Kansas set for second edition of Dillons Sunflower Showdown
|vs. Kansas State|
|Feb. 6 // 7 p.m.|
|Jayhawk Radio Network|
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas women’s basketball hosts in-state rival Kansas State for the second edition of the Dillons Sunflower Showdown on Wednesday, Feb. 6 at 7 p.m., inside Allen Fieldhouse.
The Jayhawks are looking for their first sweep of the Wildcats since the 2012-13 season after beating K-State in Bramlage Coliseum earlier this season. The game will be broadcast on the Jayhawk Television Network/ESPN+ and the Jayhawk Radio Network.
- The Jayhawks and the Wildcats are meeting for the 121st overall and second time this season as Kansas looks to sweep Kansas State for the first time since the 2012-13 season.
- In the last outing with Kansas State, senior Christalah Lyons recorded her second 20-point performance of the season with 20 points. Lyons is up to three 20-point performances in Big 12 play, most recently pouring in 23 against Oklahoma (1/30).
- Kansas has held its opponents to shooting only 28.3 percent from the 3-point line, which is second lowest in the Big 12. The Jayhawks have limited their opponents to making just 80 3-pointers this season with the next closest Big 12 opponent allowing 94 treys.
- Senior Austin Richardson has notched double-digit scoring in six of KU’s nine Big 12 contests, including a career-best 20 points against Oklahoma (1/30).
- The Jayhawks have snagged the third-most steals in the Big 12 with 9.2 per game and have two players that have over 30 on the season, including Lyons (32) and senior Kylee Kopatich (42).
- The Kansas bench contributed nearly half of the Jayhawks’ points at West Virginia (2/3), chipping in 24 of KU’s 50 points.
- Four different Jayhawks have notched at least 200 points on the season, including Lyons (232), Kopatich (218), Richardson (200) and sixth year Jessica Washington (214).
THIS DAY IN KANSAS WOMEN’S BASKETBALL HISTORY
Record on Feb. 6: 7-6
On Feb. 6, 1983, Kansas topped Nebraska in Lincoln, 85-75, behind the double-double effort of Angie Snider, who poured in 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. The Jayhawks outrebounded the Cornhuskers, 58-42 and shot 46.2 percent from the field as a team in the victory.
ABOUT THE JAYHAWKS
After beating Kansas State, 61-54, earlier this season, the Jayhawks are looking to sweep the Wildcats for the first time since the 2012-13 season. Kansas’ offense is paced by senior guard Christalah Lyons who is dishing out 3.4 assists per game. Lyons has posted three 20-point performances in Big 12 play, averaging a team-leading 14.1 points per game against conference opponents and 11.6 points overall. Two-time 2018-19 Big 12 Player of the Week Jessica Washington leads Kansas in scoring with 14.3 points per game, while connecting on 37.4 percent of her attempts from the floor and 41.4 percent of her shots from beyond the arc. Senior guard Kylee Kopatich is averaging 11.5 points and is shooting 39.9 percent from the floor and 37.6 percent from the 3-point line. Kansas’ defense is led by sophomore center Bailey Helgren with 6.0 rebounds and 0.7 blocks, while Kopatich leads KU with 2.2 steals, the second-best in the conference. Senior Austin Richardson leads Kansas with 15 blocks on the season and serves as KU’s second-leading rebounder with 5.5 rebounds per game, while adding 10.0 points per game. Collectively, the Jayhawks limit their opponents to 61.4 points per game, while holding them to 28.3 percent from beyond the 3-point line.
SCOUTING THE WILDCATS
Kansas State owns a 13-9 overall record and has posted a 4-6 mark in league play so far in 2018-19 with a notable win over then-No. 11/11 Texas. Junior Peyton Williams is K-State’s leading scorer and rebounder, falling just shy of averaging a double-double with 14.8 points and 9.6 rebounds. Senior Kayla Goth paces the Wildcats offense with 6.3 assists per game, the second-most assists in the Big 12, while adding 12.4 points per game. Collectively, Kansas State is scoring 61.9 points per game and shooting 40.8 percent from the floor and 29.1 percent from long range. KSU has limited their opponents to 61.4 points per game. K-State looks to avoid a Jayhawk sweep in the second edition of the Dillons Sunflower Showdown.
THE FLOOR GENERAL
Coming off of an impressive junior campaign where she garnered All-Big 12 Honorable Mention honors, senior Christalah Lyons has settled into a groove leading Kansas’ offense this season. The 5-5 guard has posted three 20-point performances in Big 12 play, beginning with a career-best 24 points against Iowa State (1/5). Two games later, Lyons followed up with another 20-point performance scoring 20 points in KU’s first Big 12 win of the season against K-State (1/13). In her third 20-point performance of the season, 20 of Lyons’ 23 points came in the second half to lead the Jayhawks past Oklahoma (1/30) in their second league win of the year. Lyons has posted double-figure scoring efforts in six of KU’s eight league games to date and is averaging a team-best 14.1 points in Big 12 play and 11.6 points overall. Lyons is dishing out 3.4 assists per game so far this season which is 12th in the Big 12, with a team-high 68 during her senior campaign. The Dallas native has 31 turnovers thus far and has had zero turnovers in three games this season. Lyons’ 31 turnovers are tied for the second fewest in the Big 12 among players in the top 15 for assist to turnover ratio. With an assist to turnover ratio of 2.2, Lyons is fifth in the Big 12, trailing only four Baylor players. Lyons’ assist to turnover ratio is the 45th best in the nation.
