LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas Women’s Basketball improved to 9-0 on Sunday afternoon, convincingly beating Wichita State 72-52 at Allen Fieldhouse. The Jayhawks are now 9-0 for just the fourth time in program history and the first since opening the 2019-20 season at 11-0.
The 20-point loss to Wichita State marks Kansas’ seventh consecutive victory over an opponent by 20 or more points. The last time the Jayhawks had a seven-game streak with a winning margin of more than 20 points was in 1980.
On Sunday, Kansas was led by the senior duo of Zakiyah Franklin and Holly Kersgieter, both of whom brought 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 field, taking 15 steals and seven blocks as a team. The Jayhawks’ 15 steals are a season record and the most since December 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’ve been all year. This group is very proud of the defensive end of the floor and is trying to establish that as their identity.”
Head Coach Brandon Schneider
Both teams came out slow, but Kansas took control of the lead late in the first quarter, 13-7. A three-pointer from Franklin set off a charge for the Jayhawks, resulting in a buzzing layup from Kersgieter to end the first.
The Jayhawks held the Shockers to just seven points, the second time this season, Kansas held a team to less than 10 points in the first quarter (December 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 recorded two. Jackson racked up seven points and seven boards to lead both teams individually at the half.
Kersgieter caught fire immediately after halftime and yielded eight runs for the Jayhawks. Franklin scored 11 runs in the third inning and converted a three-pointer on corner for her second of the quarter. The game shifted gears in the second half, with Franklin and Kersgieter both scoring double digits in the third quarter to give Kansas a 19-point lead in the fourth.
Nadira Eltayeb scored her first runs in the fourth inning and converted an and-one left hook to put Kansas up 63-43. The Jayhawks defeated the Shockers 41-29 in the second half to finish the game 72-52.
The Associated Press Top 25 poll will be released Monday at noon CT, while the WBCA Coaches poll will be released Tuesday afternoon. The 9-0 Jayhawks are in position to clinch a spot in the AP Poll for the first time since January 14, 2013. Kansas then closes out the non-conference home schedule on Friday, December 16 against the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes. That game kicks off at 7 p.m. CT and airs NOW on Big 12 on ESPN+.
Kansas held Wichita State to just seven points in the first quarter, the second time the Jayhawks held an opponent under 10 points in the first quarter (vs. SEMO, Dec. 4)
Mayberry scored seven points and tied her season-high with three assists. This is the third time she has three assists this season (at Saint Mary’s (November 26) & vs. Maine (November 25).
Kersgieter finished with 16 points (6 of 12) and two assists. She scored in double digits in eight of the nine games played this season.
The Jayhawks have not trailed after the first quarter to 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 swept a season-high 15 steals, led by Kersgieter and Prater, both with four steals. This was the first time Kansas had 15+ steals in a game since they had 15 steals in Nebraska on December 5, 2018.