Kopatich leads Jayhawks in season-opener victory, 66-48
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Junior guard Kylee Kopatich’s career afternoon helped Kansas women’s basketball begin its 2017-18 campaign with a 66-48 victory over Campbell on Sunday afternoon, inside Allen Fieldhouse.
Kopatich led the Jayhawks (1-0) with a career-high game, scoring 21 points (6-of-10), including a career-high five 3-pointers. The Olathe, Kansas native added seven rebounds and five assists, tying her career high. Junior guard Christalah Lyons contributed 13 points and five assists, while junior guard Austin Richardson rounded out the trio of double-figure scorers with 10 points and six rebounds.
The Fighting Camels (0-1) were led by senior guard Summer Price with 18 points and freshman guard Tatyana Carver with 10 points, three rebounds and three assists.
Kopatich started things off from behind the arc for the Jayhawks giving KU an early 3-0 lead before Kansas faced a three-minute scoring drought. Richardson added a 3-pointer of her own to get the Jayhawks rolling again. The Fighting Camels struggled offensively throughout much of the first quarter, remaining scoreless throughout the first eight minutes of the game as Kansas went on a 17-0 run to start the season.
Campbell’s freshman forward Lauren McNamara-Clement’s 3-pointer put CU on the board with just under two minutes to play. Kansas’ defense held Campbell to just three points on 1-of-11 shooting and forced six turnovers and ended the first quarter with a 17-3 lead.
The Camels relied heavily on their 3-point shooting throughout the first half, notching all but two of their 17 points from long range. Carver led the way for Campbell in the second quarter connecting on both of her 3-point attempts in the period. Kopatich continued her impressive long-range shooting during KU’s 13-3 run in the second period, ending the first half with 17 points, two shy of matching her career-high.
The Jayhawks forced CU to another five-minute scoring drought in the second quarter, but senior guard Makala Rouse was able to cut into KU’s lead before the half. Rouse’s 3-pointer and half-ending jumper narrowed Campbell’s deficit to 35-17 going into the locker room.
Campbell outscored the Jayhawks 19-15 in the third quarter. A layup from senior forward Chayla Cheadle started off the half, but the Camels answered by going on a 10-0 run sparked by a layup from freshman forward Kyra Davis. Price and Carver followed with back-to-back 3-pointers, cutting the Jayhawks lead to 12. Kansas and Campbell battled back and forth throughout the period, but Kansas maintained a 50-36 lead going into the final quarter.
After two minutes of no baskets for either team, Kopatich got KU’s offense started with a pair of free throws. Junior guard Brianna Osorio added five-straight points to put the Jayhawks up by 21 early in the fourth quarter. The Jayhawks continued to have an answer for everything the Camels threw at them, ending victorious with a 66-48 season-opener win.
Kansas continues its nine-game home stand against Texas Southern on Wednesday, November 15 at 7 p.m., inside Allen Fieldhouse. The game against the Lady Tigers will be broadcast on the Jayhawk Television Network/ESPN3 and the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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