🏀 Franklin Fuels Jayhawks Rout of Maine
MORAGA, Calif. – On the day where she scored her 1,000th career point, senior guard Zakiyah Franklin produced a season-best 21 points to pace the Kansas Women’s Basketball team in a decisive, 76-49 victory over Maine in the opening game of the Saint Mary’s Thanksgiving Classic.
Franklin, who became the 31st player in program history to score 1,000 points as a Jayhawk, reached the milestone late in the first quarter with a three-pointer from the left corner. She didn’t stop there, however, as she went on to hit 10-of-16 field goal attempts for her eighth career game with 20 or more points.
"I thought our first group got us off to a good start against a tough group from Maine. They do a great job with their execution and they’re going to make you play deep in the clock. The thing I was most proud of today was our defensive stamina, being able to guard an entire shot clock, and the way we responded to coaching when we made a few adjustments at halftime."
The Jayhawks scored the first nine points of the game, but still found themselves facing a 12-11 deficit midway through the first quarter. KU went on another run, this time 13-0 as the Jayhawks went on to lead 26-14 at the end of the first. Late in the quarter, Franklin connected on a three-pointer from the left corner and surpassed the 1,000-point milestone for her career at Kansas.
KU’s lead remained at least six points throughout the entire second quarter before it ballooned to 16 on a pair of occurrences. Franklin led the way with 13 points off the bench while Taiyanna Jackson had 10 points and six rebounds in the first half as the Jayhawks took a 44-28 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The Jayhawks continued pulling away in the third quarter as they outscored the Black Bears 19-8 while holding Maine to just 3-of-11 shooting from the field. Holly Kersgieter hit a three-pointer right in front of the Kansas bench on the final possession of the quarter as KU took a 63-36 lead into the final frame. The lead would reach 31 in the fourth quarter before the final margin settled at 27 after the teams each scored 13 points.
Kansas shot 50% on the day, hitting 31-of-62 field goal attempts despite struggling from long range, where they finished just 2-of-15 from three-point range. The Jayhawks outrebounded Maine 40-28 and limited the Black Bears to 35.1% (20-57) shooting, while holding a second-straight opponent under 50 points. Additionally, KU’s swarming defense forced three five-second inbound violations and one 10-second backcourt violation as part of 18 total turnovers committed by Maine.
Franklin led the Jayhawks with 21 points, but she wasn’t alone as four other players reached double figures in scoring. Jackson finished one rebound shy of a third double-double in four games, totaling 14 points, nine rebounds and two blocked shots, while Wyvette Mayberry had 13 points in the game. Kersgieter added 11 points and Chandler Prater had 10 points and seven rebounds. Those five players accounted for 69 of KU’s 76 points in the game.
The Jayhawks, now 4-0 on the year for the second straight season and fifth time under head coach Brandon Schneider, will conclude the Thanksgiving Classic on Saturday, Nov. 26, against tournament-host Saint Mary’s. Tipoff of that game is set for 4 p.m. CT in Moraga.