Jayhawk Insider: Richardson, seniors close out overtime win against Fort Hays State
By: Mitch George
LAWRENCE, Kan. — In a game that was decided in overtime, Kansas women’s basketball defeated Fort Hays State, 90-83, in an exhibition contest on Sunday afternoon in Allen Fieldhouse. The two teams combined to turn the ball over 37 times in a matchup that saw the lead change 12 times, but the KU veterans locked in down the stretch to edge the Tigers.
Despite his team’s issues controlling the ball in the beginning portion of the game, head coach Brandon Schneider was content with his seniors’ performance late in the game, particularly with senior guards Christalah Lyons and Brianna Osorio.
“Credit them both,” Schneider said. “They didn’t hang their heads, they didn’t pout, they continued to play. They ended up making some key plays on both ends for us.”
The Jayhawks relied on their experienced players to step up, such as Osorio, who finished the game with 16 points and five rebounds.
“They’re a tough team,” Osorio said of Fort Hays State. “My mindset was ‘we need to get the win, and I’m going to do anything it takes to get the win.'”
Fort Hays State finished last season with a record of 26-7, which earned the Tigers a berth into the NCAA Division II Tournament. FHSU was defeated by No. 10 Central Missouri in the second round.
Many Kansas players were bitten by the turnover bug in their first appearance on the hardwood this season, however senior forward Austin Richardson remained immune for the entirety of the game. She produced in all five major statistical categories with 17 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, four blocks and one steal without turning the ball over. Nine of her points came via three-point baskets, and her points and rebounds totals were both team-highs.
“I thought (Austin Richardson) made some big plays,” Schneider said. “(Fort Hays State forward Tatyana) Legette is a terrific player and Austin was assigned defending her most of the night, she made some plays on offense but I’m really proud of how Austin played defensively on Legette.”
In regard to the Fort Hays State team as a whole, Schneider noted that he didn’t think he could have asked for anything more out of an exhibition game. The Tigers were so competitive in all the toughness and hustle areas of the game, and that made the Jayhawks better.”
Apart from the senior play, freshman Brooklyn Mitchell was a bright spot in her first collegiate appearance. She demonstrated her elusive speed and decisive decision-making, which resulted in 17 points and four assists.
“It was pretty exciting,” the New Orleans native said. “It was a great feeling to get out there and put in what we’ve been doing in practice.”
The Jayhawks will host Washburn on Sunday in Allen Fieldhouse at 2 p.m. Last season, the Ichabods finished their campaign with a record of 20-10. The previous meeting between the two teams came in 2016, when Kansas won 81-57.
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