Kansas travels to Iowa State for regular season finale
|at Iowa State|
|March 4 // 6:30 p.m.|
|Jayhawk Radio Network|
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas women’s basketball travels to Ames, Iowa to face No. 20 Iowa State in the regular season finale on Monday, March 4 at 6:30 p.m., inside Hilton Coliseum.
The Jayhawks began their Big 12 slate with the Cyclones at home and end the league schedule on the road against Iowa State. The game will be broadcast on Cyclone.TV and the Jayhawk Radio Network.
- The Jayhawks and Cyclones are meeting for the first time since the 2019 Big 12 opener where KU’s comeback effort came up short and Kansas fell, 82-73.
- Kansas’ seniors combined for 48 of the Jayhawks’ 61 points against West Virginia on Senior Night.
- After scoring six triples against West Virginia, Kansas has made 190 3-pointers this season, which is the third-most in a single season in KU history. The Jayhawks are just nine treys away from having the second-most threes in Kansas history.
- Senior Kylee Kopatich is inching closer to becoming just the seventh Jayhawk, and first since Jaclyn Johnson (1998-2001), to reach 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 200 steals and 200 assists. Kopatich currently has 1,298 points, 505 rebounds, 198 steals and 198 assists.
- The Jayhawks have snagged the third-most steals in the Big 12 with 8.7 per game. Kopatich (2nd) and senior Christalah Lyons (15th) both rank among the top 15 in the league for steals per game, leading Kansas with 54 and 41 steals, respectively.
- The freshmen duo of Brooklyn Mitchell and Aniya Thomas continue to make their mark on the Kansas program. The pair are averaging 14.1 points per game over the last seven games. Thomas has been averaging 8.9 points over the last seven games, while Mitchell has chipped in 5.2 in her last seven outings.
- Senior Austin Richardson’s nine rebounds against the Mountaineers mark the seventh time this season that she has had at least eight boards in a game.
THIS DAY IN KANSAS WOMEN’S BASKETBALL HISTORY
Record on March 4: 6-8
On March 4, 2016, Kansas faced TCU for the second-straight game after losing a heartbreaker in the regular season finale. The Jayhawks caught fire and lit up TCU for a season-high 81 points to advance to the quarterfinal round of the Big 12 Championship. Four Jayhawks notched double-digit scoring, led by a career-best 23 points from Lauren Aldridge. Chayla Cheadle added 15 points, while Kylee Kopatich chipped in 14 points and Tyler Johnson matched her career-best 12 points.
ABOUT THE JAYHAWKS
With just one matchup remaining in the regular season, the Jayhawks are looking to snap a seven-game losing streak against Iowa State and earn a win over a ranked opponent for the first time since last season. Kansas’ offense is paced by senior guard Christalah Lyons, who is dishing out 3.1 assists per game. Lyons has posted three 20-point performances in Big 12 play, averaging a team-best 12.8 in league play and 11.5 points per game overall. Senior guard Kylee Kopatich is averaging 11.8 points and is shooting 39.7 percent from the floor and 35.0 percent from the 3-point line. Sophomore center Bailey Helgren leads Kansas with 5.7 rebounds, while senior Austin Richardson and redshirt-freshman Brittany Franklin have each blocked 20 shots on the season. Richardson serves as KU’s second-leading rebounder with 5.5 rebounds per game, while chipping in 10.4 points per game. Three different Jayhawks have snagged at least 30 steals on the season, led by Kopatich with 54 (2.0 spg), the second-most in the Big 12. Collectively, the Jayhawks limit their opponents to 66.0 points per game, while holding them to 30.7 percent from beyond the 3-point line.
SCOUTING THE CYCLONES
Iowa State is looking to close out the regular season with a win to remain in second place in the Big 12 standings and top the Jayhawks for the eighth-straight time. Iowa State’s offense relies heavily on making shots from long range with an impressive 264 (9.1 per game) made from beyond the 3-point line this season to lead the Big 12. No other Big 12 team has made 250 3-pointers yet this season. Senior guard Bridget Carleton’s 22.0 points per game lead the league, while sophomore center Kristin Scott and freshman guard Ashley Joens are averaging 13.5 and 11.8 points, respectively. Defensively, Iowa State allows opponents to score nearly 65 points per game at 64.4, while the Cyclones’ opponents are connecting on 37.3 percent of their attempts from the floor. Carleton leads ISU in rebounds (8.7), blocks (1.3) and steals (2.2). Carleton’s 2.2 steals are the most in the Big 12 Conference.
WEST VIRGINIA LEFTOVERS
On a day celebrating the Jayhawk seniors, Kansas couldn’t complete its fourth quarter comeback attempt, falling to West Virginia, 71-59. Kansas was led by the senior duo of Christalah Lyons and Kylee Kopatich, who each finished with 17 points. Lyons dished out five assists and three steals, while Kopatich added four steals. The Kansas seniors combined for 48 of the Jayhawks’ 61 points.
