the early minutes of the game. Calvert netted  the other four of KU’s first six points in the first period. With 6:12 left in the first, Cheadle regained the lead for the Jayhawks with a pair of free throws.

With Kansas’ every attempt to charge ahead, ORU had an answer and the ballgame remained a one-possession game through the first 10 minutes of play. An offensive rebound and layup from senior forward Sydney Umeri gave Kansas the lead, 12-10, at the end of the first quarter, which saw four lead changes and the game tied on five occasions. Cheadle and Calvert ended the first 10 minutes with four points each to lead the Jayhawks’ offense, which connected on just 33.3 percent of its shots from the field and ended the game shooting 30 percentRedshirt sophomore McKenzie Calvert
Oral Roberts opened the second quarter with a 9-2 run after Ashley and Lakota Beatty sank three attempts from beyond the arc. The Golden Eagles’ hot shooting from the 3-point line gave ORU a 19-14 advantage, their largest lead of the night, with 4:30 to play until halftime.

Over the final 4:30 of the first half, Kansas netted seven unanswered points to take a 21-19 lead into the locker room at halftime. Calvert led Kansas in the opening half with eight points, two rebounds and two assists. Umeri added five points and four rebounds in the first 20 minutes. Kansas has taken a lead into the half time break just twice this season and is 2-0 when leading at the halfway mark.

Kansas opened the second half with a 6-2 run to extend its lead over Oral Roberts, 27-21. Kopatich found Calvert on the left side of the arc for KU’s first trey of the night, as Calvert reached double digits for the fourth-straight game with 6:27 to play in the quarter. During the waning minutes of the third period, Oral Roberts narrowed KU’s lead, but the Jayhawks held on to a 32-27 advantage heading into the final quarter of regulation.

In the first three periods, Kansas’ defense forced 20 ORU turnovers, which KU converted into 11 of its first 32 points. The Jayhawks also outrebounded the Golden Eagles, 56-53, which is the most rebounds by Kansas since KU grabbed 56 against Kansas State on Feb. 24, 2015.

Senior guard Timeka O’Neal opened the final quarter with her first, and the second Kansas triple, of the night. Following the KU 3-pointer, Oral Roberts cut KU’s lead to two, 36-34, as the Jayhawks were held scoreless for nearly three minutes. The Golden Eagles’ offense continued its 10-0 run with a 3-pointer from sophomore guard Jordan Gilbert to take the lead for the first time since the second period, but Calvert quickly put an end to Kansas’ scoring drought with her second trey of the game, as the Jayhawks regained the lead, 39-36.

Kansas held on to a two-point advantage over Oral Roberts in the final minutes of the game, as ORU continued to chip away at KU’s lead late in the game. The Golden Eagles managed to tie the ballgame, 46-46, with 9.7 seconds left on the clock. After neither squad could fire off the game-winning shot before the end of regulation, the Jayhawks and Golden Eagles headed to overtime.

Senior forward Caelynn Manning-Allen grabbed an offensive board and put the ball back up to give Kansas a 49-48 advantage in the first overtime period. The Jayhawks and Golden Eagles continued to trade baskets as the clock ticked closer to zero, and both teams battled for the lead. With 2:03 to play, ORU regained the lead, 52-49, after a three-point play the old fashioned way, but sophomore guard Aisia Robertson came up with the steal and lobbed it ahead to Calvert, who tied the game once more. Kansas couldn’t capitalize on opportunities at the free throw line down the stretch, as the game headed into double overtime.

Kopatich scored seven of her 12 points in the final overtime period of the night, which gave Kansas all the momentum it needed to outlast Oral Roberts, 64-56.

Kansas hosts North Dakota on Sunday, Nov. 27 before hitting the road for two games away from Lawrence. Tipoff against the Fighting Hawks is slated for 2 p.m., inside Allen Fieldhouse. The matchup will be broadcast on the Jayhawk Television Network and the Jayhawk Radio Network.

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