Trio of Jayhawks lift Kansas over Texas Southern, 72-37

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas women’s basketball won its second-straight game of the season after topping Texas Southern, 72-37, on Wednesday night inside Allen Fieldhouse.

A trio of Jayhawks (2-0) netted double figures to lead the way in KU’s fifth-consecutive win over the Lady Tigers (0-2). Junior guard Kylee Kopatich netted 19 points (6-of-11), two shy of tying her career-high, and added four rebounds and two assists to lead the team. Kopatich has led all scorers in back-to-back games to open her third season in the Crimson and Blue. Junior guard Christalah Lyons notched 17 points, four rebounds and four assists, while junior guard Brianna Osorio added 15 points to round out the trio of double-digit scorers.

The Lady Tigers were led by senior guard Kaitlyn Palmer with 14 points and junior center Artavia Ford with nine points, five rebounds and three blocks.

The Jayhawks started the game with a 6-0 run, which Osorio began with a layup and followed up with back-to-back layups from Kopatich. Despite the quick start, the Lady Tigers didn’t let KU take control of the game. After shots started falling for Texas Southern, Kansas’ shot went cold. KU ended the first quarter shooting 1-for-12 from the field, allowing the Lady Tigers to come within two to end the period, 16-14.

Kansas settled into its groove in the second period, starting the quarter off on a 13-0 run. Texas Southern struggled offensively, going without a basket for the first six minutes of the second quarter. Junior center Catherine Okwilagwe ended the Jayhawks run briefly with a layup, but Kopatich drained a 3-point basket to start an 11-0 run that would end the half, as the Jayhawks headed to the locker room with the lead, 40-16. Defensively, KU held Texas Southern to two points in the second period and forced 10 turnovers. The Jayhawks limited their opponents to 17 or less first-half points in their first the games of the season.

The Lady Tigers started the second half off with a pair of jumpers from Palmer and sophomore guard Niya Mitchell, but Kansas answered nearly every shot that Texas Southern took. TSU and the Jayhawks matched up closely throughout the third period with each team shooting 5-of-15 from the field. Kansas maintained a 51-28 lead going into the final 10 minutes of the game.
Kopatich began the fourth quarter with her third 3-pointer of the night to stretch KU’s lead to 28. After trading baskets throughout the first part of the quarter, the Jayhawks finished the night on a 9-2 run, holding the Lady Tigers scoreless for the final two minutes of the game. Kansas improved to 2-0 on the season with the 72-37 victory over Texas Southern.
The Jayhawks look to win their third-straight matchup against Yale on Sunday, November 19 at 1 p.m., inside Allen Fieldhouse.




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