Slow start hoists SMU over Kansas, 75-63
LAWRENCE, Kan. – A slow start plagued Kansas women’s basketball as SMU capitalized on an early offensive surge to even the series with a 75-63 victory over the Jayhawks on Wednesday night inside Allen Fieldhouse.
The Mustangs opened the sixth meeting in program history with a 15-0 run, which the Jayhawks couldn’t overcome as SMU halted each comeback attempt. Both the 16 percent shooting performance from Kansas and SMU’s early run allowed the Mustangs to secure a 14-point lead going into the second quarter. The Mustangs shot 43 percent from the field against KU, while holding Kansas to just 29 percent.
Redshirt sophomore guard McKenzie Calvert led the Jayhawks in scoring with 17 points, her second-straight game in double figures. Also scoring in double digits, redshirt junior guard Jessica Washington had 13 points to go along with five rebounds and three assists. Just shy of a double-double, sophomore guard Aisia Robertson rounded out the trio of Jayhawks in double figures with 11 points and nine rebounds.
SMU saw double-digit scoring performances from four different players, two of whom recorded double-doubles for the night. Junior guard Kiara Perry led the team with 17 points, behind a 7-for-13 effort from the field, and 14 rebounds. Junior forward Alicia Froling added 16 points to the scoreboard for the Mustangs, while also grabbing 10 boards.Sophomore guard Aisia Robertson
SMU started the game with a 15-0 run, but junior guard Chayla Cheadle ended that run with a layup for the first KU points of the night. In addition to the Jayhawk’s slow start, SMU’s defense held Kansas to a field goal percentage of just 16 percent in the opening 10 minutes. Offensively, SMU ran away with a 63 percent field goal percentage for the quarter.
Kansas came out strong for the second quarter, scoring six points in the first two minutes. Calvert’s second three-point play of the quarter put the Jayhawks within single digits of the Mustangs for the first time all game. The Mustangs responded with an 8-0 run, taking back their double-digit lead. Sophomore center Chelsea Lott ended that run with her first basket of the game. While Kansas outscored SMU, 18-16, in the second quarter, KU still struggled to take control of the game.
SMU came out looking to repeat the first quarter, kicking off the second half with another 11-0 run. The Mustangs extended their lead to a comfortable 25 points. Finally, senior forward Caelynn Manning-Allen ended that run with a free throw. Washington sunk a basket from beyond the arc to spark a 10-0 run. Robertson followed up with a layup as Calvert continued the run with another 3-pointer.
Washington began the fourth quarter with five-straight points, which brought Washington’s scoring total to double digits, joining Calvert. Sophomore guard Kylee Kopatich then hit her second 3-pointer of the game, she finished the night with seven points. With just three minutes left, senior guard Timeka O’Neal and Robertson hit back-to-back treys to continue the momentum in favor of the Jayhawks. Robertson hit two free-throws to become the third Jayhawk scorer in the double digits. O’Neal then hit her second bucket from behind the 3-point line as KU’s bench helped chip away at SMU’s lead in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. The Jayhawks outscored SMU, 22-10, in the final quarter, but it wasn’t enough as SMU left Allen Fieldhouse with a 75-63 victory over Kansas.
Kansas hits the road for the first time in 2016-17 and travel to Memphis on Sunday, Nov. 20. Tipoff is slated for 2 p.m., on the Jayhawk Radio Network. KU returns to Allen Fieldhouse on Wednesday, Nov. 23 when hosting Oral Roberts at 6 p.m., on the Jayhawk Television Network and the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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