Kansas defense locks down Vermont in 77-36 victory
LAWRENCE, Kan. – With 11 different Jayhawks contributing to the score, an offensive explosion and a lockdown defensive effort from the opening tip to the final whistle led Kansas to a 77-36 win against Vermont on Sunday afternoon inside Allen Fieldhouse.
For just the 11th time, Kansas didn’t allow its opponent to score more than 36 points, marking one of the best defensive performances in KU’s 51-year history.
Despite a slow start in the opening quarter, it didn’t take long for the Jayhawks to find their rhythm and take a commanding lead. Senior Chelsea Lott’s first make of the afternoon launched a 24-5 run by the Jayhawks. The run began at the end of the first period and continued into the second quarter with seven different Jayhawks netting points, giving KU a 34-13 lead at the break.
Kansas’ stifling defense forced 14 Catamount turnovers in the first half. The Jayhawks made the most off of those chances, capitalizing with 14 points off the Catamount’s miscues, including a fast-break layup by Lott, who intercepted a pass at half court to spark a big Jayhawk run.
Kansas’ performance on the glass was key throughout the game, the Jayhawks grabbed a combined 19 offensive rebounds, including 12 in the first quarter. The Jayhawks also won the points in the paint battle, outscoring Vermont, 44-20.
With three players scoring in double figures, it was senior Brianna Osorio leading the way with 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting. Sixth year Jessica Washington added 13 points of her own, including a trio of triples, while senior Austin Richardson showed her consistency and unselfishness with 11 points and 7 rebounds.
Kansas’ double-digit lead bloomed to 50 in the fourth quarter and the win gave the Jayhawks a 10-1 record to close out nonconference play.
- Kansas held Vermont to just 13 points in the first half, which is the fewest points allowed in the first half since 2004 when Western Illinois was limited to just 13 first-half points.
- The Jayhawks limited the Catamounts to 36 points in the game, marking just the 11th time in program history that a KU opponent has scored 36 or less.
- Vermont scored just two points in the second quarter, which marks only the second time during the 2018-19 campaign that Kansas has held an opponent to single digits in a quarter. The Jayhawks previously held Iona to nine points (11/25).
- The Jayhawks’ made 30 field goals for the first time since Dec. 31, 2017 when they topped TCU, 86-77.
- Kansas’ 41-point win is the largest margin of victory for the Jayhawks in the 2018-19 season.
- The Jayhawks had just seven turnovers against the Catamounts, which marks the first time this season that Kansas has had single-digit turnovers.
- Senior center Chelsea Lott scored eight points in the first half, tying her career-high for the third time.
- Junior forward Mariane De Carvalho had a career-high six rebounds and was one of three Jayhawks with six or more rebounds on the night.
Kansas Head Coach Brandon Schneider
“To start the first quarter, I thought we were rusty offensively. We looked like a team that was coming off of a holiday break. For 40 minutes, I thought we played with a pretty stingy mentality on the defensive end. We played with a lot of intensity and I thought we gave great effort.”
On the run sparking the second quarter:
“I thought we were disruptive. I know Nicci (Niccolly Ramalho) played quite a bit in that first quarter and she really played under their point guard. When you see somebody out in front set the tone for your defense with good ball pressure, I think you really have to evaluate what kind of effort you’re giving by getting out in passing lanes. So, I just thought we were disruptive.”
On guarding Vermont’s leading scorer:
“She was in a little bit of foul trouble, but in the first three quarters we were able to maintain the matchups we wanted on her. I thought Austin (Richardson) and Nany (Mariane De Carvalho) did a good job. When we started going deeper into our bench, it created some favorable matchups and she took advantage of those. But, I thought collectively we played with a lot of pride in guarding her.
On the defensive intensity throughout:
“We set some goals and they know they’re going to be held accountable to those goals. So when you hold them accountable, it’s not hard to keep them interested.”
Sixth year guard Jessica Washington
On what Kansas did defensively today:
“We were just locked in. We had a goal set today from coach to keep them below a certain amount. I think we were just all in. It was a great defensive performance by the whole team.”
On how nonconference prepared them for Big 12 play:
“We have a lot of seniors on this team and we’ve experienced a different type of season. I feel like with the group of girls we have this season we can really surprise people. I think we still feel like we’re the underdogs, which pushes us every day in practice and just gives us another reason to prove people wrong.”
Senior guard Brianna Osorio
On holding Vermont to two points in the second quarter:
“I honestly didn’t know we held them to two points. We were just playing defense. We were locked in, getting into passing lanes, fronting the post because they were bigger and taller than us. I didn’t realize it, but like Jess said, it was a good defensive performance.”
The Jayhawks tip off Big 12 Conference play against Iowa State on Saturday, Jan. 5 at 1 p.m., inside Allen Fieldhouse. This marks the second-straight season that the Jayhawks begin league play against the Cyclones. The game will be broadcast on FSN and the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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