LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas Women’s Basketball improved to 9-0 Sunday afternoon, defeating Wichita State in convincing fashion 72-52 at Allen Fieldhouse. The Jayhawks are now 9-0 for just the fourth time in program history and first time since opening the 2019-20 season 11-0.
The 20-point rout over Wichita State is good for Kansas’ seventh-straight win over an opponent by 20 or more points. The last time the Jayhawks had a seven-game streak with a winning margin of 20+ points came in 1980.
On Sunday, Kansas was led by the senior duo of Zakiyah Franklin and Holly Kersgieter, who both poured in 16 points against the Shockers. Chandler Prater also added 10 points and four rebounds, while Taiyanna Jackson posted seven points and 13 rebounds.
Kansas was very efficient on the defensive end of the court, grabbing 15 steals and seven blocks as a team. The Jayhawks’ 15 steals are a season-high and the most since Dec. 5, 2018, against Nebraska. Prater and Kersgieter each had four steals, while Franklin had three and Sanna Strom had two. Jackson also tied her season-high in blocks with five.
“I thought we were really committed defensively today and we have been all year long. This group takes a lot of pride on the defensive end of the floor and trying to establish that as their identity.”
Head Coach Brandon Schneider
Both teams came out slow, but Kansas gained control of the lead late in the first quarter, 13-7. A three-pointer from Franklin sparked offense for the Jayhawks, resulting in a buzzer-beating layup from Kersgieter to end the first.
The Jayhawks held the Shockers to just seven points, the second time this season Kansas has held a team to less than 10 points in the first quarter (Dec. 4, 2022, vs. Southeast Missouri State).
Kansas led by eight, 31-23, at the half after an offensive second quarter. The Jayhawks kept busy on the defensive end, forcing 10 turnovers. Prater grabbed three steals and Franklin notched two. Jackson pulled in seven points and seven boards, leading both teams at the half individually.
Kersgieter caught fire right out of halftime, producing eight points for the Jayhawks. Franklin put up 11 points in the third and cashed in on a corner three-pointer for her second of the quarter. The game switched gears in the second half, with Franklin and Kersgieter both reaching double figure scoring in the third quarter to give Kansas a 19-point lead into the fourth.
Nadira Eltayeb scored her first points in the fourth, converting on an and-one left-hook in the paint to put Kansas up 63-43. The Jayhawks outscored the Shockers 41-29 in the second half to close out the game 72-52.
The Associated Press Top 25 poll will be released at 12 p.m CT on Monday while the WBCA Coaches Poll is released on Tuesday afternoon. The 9-0 Jayhawks are in position to garner a spot in the AP Poll for the first time since January 14, 2013. Kansas will then close out the non-conference home schedule on Friday, Dec. 16, against the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes. That game will tip off at 7 p.m. CT and be broadcasted on Big 12 NOW on ESPN+.
Kansas held Wichita State to only seven points in the first quarter, the second time the Jayhawks have held an opponent under 10 points in the first quarter (vs. SEMO, Dec. 4)
Mayberry scored seven points and tied her season-best with three assists. This is the third time she has dished out three assists this season (at Saint Mary’s (Nov. 26) & vs. Maine (Nov. 25).
Kersgieter finished with 16 points (6-of-12) and two assists. She has scored in double-figures in eight of the nine games played this season.
The Jayhawks have not trailed after the first quarter through nine games this season.
Jackson finished the game with game-highs in both rebounds (13) and blocks (5). This is the sixth time Jackson has finished with double-digit rebounds this season and the second time with five blocks.
KANSAS: THE LAST TIME (TEAM)
The Jayhawks swiped a season-high 15 steals, led by Kersgieter and Prater, both with four steals. This was the first time Kansas has had 15+ steals in a game since they had 15 steals at Nebraska on Dec. 5, 2018.