Kansas drops overtime heartbreaker at St. John’s, 65-53
LAWRENCE, Kan. – For first time this season, Kansas women’s basketball needed overtime to decide the outcome of its first road contest after a last second shot was a 10th of a second too late. After 14 lead changes in 45 minutes, St. John’s finished on top, downing Kansas, 65-53, on Monday night inside Carnesecca Arena.
After a last-second bucket by junior forward Austin Richardson was waved off by the officials, the game was sent into an extra period after the Red Storm (7-3) tied the game in the final seconds of regulation. Following Richardson’s near game-winning shot, the Jayhawks’ (8-2) offense went cold and didn’t get a field goal to fall in overtime, as St. John’s outscored Kansas 14-2 in added time.
The Jayhawks were led by junior guards Brianna Osorio and Christalah Lyons who netted 14 and 12 points, respectively. Lyon’s 12 points notches the ninth time this season the Dallas, Texas native scored in double figures.
Junior center Chelsea Lott and senior guard Eboni Watts each notched career-high scoring and rebounding performances. Lott netted four points and grabbed five rebounds, while Watts scored five points and brought down six boards.
St. John’s was led by four players who scored 10 points or more. Junior guard Akina Wllere led all scorers with 18 points, five rebounds and four assists. Senior forward Maya Singleton was the only player on either team to register a double-double netting 14 points and bringing down 24 rebounds. Sophomore guard Alisha Kebbe and freshman guard Qadashah Hoppie added 11 and 10 points, respectively.
After starting the game on an 8-3 run, the Red Storm’s shots stopped falling, shooting just 1-of-12 from the field to end the period. During St. John’s four-and-a-half-minute scoring drought, the Jayhawks went on an 8-0 run, featuring buckets from Lyons, redshirt-sophomore center Tyler Johnson and Richardson to give Kansas an 11-8 lead at the three-and-a-half-minute mark.
Five-straight points from Hoppie put St. John’s back on top by two, but a 3-point basket from Richardson and a layup from Lott gave the Jayhawks the lead, 16-13, to end the first quarter.
The Red Storm held the Jayhawks to just six points in the second period, while forcing nine KU turnovers. Despite holding St. John’s to shooting just 26.7 percent in the quarter and out rebounding the Red Storm 26-19 through the first 20 minutes of play, both teams’ struggles offensively in the quarter kept the game tied at 22 going into the locker room at the half.
St. John’s Singleton started the half off with a jumper before Osorio went on a 6-2 run to give Kansas a 28-26 lead in the early minutes of the second half. The Red Storm answered with a 5-0 run to regain the lead, but the Jayhawks continued to respond to each of the Red Storm’s run with buckets of their own.
A pair of free throws from freshman center Bailey Helgren cut the St. John’s lead to one. Osorio continued her impressive offensive period with her first 3-point bucket of the night to give Kansas a two-point lead. The Las Vegas, Nevada native netted 10 of her 14 points in the third quarter, shooting perfect from the field. The Jayhawks and Red Storm continued to battle back and forth as time in the third quarter expired, trading off on each of the last eight buckets heading into the final 10 minutes down 42-40.
St. John’s led by as many as five points in the first four minutes of the final quarter, but a series of Kansas offensive plays, including key free throws from Lyons and Watts put KU on top, 48-47, with under five minutes to play. Wellere knocked in two free throws from the charity stripe to give the Red Storm lead once again, but Richardson immediately responded with a jumper to give the Jayhawks a 50-49 lead.
Lyons connected on one of her two attempts from the free throw line to extend the KU lead to two, but a Singleton layup would tie the game up at 51 with 21 seconds remaining in the game. Richardson nailed a jumper at the buzzer that appeared to give Kansas the victory in the final seconds, but the bucket was waved off following review and the Jayhawks headed to overtime for the first time in the 2017-18 season.
The Red Storm netted seven-straight points before the Jayhawks could score in overtime. Kansas went cold in extra time, scoring only two points off of two free throws from junior guard Kylee Kopatich. St. John’s ended on a 7-0 run to hand Kansas its second loss of the season, 65-53.
The Jayhawks face Iona on Wednesday, December 20 inside Hynes Athletics Center. Kansas’ matchup with the Gaels will be broadcast on ESPN3 and the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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