CLIMBING UP THE RANKS
Senior Kylee Kopatich has been putting her stamp on the Kansas record books since she first stepped foot onto James Naismith Court. The Olathe, Kansas native has ranked among the top five for 3-point field goals made by a freshman with 45 (4th), sophomore with 53 (3rd), junior with 69 (2nd) and is on track to make the most 3-pointers by a senior in KU history. Kopatich is 25 triples away from surpassing fellow Olathe South High School grad Natalie Knight for the most 3-pointers by a Kansas senior. The 5-10 guard has made 208 career 3-pointers and is just 30 treys away from surpassing Angie Halbleib and becoming Kansas’ all-time 3-point field goal leader. Her 208 career 3-pointers are the most by a Jayhawk since 2015, when Knight ended her career with 178 triples. With 635 3-point field goal attempts, Kopatich is second all-time for 3-point attempts and is just 24 attempts away from surpassing Halbleib and becoming the all-time 3-point field goal attempts leader in Kansas history. Beyond the 3-point line, Kopatich is 15 steals away from passing Jaclyn Johnson and moving into 10th all-time for steals with 186 through her career thus far. Additionally, Kopatich needs to play just 49 minutes to pass Crystal Kemp and move into 10th all-time for minutes played with 3,572 minutes played to date.
Senior Kylee Kopatich and sixth year Jessica Washington have been lethal from beyond the 3-point line this season. The duo has been nearly identically from long range with Kopatich making 41 treys and Washington adding 36 triples so far this season. Washington is shooting 41.4 percent from long range, which is the fourth-best 3-point shooting percentage by a senior in KU history and the highest percentage by a senior since the 2009-10 season. Kopatich has the second-best percentage on the team, shooting 37.6 percent from beyond the arc. Washington’s 2.4 triples per game ranks third in the Big 12, while her 3-point field goal percentage is second in the league and 42nd in the nation. Kopatich (2.2) is seventh in the Big 12 for 3-point field goals made, while she is ninth in the league for 3-point field goal percentage.
FROM THE CHARITY STRIPE
The Jayhawks have been making improvements from the free throw line throughout Big 12 play. Kansas shot 65.1 percent from the free throw line duing nonconference play and have improved that mark to 70.8 percent during league games. After shooting 75 percent or better from the charity stripe only twice through 11 nonconference games, Kansas has surpassed that mark in three games during league play. KU shot 75 percent or better from the free throw line in three of the last five games, shooting 75 percent (12-of-16) against Oklahoma State (1/19), 78.6 percent (11-of-14) at TCU (1/27) and 94.1 percent (32-of-34) against Oklahoma (1/30). Kansas’ 94.1 percent shooting percentage from the charity stripe ties the eighth-best free throw percentage in a single game in KU history. Additionally, seniors Christalah Lyons and Kylee Kopatich have improved their shot from the line in Big 12 play with Lyons improving her 66.7 percent in nonconference to 81.4 percent (35-of-43) in Big 12 contests and Kopatich improving her 76.2 percent in nonconference to 85.2 percent (23-of-27) in league matchups. Kopatich made a perfect 10-of-10 free throws against Oklahoma (1/30), tying her for first for a single-game free throw percentage.
STEPPING UP OFF THE BENCH
Kansas’ bench players have provided key minutes for the Jayhawks in Big 12 play as of late. The Kansas bench scored nearly half of KU’s points at West Virginia (2/3) with 24 of Kansas’ 50 points. Additionally, junior Niccolly Ramalho made a key bucket at TCU (1/27) to pull the Jayhawks within one and dished out five assists against Oklahoma (1/30) to help Kansas to their second league win. Senior Chelsea Lott and junior Mariane De Carvalho scored 20 of the Jayhawks’ 88 points off the bench against Oklahoma (1/30). The KU bench accounted for over half of the Jayhawks’ points at No. 12 Texas (1/23) with four players contributing 23 points.
CONSISTENCY IS KEY
Senior Austin Richardson has been a key component for the Jayhawks on both ends of the floor, providing consistent scoring and rebounding for KU. Richardson has posted 12 double-digit scoring games this season, including six in Big 12 play. The six-foot forward has recorded three 10-point rebounding performances, while grabbing at least eight rebounds on five occasions. Richardson is the only Jayhawk to register a double-double this season, recording two double-doubles during her senior campaign.
RECORD SETTING PERFORMANCES
Kansas set a single-game 3-point record making 14 treys against the then-No. 2 Lady Bears. KU connected on 50 percent (14-of-28) of its attempts from long range with five Jayhawks notching threes in the process. Sixth year Jessica Washington and senior Kylee Kopatich combined for 11 of the 14 triples, while sophomore Micaela Wilson and seniors Christalah Lyons and Austin Richardson added one 3-pointer each. Washington (6) and Kopatich (5) each tied their season highs for 3-pointers made in a single game.
Kansas completes a two-game homestand hosting No. 12/14 Texas for Superhero Day on Saturday, Feb. 9 at 7 p.m., inside Allen Fieldhouse. Kids under age 12 who are dressed in a superhero costume will receive free admission as well as fans who bring their ticket stub from the men’s game against Oklahoma State earlier in the day. The game will be broadcast on the Jayhawk Television Network/ESPN+ and the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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