Kansas tops Yale, 81-75
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas women’s basketball topped Yale, 81-75, for its third straight victory of the 2017-18 season on Sunday afternoon inside Allen Fieldhouse.
In a game that saw eight lead changes and 10 ties, it came down to free throws in the final seconds of the game. KU (3-0) made five of its six attempts from the free throw line in the final 18 seconds of the game. Despite Yale’s attempts to steal the lead in the waning seconds of the fourth quarter, the Jayhawks stayed calm from the line to extend their season-opening win streak to three.
The Jayhawks were led by junior guard Christalah Lyons’ third double-figure scoring effort, a career-high 18 points. She also dished out three assists and swiped two steals. Junior guard Kylee Kopatich collected her third-consecutive game in double figures with 17 points, while grabbing seven rebounds. Freshman forward Micaela Wilson registered the first double-double of the season by a Jayhawk after recording 14 points and 10 rebounds. Wilson connected on 3-of-5 from long range.
Senior forward Jen Berkowitz led Yale with 19 points and 16 rebounds. Sophomore guard Roxy Barahman added 18 points and senior guard Tamara Simpson contributed 12 points and five assists for the Bulldogs.
Freshman center Bailey Helgren started the game off for the Jayhawks making her first collegiate start. The Edina, Minn. native won the tip and contributed immediately with a layup to give KU its first points of the game. A layup from Lyons and a free throw from junior forward Austin Richardson put Kansas up 5-1 early on in the quarter.
Yale’s freshman guard Tori Andrew knocked down the first 3-point basket for either team to put the Bulldogs within one. Yale answered each shot the Jayhawks made to hold KU’s lead to four points or less throughout the quarter. Wilson connected on two of her three attempts from behind the arc to lead Kansas with six points in the first quarter. The Jayhawks maintained a 19-17 advantage going into the second period.
Yale ran out to an 8-0 run to take a 23-19 lead to start the second quarter with six points coming from Barahman. Kopatich went on a solo 7-0 run with a 3-point basket and four free throws to regain a one-point lead for Kansas, but Andrew quickly responded with her second 3-pointer of the afternoon. The Bulldogs and Jayhawks alternated scoring possessions on the next nine baskets, tying the game up at 36 with just under two minutes to go in the half. The Bulldogs scored the next five points to take a 41-36 lead, but a jumper by junior center Chelsea Lott narrowed the margin, 41-38, heading into the locker room.
Lyons made her presence known in the third quarter, accounting for all of the Jayhawks’ points (6) in the first five minutes of the period. Yale struggled offensively shooting just 5-of-22 from the field and 1-of-11 from beyond the arc. A three-minute scoring drought by the Bulldogs and a 3-point basket from junior guard Brianna Osorio allowed the Jayhawks to cut Yale’s lead to one. Lyons put Kansas back on top, 49-48, with a layup, but Berkowitz quickly answered with a basket of her own.
The Jayhawks and Bulldogs continued to battle back and forth throughout the third quarter. Wilson took back the Kansas lead with an offensive rebound that led to a three-point play the old-fashioned way. Yale and Kansas traded off a series of baskets as the clock wound down, but a Kopatich 3-pointer would give KU a 57-54 lead going into the final period.
The Jayhawks and Bulldogs battled back and forth throughout the final10 minutes of the game. Redshirt sophomore center Tyler Johnson scored first off of layup to extend the Kansas lead to five, but Yale was quick to answer with a 3-point basket to cut KU’s lead, 59-57. After trading off baskets, Wilson added her third 3-pointer to spark a series of plays that would put Kansas up by seven. A 5-0 run by Yale narrowed its deficit back to two, but the Jayhawks used their ‘Tough and Together’ mantra to persevere through the final two minutes and come out with the 81-75 victory over the Bulldogs.
The Jayhawks continue their nine-game homestand against Delaware State on Wednesday, Nov. 22 at 7 p.m., inside Allen Fieldhouse. KU’s matchup with the Hornets will air on the Jayhawk Television Network/ESPN3 and the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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