The seniors have accounted for 60 percent of the Jayhawks’ scoring this season, scoring 1,099 of KU’s 1,830 points this season with Christalah Lyons (323), Kylee Kopatich (319) and Austin Richardson (291) leading the way. Collectively, the seniors have shot 40.4 percent from the field in their final season.
WORKING HARD ON AND OFF THE COURT
Four Jayhawks were named to Academic All-Big 12 teams, marking the third time in head coach Brandon Schneider’s four years that KU has had at least four Academic All-Big selections. Senior Kylee Kopatich and medically disqualified Tyler Johnson along with sophomore Bailey Helgren were selected to the first team, while redshirt-freshman Brittany Franklin was selected to the second team.
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. Kopatich is 10 triples away from surpassing fellow Olathe South High School grad Natalie Knight for the most 3-pointers by a Kansas senior. The Olathe, Kansas native has made 223 career 3-pointers and is just 15 treys away from surpassing Angie Halbleib and becoming Kansas’ all-time 3-point field goal leader. Her 223 career 3-pointers are the most by a Jayhawk since 2015, when Knight ended her career with 178 triples. Beyond the 3-point line, Kopatich is three steals away from passing Jaclyn Johnson and moving into 10th all-time for steals with 198 through her career thus far. Additionally, Kopatich needs to play just 70 minutes to become Kansas’ all-time leader for minutes played in a career. Kopatich currently sits third for minutes played with 3,848 played to date. With 1,298 points, 505 rebounds, 198 steals and 198 assists, Kopatich is just two steals and two assists away from becoming the seventh Jayhawk in KU history to notch 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 200 steals and 200 assists in a career.
THE FLOOR GENERAL
Senior Christalah Lyons has proven herself time and time again as one of Kansas’ strongest assets down the stretch. 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) and following up two games later 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 10 of KU’s 17 league games to date and is averaging a team-best 12.8 points in Big 12 play and 11.5 points overall. With 17 points against West Virginia (3/2), Lyons posted the 41st double-digit scoring performance of her career. Lyons is dishing out 3.1 assists per game so far this season which is 14th in the Big 12, with a team-high 87 during her senior campaign. Lyons has had at least five assists in 10 games this season and 16 times in her career. The Dallas native has 49 turnovers thus far and has had zero turnovers in four games this season, most recently against TCU (2/27). Lyons’ 49 turnovers are tied for the third fewest in the Big 12 among players in the top 15 for assist to turnover ratio and she is one of four players ranked in the category with less than 50 turnovers on the season. With an assist to turnover ratio of 1.8, Lyons is seventh in the Big 12.
The freshmen duo of Brooklyn Mitchell and Aniya Thomas have made their impact felt as of late in Big 12 play. The pair has combined for 99 points and is averaging 14.1 points per game over the last seven games with at least one freshman notching a double-digit scoring effort in four of those seven contests. In the last seven games Thomas is averaging 8.9 points, while Mitchell is chipping in 5.2 points per game over the last seven outings. Mitchell and Thomas combined for 19 points off the bench against then-No. 14 Texas with Thomas finishing with 15 points, while Mitchell chipped in four points. Thomas’ performance on the hardwood against Texas earned her the third start of her career on the road at Oklahoma. The Duncanville, Texas native then posted her second-straight double-digit scoring performance with 11 points against the Sooners. Thomas has remained in the starting lineup for the last six games and has scored in double figures in three of the last seven contests. Mitchell followed Thomas and scored 12 points against Texas Tech for her first double-digit scoring performance since November, which marked the third-straight game a Kansas freshman scored in double figures. Thomas has 102 points on the season, while Mitchell is just 10 points behind with 92 career points to date. The duo are both ranked among the top 20 freshmen in the Big 12 with Thomas sitting in 16th with 3.9 points per game and Mitchell ranking 17th with 3.2 points per game.
FROM THE CHARITY STRIPE
The Jayhawks made improvements from the free throw line throughout Big 12 play. Kansas shot 65.1 percent from the free throw line during nonconference play and have improved that mark to 72.8 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, shooting 75 percent or better in eight games during league play. KU shot 75 percent or better from the free throw line in nine of the last 12 games. 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 77.6 percent (52-of-67) in Big 12 contests and Kopatich improving her 76.2 percent in nonconference to 90.7 percent (39-of-43) in league matchups. Kopatich has the best free throw percentage in the league, while Lyons ranks 13th. Kopatich made a perfect 10-of-10 free throws against Oklahoma (1/30), tying her for first for a single-game free throw percentage.
The Jayhawks travel to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma for the Big 12 Championship set for March 8-11. The Big 12 Championship will be broadcast on Fox Sports Networks, while all KU matchups will also be broadcast on the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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