It would appear that this team plays their best basketball in the tightest situations.
For the 2nd straight game, the KU women’s basketball team went to overtime at Allen Fieldhouse and won, this time defeating the North Dakota Fighting Hawks by a final score of 76-71.
Kansas (3-2) started the game off on fire, putting together perhaps their best offensive quarter of the season in the 1st. They outscored North Dakota (1-4) by a score of 23-15, and looked to be well on their way to a victory.
Things would quickly change in the quarter to follow.
The Fighting Hawks turned the tables on the Jayhawks, going on a 13-0 run to end the 2nd quarter, and heading into halftime with a 4 point lead.
KU would continue to struggle in the 2nd half, trailing 60-50 with 6:56 left in the 4th quarter after a free throw by Lexi Klabo of North Dakota.
The struggles were most evident in sophomore guard Kylee Kopatich, who finished the game with 5 points on just 1-12 shooting from the field and 1-11 shooting from the three point line.
However, with just a little bit of time remaining on the clock, KU would turn up the energy on defense, implementing a full court press that North Dakota had no idea what to do with. Struggling to even get the ball in-bounds, they could not get into any rhythm offensively, something that Kansas would take advantage of.
On the shoulders of junior guard Jessica Washington and senior forward Caelynn Manning-Allen, the Jayhawks had cut the lead to 3 with just 30 seconds remaining.
Time and time again though, KU could not come up with a big three point shot, shooting just 7-28 from long distance to this point of the game. The Jayhawks needed a hero, similar to what Kopatich was for KU against Oral Roberts on Wednesday.
And an unlikely hero emerged.
Senior guard Timeka O’Neal, who was averaging just 10.5 minutes per game coming into Sunday afternoon, hit the biggest shot of the day, tying the game at 65.
After KU entered overtime and fell behind by four points, O’Neal was needed once again, and the senior delivered with yet another big three, cutting the deficit to one. O’Neal finished the game with 12 points on 4-7 shooting from the three point line.
From there, Manning-Allen would put the Jayhawks up by 1 with a couple of free throws, and KU never surrendered the lead again, winning by a final score of 76-71.
Next Game Information:
Kansas will travel to Omaha, Nebraska next to face off against the Creighton Blue Jays on Wednesday. The Blue Jays are 2-3 so far this season.