Late Kansas run not enough to top No. 25 Iowa State
LAWRENCE, Kan. – A late run in the fourth quarter wasn’t enough for Kansas women’s basketball to earn its first Big 12 win of the season, falling 82-73 to No. 25 Iowa State on Saturday afternoon inside Allen Fieldhouse.
The Jayhawks (10-2, 0-1) were led by four seniors, including guard Christalah Lyons, who notched a career-high 24 points and dished out six assists. Kylee Kopatich and Austin Richardson added 14 points each, while Richardson grabbed eight rebounds. Sixth year Jessica Washington scored 12 points and tied her career-high of six assists to round out KU’s four double-digit scorers.
Iowa State (12-2, 2-0) was led by senior Bridget Carleton with 33 points, six rebounds and five assists. Carleton’s 33 points mark the second time this season that she has scored 30 points. Sophomore Kristin Scott and redshirt-senior Alexa Middleton added 17 points and 10 points, respectively.
In a battle of the two-best 3-point shooting teams in the Big 12, the Jayhawks relied heavily on the 3-point line in the opening 10 minutes. Kansas’ first three buckets of the afternoon all came from beyond the arc from three different Jayhawks. The last of the three long range shots came from Kopatich, who sparked a 9-0 run to give KU a 15-12 lead. The Cyclones ended the period on a 5-2 run to even the score, 17-17, heading into the second quarter.
Iowa State outscored the Jayhawks 22-12 in the second quarter, owning a 39-29 advantage at the halftime break. After making just one 3-pointer in the first period, Iowa State, the Big 12’s 3-point field goal leader, made four treys in the second quarter to the Jayhawks two. Despite being outscored by 10 in the second period, Kansas shot 45.5 percent from the field and 50 percent from long range.
The Kansas starting five was responsible for all 29 of the Jayhawks first half points with Lyons leading the way with nine points at the break.
A 13-3 Iowa State run to end the third period, giving the Cyclones their largest lead of the night. The Jayhawks were struggling to find an offensive groove that could match that of the Cyclones, shooting a game-low 35.7 percent in the third period.
When it seemed as if the Cyclones would walk away with their second-straight Big 12 victory with ease, the Jayhawks stormed back with a 23-6 run to cut the lead to five, but clutch free throw shooting by Carleton and Middleton secured a 82-73 win over the Jayhawks.
Kansas Head Coach Brandon Schneider
On Kansas’ ability to compete:
“We are going to compete. We have those kind of kids. We’ve got tough, hard-nosed, competitive kids, who have worked really hard to get better and we were without two of our top eight. I thought we had some guys step up today, but we had to play some people more minutes than we would like to with a couple of absences. Our kids aren’t going to quit and they won’t let each other. It has nothing to do with the coaches. We have finally got the culture that is player led enough that if you don’t play hard and compete, you are going to have some real issues in that locker room.
On the fourth quarter run:
“Obviously, we had to pick up our full court pressure and I thought we stirred them up a little bit. We were able to create some opportunities, but we also made shots. Made some big baskets and I think we cut it to five when we got the deflection that went off the official, which was just a tough break. One that if you are going to win games like this against a terrific opponent need to go our way and that one just didn’t go our way.”
Kansas sixth year guard Jessica Washington
On the fight of the Jayhawks:
It just shows that we’re a different group of girls this year. In the past, we might have folded, we didn’t today, we showed a lot of grit and a lot of toughness and that’s what we’ve been trying to shape our culture as. I think it’s nothing but positives we can learn from this game. We have a lot of conference left, so moving forward we know that we are a lot better than we’ve been in the past and that we can hang with the top two three teams in the league.
Kansas senior guard Kylee Kopatich
On what was the team telling each other while being down over 20 with 7 and a half minutes to go:
“That we belong here, that we belong in this league, this isn’t over and that we are plenty capable. We have the weapons on our team to come back and we did for a little bit, but we have to fix a few mistakes and get ready for Texas Tech.”
On playing for each other:
That just means we have a lot of seniors on our team. We have a lot of different paths coming together and a lot of us know that this is going to be our last year in college playing in front of this type of crowd and this type of environment, so we want to make the most out of everything even for each other.”
Iowa State Head Coach Bill Fennelly
On how Kansas played:
“You’ve got to give them credit. They competed, made some great shots at times and made it tough. This is going to be a really, really hard place to play. Kansas is going to be great.”
On Kansas’ improvement:
“What Brandon has done with this team and the way he’s built the culture here, the toughness, they’re really hard to defend. They coach hard, they play hard. Seniors, guard skills, well-coached, that’s hard to beat in this league. He’s doing a great job and they’re going to have a lot of fun moments here in women’s basketball here at Kansas.”
- Iowa State’s 52.7 percent from the field marked the best shooting percentage by a Kansas opponent this season.
- Kansas’ 12 3-pointers tie a season-high for long range buckets set previously at LSU (11/29). The Jayhawks have scored 11 or more 3-pointers four times this season.
- Senior guard Christalah Lyons scored a career-best 24 points for her first 20-point scoring effort of her senior campaign.
- Sixth year guard Jessica Washington tied her career-high of six assists for the third time in her career.
- Kansas’ 30 points in the fourth quarter are just the second time that the Jayhawks have scored at least 30 points in a single quarter this season. KU scored 31 points in the second quarter against Alabama A&M (11/18/18).
The Jayhawks hit the road for a two-game road tilt at Texas Tech and at Kansas State. Kansas and the Lady Raiders tip off on Wednesday, Jan. 9 at 7 p.m., inside United Spirit Arena. The game can be listened to on the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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