Balanced offensive attack leads KU women past Oklahoma
After hitting a career high of her own, Austin Richardson wanted to give a big hug to teammate Chelsea Lott, who also netted a career high with 10 points.
“(Chelsea) works hard everyday,” Richardson said. “I was so proud of her, she went out there and worked her butt off and didn’t back down from a challenge.”
The Kansas women’s basketball team claimed an 88-79 win over Oklahoma Wednesday night behind three 20-point scorers. Richardson, Kylee Kopatich and Christalah Lyons all hit the 20-point threshold, while Lott and Mariane De Carvalho each added 10 points, as well.
The last time the Jayhawks had two 20-point scorers was against UC Riverside in 2016, which was in Schneider’s first year with the Jayhawks. KU has not had three such scorers since 1995.
“Sometimes on the defensive end, a person will plug and leave a driver or shooter open,” Lyons said. “This time, they couldn’t leave anyone open because we’re all making the shots.”
In that specific home game against UC Riverside, a 90-84 win, Jessica Washington had 27 points and McKenzie Calvert had 30. Neither of those Jayhawks, who were hypothetically eligible, played. Calvert now plays for Moorhead State after transferring twice, and Washington did not play against Oklahoma with an ankle injury.
“We’ve struggled so much,” Schneider said. “Without having (Washington), we’ve really been searching for a third and – perhaps even fourth – scorer. It’s going to be really important moving forward, and even when we get her back, we’re a different team when we have four players in double figures.”
With a near-perfect day from the free-throw line, Kansas (12-7, 2-6 Big 12) only missed two attempts as a team from the charity stripe.The Jayhawks went 32-of-34, making 94 percent of their attempts on the night. It marked the eighth-highest clip in a single game in program history.
“We needed all of them,” Schneider said. “There were several areas of the game tonight we really demonstrated some mental toughness, stepping up there and making free throws or whatever that comes down to.”
After trailing by three points for most of the first half and surrendering a scoring run to the Sooners, Kansas took its first lead of the game halfway through the third quarter with a 12-0 run, which was highlighted by two fast break 3-pointers from Lyons and De Carvalho.
Lyons hit a bucket to get up 54-53 after a Sooners bucket, but Kansas continued to play like it had the lead, and held on. By the end of the game, there were eight lead changes and four ties.
Kansas entered the game after a winless road trip, where it scored 43 points against Texas and 53 against TCU.
“Our offense has really been anemic lately,” Schneider said. “I don’t think it’s an execution thing, I think we’re running good stuff, getting the right shots by the right people. We just had not made them.”
A standout for the Sooners’ defensive press, Madi Williams fouled out for the Sooners (5-14, 1-7 Big 12) with 7:15 to go in the game after playing. Three Sooners fouled out by the end of the game.
Kansas travels to face West Virginia at 2 p.m. Sunday.