No. 3 Baylor tops Kansas, 88-51

WACO, Texas – Kansas women’s basketball stayed within reach of No. 3 Baylor for most of the first half, but a second offensive surge pushed the Lady Bears past the Jayhawks, 88-51, on Saturday afternoon inside the Ferrell Center.

After coming within in six points of the Baylor (25-1, 15-0 Big 12) lead on two separate occasions in the second quarter, the Jayhawks (11-15, 2-13 Big 12) couldn’t maintain their offensive pace in the latter half in Waco.

The Jayhawks were led by junior guard Christalah Lyons, who recorded 16 points, four rebounds and three assists. Lyons’ 16 points mark her 23rd double-digit scoring performance in 26 games during her debut year in the Crimson and Blue. Junior guard Kylee Kopatich was the only other Jayhawk to notch double figures, matching Lyons’ 16 points, while shooting 57 percent (4-of-7) from beyond the arc.

Four Baylor starters netted double digits in the Lady Bears’ 22-straight victory. Senior guard Kristy Wallace led all scorers with 26 points behind 5-of-7 shooting from the 3-point line, while adding six rebounds and four assists. Junior center Kalani Brown followed with 20 points and eight rebounds. Sophomore forward Lauren Cox and senior forward Dekeyia Cohen added 11 points each in the Lady Bears’ victory.

Kopatich paced the Kansas offense in the opening 10 minutes, giving KU a 3-2 lead early on over the Lady Bears with a long range basket. The Olathe, Kansas native knocked in a second 3-pointer to keep the Jayhawks within six at the 5:22 mark, but Baylor netted nine-straight points to take a 21-6 advantage with just over three minutes remaining. The Jayhawks ended the first period outscoring the Lady Bears 7-4, heading into the second quarter trailing, 25-13.

Lyons immediately cut Baylor’s lead to single digits with her first triple of the afternoon before the Lady Bears briefly extended their lead back to double figures with four-straight points from Brown. The Jayhawks answered with a 7-0 run that cut the BU lead, 29-23.

Lyons split up a pair of Wallace 3-pointers, keeping Kansas within 10 with five minutes remaining in the half as the Jayhawks continued battling the nationally-ranked Lady Bears. With under 3:54 left to play in the half, Kansas was within six points of the Baylor lead again, but the Lady Bears ended the second quarter on an 8-0 run to take back a double-digit lead, going into the locker room at the half up, 47-31.

The Jayhawks struggled offensively in the third quarter, scoring just nine points. Following buckets by sophomore guard Juicy Landrum and Brown to start the third period, Kansas knocked in five-straight points sparked by a Kopatich 3-point basket. The Lady Bears kept Kansas from scoring a field goal during the final four minutes of the quarter with KU’s only points in that time came from one free throw by junior forward Austin Richardson. BU ended the period on a 9-0 run, owning a 70-40 lead after the third quarter.

Kansas continued to put forth its best effort throughout the final 10 minutes of the game, but Baylor’s lead was too much to overcome in the fourth quarter. The Jayhawks continued making impressive plays, including a 6-0 run late in the game that was capped by 3-point play the old-fashioned way by junior center Chelsea Lott. The Lady Bears finished the game on a 5-1 run and swept the 2018 series with an 88-51 victory.

The Jayhawks face their second-straight ranked opponent against No. 21 Oklahoma State on Wednesday, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m., inside Allen Fieldhouse. The game will be broadcast on the Jayhawk Television Network/ ESPN3 and the Jayhawk Radio Network.



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