Lyons bolsters Jayhawks in wire-to-wire win over UMKC, 63-48
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Junior guard Christalah Lyons career night led the Jayhawks to a 63-48 victory over UMKC on Wednesday night inside Allen Fieldhouse.
Lyons led all scorers on the night with a career-high 22 points. She knocked in 12 of her 22 points in the third quarter, scoring all but five of the Jayhawks’ points in the period. The Dallas, Texas native’s 22 points marks the sixth-straight time this season that she’s notched a double-digit scoring effort. Lyons added six assists, tying her career high and five rebounds in the Jayhawks (6-0) win over the ‘Roos (0-6).
Junior guards Brianna Osorio and Austin Richardson also posted double-digit efforts, scoring 12 and 10 points, respectively. Richardson added nine rebounds, falling one shy of a double-double, and three assists. Osorio grabbed six rebounds and dished out three assists on top of her double-digit scoring night.
UMKC redshirt-junior forward Kristen Moore played all 40 minutes of the game and notched a double-double, scoring 18 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in the process. Senior guard Aries Washington followed closely behind with 15 points and six rebounds.
The Jayhawks set the offensive pace from the get-go with Osorio knocking down a 3-pointer for the first points of the night. UMKC’s Washington answered with a layup, but KU went on a 9-0 run in response to take a 12-2 lead. Following Washington’s bucket in the first minute of the game, the Kangaroos went scoreless for the four and a half minutes of the quarter.
Senior guard Samantha Waldron ended the drought with UMKC’s first 3-point basket of the game sparking some offense by the ‘Roos. Throughout the final minutes of the first period the Jayhawks and UMKC traded off buckets, allowing the ‘Roos to come within seven points, ending the quarter down 18-11.
The opening minutes of the second quarter were all about Richardson, who knocked down six-straight points to extend the Jayhawks lead to 13. Junior guard Kylee Kopatich finished off an 8-0 KU run with a layup. UMKC had yet to make a basket through the first four minutes of the period, but a free throw by senior forward Kiana Law would start some offensive movement for the ‘Roos.
Washington wove in and out of the Kansas defense to score and got fouled for a 3-point play opportunity, completing the play to narrow the deficit, 26-15. Richardson laid in another layup to maintain KU’s double-digit lead. Senior forward Chayla Cheadle added two buckets of her own to keep the momentum going for the Jayhawks, but a 3-pointer by Washington to end the half kept the ‘Roos within 11 going into the locker room.
Lyons was a major contributor for the Jayhawks offensively in the third quarter, starting the half off with back-to-back buckets to put Kansas up, 39-24. Waldron knocked in a layup for the ‘Roos that was quickly answered with a KU 5-0 run. Osorio’s layup and a 3-point play the old-fashioned way stretched the Jayhawks lead to 18 with five minutes to play in the period.
UMKC’s senior guard Daijane Dillard completed her own 3-point play as the ‘Roos continued to fight to stay in the game. Junior guard Kylee Kopatich broke up a potential run by the ‘Roos with a pair of free throws before Moore knocked down two straight buckets. Lyons added a 3-pointer and a jumper, scoring 12 out of KU’s 17 points in the third period. The ‘Roos ended the third quarter the same way they ended the second, this time with Waldron knocking down the long-range shot. The Jayhawks held onto a 52-38 lead going into the final 10 minutes of the game.
The ‘Roos and Jayhawks battled until the sound of the final buzzer as UMKC attempted a fourth quarter comeback. UMKC tipped off the period with a Moore layup, followed by a layup for the Jayhawks by Osorio. Kansas triumphed in the ‘Roos attempt to narrow the margin, never allowing UMKC to cut the lead to single digits. The Jayhawks finished the game on a 6-1 run to win their sixth-straight game, 63-48.
Kansas women’s basketball welcomes Arkansas to Allen Fieldhouse for the Big 12/SEC Challenge on Sunday, Dec. 3 at 2 p.m.
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