Second half surge pushes No. 7 Texas past Kansas, 79-62
AUSTIN, Texas – Kansas women’s basketball headed into the halftime break with a two-point advantage, but No. 7 Texas stormed back in the second half to defeat the Jayhawks, 79-62, on Saturday afternoon inside the Frank C. Erwin Center.
After leading for the entire second quarter, a slow start in the third period from the Jayhawks (11-6, 2-4) allowed the Longhorns (14-2, 5-1) to capitalize and steal back the lead from early in the game. While Texas found its rhythm after intermission, KU continued efforts to get its early offense running again throughout the final 20 minutes.
Kansas’ offense was paced by junior guard Christalah Lyons’ 20 points (6-of-11). The 20-point performance is the second of the season for the Dallas, Texas native. Junior guard Brianna Osorio continued her offensive presence in Big 12 play, adding 13 points, including three 3-pointers, and eight rebounds. Junior guard Austin Richardson fell just shy of notching double digits with nine points, while grabbing six rebounds.
Four UT players notched double-digit scoring efforts in the Longhorns’ victory over the Jayhawks. Senior guard Ariel Atkins led all scorers with 22 points and nine rebounds, falling just shy of a double-double. Junior guard Lashann Higgs and sophomore guard Alecia Sutton added 17 and 14 points, respectively, while sophomore guard/forward Joyner Holmes rounded out Texas’ double-figure scorers with 11 points.
Higgs tipped things off for the Longhorns, knocking in a long-range basket in the opening 15 seconds to give UT a 3-0 lead. Osorio answered for the Jayhawks with a 3-pointer of her own to tie the game up at three a minute and a half into the game.
The Jayhawks and Longhorns traded off the next four baskets before Texas outscored Kansas 8-2 to take a 15-10 lead with three and a half minutes remaining in the period. Kansas took back an 18-13 lead with an 8-0 run capped by a 3-pointer from junior guard Kylee Kopatich.
Sophomore guard/forward Jada Underwood knocked in one free throw for UT’s only point in the final three minutes of the quarter that narrowed the lead to two, but Lyons ended the opening 10 minutes with a layup to keep the Jayhawks up 20-16 going into the second period.
The Jayhawks and Longhorns matched nearly every shot taken with KU’s lead never exceeding five in the second quarter. Freshman guard Chasity Patterson and Sutton netted back-to-back buckets to even the game at 26, but Kansas responded with the next five points to keep a 31-26 lead.
Holmes and Higgs narrowed Texas’ deficit to two with a layup and a free throw, but the Jayhawks held onto a 31-29 lead going into the locker room at the half.
Texas started the half off outscoring the Jayhawks 18-4 in the opening six minutes of the quarter to take a 12-point lead. KU’s only points came from Richardson’s jumper and layup.
The Jayhawks began knocking down shots in the final four minutes, outscoring Texas 15-10 to come back within seven. After trailing by as many as 14 in the third quarter, Kansas went into the final 10 minutes down, 57-50.
Kansas narrowed the margin to five on two separate occasions in the fourth quarter, but once the Longhorns took a double-digit lead at the five-minute mark, they never looked back. Texas ended the game on a 13-0 run to secure the 79-62 victory.
The Jayhawks head home to conclude their two-game series with Texas Tech on Wednesday, Jan. 17 at 7 p.m., inside Allen Fieldhouse.
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