🏀 Blocks Record Falls as Jackson Leads Jayhawks Past Houston
LAWRENCE, Kan – Taiyanna Jackson‘s historic performance Thursday night led the Kansas Jayhawks to a 69-52 victory over Houston at Allen Fieldhouse. Jackson secured a double-double with 25 points and 15 rebounds, while tying the single-game school record with nine blocked shots.
With her ninth and final block Thursday, Jackson eclipsed Lisa Tate’s all-time program blocks record with the 270th of her career. Tate recorded 269 blocks as a Jayhawk from 1991-94 and held the record for 30 years before Jackson re-wrote the history books Thursday
Additionally, with her 37th career double-double, Jackson moved into third place in school history and also is now alone in third place for career rebounds with 931.
“That means a lot to me, I never thought I would come here and break that record,” Jackson said after the game of the blocks mark. “I can’t believe it; I’m so happy.”
The nine blocked shots are a new career-high for Jackson and matches the single game school record set twice by Tate, once in 1991 and once in 1993.
“Taiyanna was really active, and I thought did a great job of playing without fouling,” Kansas head coach Brandon Schneider said. “When you have nine blocks and two fouls, that’s showing great discipline. And now she has broken the school record in career blocks while playing a little over two and a half years. That’s exceptional.”
The win is the third in a row for Kansas as the Jayhawks improved to 13-10 on the year and moved back to .500 in league play at 6-6. KU also moved to 10-1 this season at Allen Fieldhouse.
Kansas jumped out to an early 11-4 lead with points contributed by four players, including four from Zakiyah Franklin. KU held the Cougars scoreless for more than three minutes during a stretch as they built the seven-point advantage early in the game.
Houston narrowed Kansas’s lead to two at 15-13 before Holly Kersgieter knocked down a three-pointer, making it 18-13 at the end of the first quarter. The super-seniors led the way in the first ten minutes as Franklin and Holly Kersgieter each had six points apiece. Franklin went 3-for-3 from the field in the first quarter and drew a charge on the defensive end.
Kansas started the second quarter on a 6-0 run backed by two Jackson baskets and a Wyvette Mayberry layup. Kansas led by as many as 12 at 26-14 with 5:46 to play in the half. Houston closed the gap within three at 30-27 before another Jackson bucket ended the half with KU leading 32-27.
Jackson, the reigning Big 12 Player of the Week, didn’t see her first points of the game until the second quarter, but still ended the half with 10 points and six rebounds.
Houston got within five early in the third quarter, but Jackson had 10 points in the quarter and sparked a 7-0 run to close the quarter. S’Mya Nichols nailed a three-point shot with just a minute to go, and Ryan Cobbins beat the buzzer with a lay up that had the Jayhawks in control, up 52-39 heading to the fourth.
The Jayhawks held the Cougars to 13 points in the fourth quarter, as the Cougars were just 2-for-18 from the floor in the final frame. Kansas used that defensive effort to stifle the Cougars and close out the 69-52 victory.
The Jayhawks host another Big 12 Conference newcomer on Wednesday, Feb. 14 as Cincinnati makes their first trip to Allen Fieldhouse. Tipoff is set for 6:30 p.m. CT and the game will be broadcast on Big 12 NOW on ESPN+.