Kansas welcomes No. 14 Texas for Superhero Day
|Feb. 9 // 7 p.m.|
|Jayhawk Radio Network|
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas women’s basketball concludes its 2019 regular-season series with No. 14 Texas on Saturday, Feb. 9 at 7 p.m., inside Allen Fieldhouse.
KU looks to even the 2019 series with a victory over the Longhorns on Saturday night. The game will be broadcast on the Jayhawk Television Network/ESPN+ and the Jayhawk Radio Network.
Calling all superheroes! The Jayhawks need you to help defend Allen Fieldhouse. All Kids 12 and under 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 Jayhawks are facing a ranked opponent for the fourth time this season in their second meeting with No. 14/15 Texas.
- A win over the Longhorns would give KU its first win over a ranked opponent this season and its first win over Texas since 2013.
- Kansas has held its opponents to shooting only 27.7 percent from the 3-point line, which is second lowest in the Big 12. The Jayhawks have limited their opponents to making just 83 3-pointers this season with the next closest Big 12 opponent allowing 94 treys.
- Senior Austin Richardson has notched double-digit scoring in seven of KU’s 10 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 9.0 per game and have two players that have over 30 on the season with seniors Kylee Kopatich and Christalah Lyons snagging 43 and 36 steals, respectively.
- Kansas has four different players shooting above 80 percent from the free throw line during conference play, including seniors Chelsea Lott (87.5 percent), Kopatich (85.2 percent) and Lyons (81.3 percent) and junior Mariane De Carvalho (81.8 percent).
- Four different Jayhawks have notched at least 200 points on the season, including Lyons (247), Kopatich (227), Richardson (216) and sixth year Jessica Washington (214).
THIS DAY IN KANSAS WOMEN’S BASKETBALL HISTORY
Record on Feb. 9: 6-6
On Feb. 9, 1996, Kansas sealed a 59-58 victory over Iowa State behind clutch free throw shooting from Suzie Raymant. After Iowa State’s Tara Gunderson missed the front-end of a one and one with 11 seconds on the clock, Raymant grabbed the defensive rebound and was fouled as time expired. Raymant sank the free throws to give the Jayhawks the one-point win inside Allen Fieldhouse.
ABOUT THE JAYHAWKS
After suffering a road loss to Texas earlier this season, the Jayhawks are looking for their first win over a ranked opponent since last season and first victory over the Longhorns since 2013 on Saturday. 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 14.2 points per game against conference opponents and 11.8 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 11.4 points and is shooting 39.8 percent from the floor and 37.9 percent from the 3-point line. Kansas’ defense is led by sophomore center Bailey Helgren with 6.1 rebounds and 0.8 blocks, while Kopatich leads KU with 2.2 steals, the second-best in the conference. Senior Austin Richardson leads Kansas with 18 blocks on the season and serves as KU’s second-leading rebounder with 5.3 rebounds per game, while adding 10.3 points per game. Collectively, the Jayhawks limit their opponents to 61.9 points per game, while holding them to 27.7 percent from beyond the 3-point line.
SCOUTING THE LONGHORNS
No. 14/15 Texas sits second in the Big 12 standings through 11 league matchups with an 8-3 mark during conference play and a 18-5 record overall. Four Longhorns lead the way offensively, averaging double-digit scoring. Sug Sutton (12.8 ppg), Jatarie White (11.2 ppg), Joyner Holmes (11.1 ppg) and Danni Williams (10.8 ppg) all lead the offensive charge. Sutton paces the offense with 5.6 assists per game, the third-best in the league. Defensively, Holmes (6.7 rpg), White (5.8 rpg) and Sutton (5.3 rpg) are leading UT’s rebounding efforts. Sutton has snagged a team-best 33 steals, while Charli Collier leads the team with 17 blocks. Collectively, Texas is scoring 72.4 points per game, while limiting their opponents to 60.4 points per game.
KANSAS STATE LEFTOVERS
For the second year in a row, the Dillons Sunflower Showdown inside Allen Fieldhouse needed a few extra minutes to declare a winner. In the final seconds of regulation, Kansas State junior Peyton Williams evened the score and sent the game into overtime. During the extra period, the Wildcats outscored the Jayhawks, 12-2, to even the 2019 series with a 72-62 victory. Kansas had a trio of Jayhawks net double figures in the second meeting of the season with K-State. Senior Austin Richardson led KU with 16 points, while senior Christalah Lyons and junior Mariane De Carvalho contributed 15 and 11 points, respectively.
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 71.4 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 four games during league play. KU shot 75 percent or better from the free throw line in four of the last six games, shooting 75 percent (12-of-16) against Oklahoma State (1/19), 78.6 percent (11-of-14) at TCU (1/27), 94.1 percent (32-of-34) against Oklahoma (1/30) and 78.6 percent (11-of-14) against K-State. 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 81.3 percent (39-of-48) 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.
The Jayhawks have forced an impressive 388 turnovers on the year and have forced at least 20 turnovers on 10 occasions this season. Kansas forced a season-high 26 turnovers twice this season against Iona (11/25) and at TCU (1/27). While Kansas has been forcing a lot of turnovers, the Jayhawks have limited their own. KU has the third-fewest turnovers in the Big 12 with 304, averaging 14.5 per game. The Jayhawks boast the best turnover margin in the league (+4.0) and 23rd best in the nation.
Three Jayhawks hail from the Lonestar State, including seniors Christalah Lyons (Dallas) and Chelsea Lott (Fresno) and freshman Aniya Thomas (Duncanville).
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 22 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 211 career 3-pointers and is just 27 treys away from surpassing Angie Halbleib and becoming Kansas’ all-time 3-point field goal leader. Her 211 career 3-pointers are the most by a Jayhawk since 2015, when Knight ended her career with 178 triples. With 642 3-point field goal attempts, Kopatich is second all-time for 3-point attempts and is just 17 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 14 steals away from passing Jaclyn Johnson and moving into 10th all-time for steals with 187 through her career thus far. Additionally, Kopatich needs to play just five minutes to pass Crystal Kemp and move into 10th all-time for minutes played with 3,616 minutes played to date.
The Jayhawks travel to Norman, Oklahoma to take on the Sooners on Wednesday, Feb. 13 at 7 p.m., inside the Lloyd Noble Center. The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Oklahoma and the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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