Calvert, Cheadle lead Kansas to 68-58 road victory
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Junior guard Chayla Cheadle and redshirt sophomore guard McKenzie Calvert accounted for 42 points in Kansas’ first win of the season, a 68-58 decision, at Memphis on Sunday afternoon at Elma Roane Fieldhouse.
A trio of Jayhawks (1-2) netted career-high scoring efforts to lead KU’s offense at Memphis (2-2). Cheadle and Calvert each scored 21 points for the Jayhawks, a career-best for Cheadle and tied Calvert’s career-high mark. Sophomore guard Kylee Kopatich was the third KU player to finish the game in double digits with a career-high 16 points, including four from beyond the arc.
Memphis was led offensively by Taylor Williams, who ended the game with 18 points, while Cheyenne Creighton and Taylor Barnes had 16 and 10 points, respectively. After a cold start shooting from the field, Kansas ended the game making 45.3 percent of its shots from the field, while the Tigers only connected on 37.3 percent of their attempts. More impressively, KU shot 47.6 percent from the field sinking 10-of-21 attempts from long range.
The Jayhawks impressive stamina and energy throughout four quarters led to head coach Brandon Schneider’s first true road victory at the helm of the Kansas women’s basketball program. His other win away from Allen Fieldhouse came on a neutral court against TCU during the Big 12 Championship last season.
In the opening quarter, Kopatich scored five of KU’s first seven points, as the Jayhawks trailed Memphis by three early in the first period. On KU’s first possession coming out of the timeout, senior guard Timeka O’Neal sank a 3-pointer from the left side of the arc to even the score, 10-10. Memphis took control and the lead with six unanswered points, but redshirt junior guard Jessica Washington ended the Tiger run and brought Kansas within a possession with KU’s third 3-pointer of the game.
After the first 10 minutes of play, Kansas trailed the Tigers, 16-13. The Jayhawks shot 31 percent from the field compared to Memphis’ 54 percent. Although KU only connected on 5-of-16 attempts in the opening minute, including three from long range. The Jayhawks outrebounded the Tigers, 9-7, in opening 10 minutes.
With just over seven minutes to play in the first half, eight Jayhawks were ejected from the game, seven of which were ejected for leaving the bench. Following the substitutions, Kansas played the remainder of the game with six eligible players. Kopatich gave Kanas the lead with her second trey of the afternoon. Another Kopatich basket forced Memphis to call a timeout, as KU owned a 24-22 lead. The Jayhawks and Tigers traded buckets as the final minutes of the first half ticked away. Cheadle drove to the basket sealing a 29-26 advance for Kansas heading into the halftime break.
Kopatich led all scorers in the first half with 13, including a 3-of-6 mark from beyond the arc. KU finished the first half shooting 37 percent from the field, but connected on 40 percent of its shots from the 3-point line. Defensively, Kansas totaled seven steals in the first 20 minutes, which were converted into six points for the Jayhawks.
Kopatich opened the second half with her fourth 3-pointer of the night. Calvert followed with another KU trey, as Kansas’ lead grew, 35-30, over the Tigers. Cheadle stole the ball and took it to the other end for five unanswered KU points, giving the Jayhawks a 37-30 advantage. With just under five minutes to play in the third quarter, Kansas’ lead grew to 10 over Memphis, the first double-digit lead of the game.
In the final minutes of the third period, Calvert swiped KU’s ninth steal of the game and converted it into two more points for Kansas at the other end of the court. Calvert’s layup gave Kansas a 48-37 lead, KU’s largest advantage to that point in the game. The Jayhawks outscored the Tigers, 23-15, in the third quarter as Kansas shot 44.4 from the field, including a 2-of-9 mark from long range. The Jayhawks finished the game with 12 steals and 17 points off Memphis turnovers.
Halfway through the final period, Kansas amassed a 16-point lead over the home team, the largest lead of the day. Calvert led KU in the fourth quarter, scoring 9 of KU’s final 16 points in the game. Despite a late offensive surge by the Tigers, Kansas outlasted Memphis, 68-58.
Kansas returns to Allen Fieldhouse on Wednesday, Nov. 23 when hosting Oral Roberts at 6 p.m. The game will air on the Jayhawk Television Network and the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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