Sooners surge past Jayhawks, 72-52
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas women’s basketball couldn’t stop a late offensive surge by Oklahoma as the Jayhawks fell to the Sooners, 72-52, on Saturday night inside Allen Fieldhouse.
The Jayhawks (11-13, 2-11) were within one point of Oklahoma early on in the third quarter, but the Sooners (13-12, 8-6) responded with a late surge on the offensive end to push past the Jayhawks. OU gained momentum in the final 10 minutes of the game, shooting 76.6 percent from the field.
Junior guard Christalah Lyons led the Jayhawks with 16 points, her 21st double-digit scoring performance in 24 games for Kansas. Junior forward Austin Richardson and junior guard Brianna Osorio each netted 11 points, while junior guard Kylee Kopatich added 10 points in the second meeting of the regular season against the Sooners.
Five Oklahoma players notched double figures inside Allen Fieldhouse. Senior guard Gabbi Ortiz led the Sooners with 16 points and five assists. Graduate transfer guard Maddie Manning followed closely behind with 14 points, five rebounds and five assists. Junior forward Ijeoma Odimgbe and senior center Vionise Pierre-Louis each netted 11 points. Pierre-Louis fell just shy of a double-double adding nine rebounds, while freshman guard Ana Llanusa concluded the double-digit scorers for OU, netting 10 points.
The Jayhawks relied entirely on the free throw line for the first 10 minutes of the game with all seven of their first period points coming from the charity stripe. Despite its offensive struggles, Kansas was able to stay within single digits of Oklahoma until just under the three-minute mark. Oklahoma finished the first quarter on an 11-2 run sparked by a layup from guard Shaina Pellington to take a 17-7 lead going into the second period.
Lyons got KU’s offense going in the second period after knocking down back-to-back layups, narrowing the Sooners’ lead to five. Oklahoma quickly extended its lead back to 12 with a 7-0 run, but the Jayhawks never let the margin grow any larger.
KU netted five-straight points, including Kopatich’s first points of the night with a 3-point play the old-fashioned way, which put the Jayhawks within seven. Kansas continued to battle back and forth with the Sooners with each play down the floor and headed into the locker room down, 35-27, at the half.
Osorio scored five of Kansas’ seven unanswered points to start the second half and helped the Jayhawks to come within one point of the Sooners just two minutes into the third quarter. The Sooners followed the KU trend and netted the next 10 points to take back a double-digit lead with two and a half minutes remaining. Richardson sank two free throws for Kansas to narrow the margin back to nine, but OU kept ahold of a 12-point lead going into the final 10 minutes of the game.
The Jayhawks couldn’t get the momentum to swing their way in the final 10 minutes despite their best efforts. Kansas connected on back-to-back buckets to narrow its deficit to 12 midway through the fourth quarter, but Oklahoma had an answer for each of the Jayhawks’ baskets from that point on. With the late rally, Oklahoma swept the 2018 regular season series with a 72-52 victory.
The Jayhawks travel to Morgantown for a midweek tilt with West Virginia on Wednesday, Feb. 14 at 6 p.m. (CT), inside WVU Coliseum. The game will be broadcast on the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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