Kansas set to play Alabama A&M on Sunday
LAWRENCE, Kan. — After starting off the season 2-0 for the second-straight season, Kansas women’s basketball looks to continue that winning streak against Alabama A&M on Sunday, Nov. 18 at 2 p.m. inside Allen Fieldhouse.
Sunday the Jayhawks will celebrate Every Day Heroes by welcoming all public safety officials to Allen Fieldhouse. All public safety officials will receive $5 admission with proper identification. Prior to the game, safety vehicles will be on display outside of Allen Fieldhouse.
- The Jayhawks have started the season off 2-0 for the second-straight year with their wins over UMKC (11/7) and Oral Roberts (11/13).
- Freshmen Aniya Thomas and Brooklyn Mitchell combined for 30 of the Jayhawks’ 70 points against Oral Roberts (11/13). Thomas led Kansas with 17 points and Mitchell was KU’s second-leading scorer with 13 points.
- Sophomore Bailey Helgren is leading the Big 12 Conference with 3.5 blocks per game in the first two contests of the season.
- Averaging a double-double through the first two games, Austin Richardson leads Kansas with 11 points per game and 11 rebounds per game.???????
- Christalah Lyons boasts the best field goal percentage among the Jayhawks with 15 attempts or more, connecting on 43.8 percent of her shots from the field.
- Kylee Kopatich is just nine points away from becoming the 29th Jayhawk to join the 1,000 point club.
- Brianna Osorio is one of two Jayhawks to average double figures through the first two matchups of the 2018-19 season. The senior is averaging 10.5 points per game and 6.0 rebounds per game.
- Lyons and Kopatich each have dished out six total assists on the season, tying for the most assists on the team through the first two contests.
THIS DAY IN KANSAS WOMEN’S BASKETBALL HISTORY
Record on Nov. 18: 5-1
Kansas is playing on Nov. 18 for the seventh time in program history. In 2000, Kansas topped Grambling State in its season opener, 122-71. The Jayhawks were led by Jaclyn Johnson with 25 points and 15 rebounds.
SCOUTING THE BULLDOGS
Alabama A&M enters Sunday’s matchup with the Jayhawks with a 1-2 record with a 67-57 win over Tennessee State University and losses at Illinois and at Lipscomb. Two Bulldogs lead the way offensively, averaging double figures. Lazurea Saunders averages 11 points in two outings, while DeShawna Harper averages 10 points per game in three games. Nigeria Jones has contributed both offensively and defensively, dishing out a team-high 16 assists and a team-leading six steals. Collectively, the Bulldogs have the fourth-best field goal percentage in the Southwestern Athletic Conference, connecting on 37.4 percent of their attempts. Alabama A&M’s defense is among the best in the SWAC, holding its opponents to scoring 38.2 percent of their shots, which is second-best in the league.
DOUBLE THE TROUBLE
Senior forward Austin Richardson has already proven to be an asset to both the Jayhawks’ offense and defense in just two games thus far in the 2018-19 season. Richardson is leading Kansas, averaging a double-double with 11.0 points and 11.0 rebounds.
After a slow start in the season opener against UMKC, the freshman duo of Aniya Thomas and Brooklyn Mitchell put on a show in KU’s matchup against Oral Roberts (11/13). Thomas led the Jayhawks with 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field in 22 minutes of play. Mitchell was Kansas’ next highest scorer with 13 ponits on 4-of-6 shooting from the field in 17 minutes.
NO SOPHOMORE SLUMP HERE
Sophomore center Bailey Helgren has started her sophomore campaign on a high note, breaking career-high marks in each of the Jayhawks’ first two games. Helgren’s five blocks in the season opener not only were a career best, but also moved her to the top of the Big 12 blocked shots list, averaging 3.5 blocks in two games. The Edina, Minnesota native has grabbed nine rebounds in each matchup this season surpassing her previous career-high of eight rebounds. Helgren also scored double figures for the first time in her career, scoring 10 points on a perfect 3-of-3 from the floor against Oral Roberts (11/13). The 6-5 sophomore was just one rebound shy of her first career double-double.
Kansas’ senior-heavy roster has garnered some national attention, as the Jayhawks are receiving votes in the USA Today Coaches’ Top-25 Poll ahead of the 2018-19 season. KU received 14 points in the preseason poll, voted on by The USA TODAY Sports Board of Coaches made up of 32 head coaches at Division I institutions. This marks the first time since the 2013-14 season that Kansas has received votes in the coaches’ poll.
RELYING ON THE RETURNERS
Kansas is going to rely heavily on its experienced players this season with 10 players from a season ago returning to the Jayhawk roster. Kansas returns 93.8 percent of scoring from the 2017-18 season as well as its leading scorers from the last two seasons with Lyons (14.8 ppg) from the 2017-18 season and Jessica Washington (17.1 ppg) from the 2016-17 season. Additionally, the Jayhawks return seven seniors to the 2018-19 roster, accounting for 46.6 percent of the total roster. Kansas has the largest senior class in the Big 12 Conference this season with the next closest Big 12 school having four seniors. The Jayhawks boast the largest senior class in KU history since the 2008-09 season when Kansas had eight seniors on the roster.
1,000 POINT CLUB
Senior guard Kylee Kopatich is quickly approaching the 1,000 point mark with 991 points with the Jayhawks. Just nine points shy of the accomplishment, Kopatich will become the 29th Jayhawk in Kansas women’s basketball history to join the 1,000 point club. Additionally, senior guard Jessica Washington is just 54 points away from scoring 1,000 points in her college basketball career. Washington scored 451 points at the University of North Carolina and has scored 495 points in just one season with the Jayhawks, bringing her collegiate total to 946 points.
Kansas continues its five-game homestand against George Mason on Wednesday, Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. inside Allen Fieldhouse. Fans can watch all of the action on the Jayhawk Television Network/ESPN+ or listen on the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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