🏀 Franklin Leads Jayhawks Past West Virginia
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Led by a season-high 25 points from junior Zakiyah Franklin, the Kansas Jayhawks defeated West Virginia, 74-63, on Tuesday evening at Allen Fieldhouse.
With the win, the Jayhawks are now on a six-game winning streak in Big 12 Conference play for the first time since 1997 and have completed its first regular-season sweep of the Mountaineers. Kansas is now 18-5 on the season and 9-4 in Big 12 play, giving KU its most conference wins in a season since 1999-2000.
The Jayhawks pushed the inside game in the first half, dropping 24 of its 37 first half points in the paint. Scoring was a team effort, with seven Jayhawks posting numbers in the half. Franklin led the way with 14 points in the first half, including 10 in the first quarter as KU led 18-16.
The inside game continued into the second quarter as the Jayhawks answered Mountaineer scoring and never relinquished the lead. Kansas found a faster pace with four minutes left in the second quarter, sparked by a coast-to-coast layup from Franklin. Super-senior Julie Brosseau followed with two fast-break assists, one to redshirt-sophomore Chandler Prater and one to senior Aniya Thomas, which put KU on a 6-0 run that put the team up by eight. The margin would be trimmed by one as the Jayhawks led 35-28 at halftime.
Carrying over the momentum in the second half, the Jayhawks went on a 10-0 lead to start the third and shot 75% from the field. Brosseau, Thomas and junior Holly Kersgieter added some outside shooting into the mix, all draining three-pointers. Kansas tallied 29 third-quarter points and held the lead for the entirety of the quarter, finishing up 64-47.
The Mountaineers came back in the fourth and outscored the Jayhawks 16-10, but the damage had been done as KU finished off the 74-63 victory.
“I mean, Zakiyah was really good tonight and we really needed her,” Kansas Head Coach Brandon Schneider said after the game. “I thought she did a great job of attacking their pressure. To play 37 minutes against that kind of heat says a lot about her toughness and level of conditioning.”
Franklin led the Jayhawks in scoring Tuesday with her season-high, finishing with 25 points, three rebounds and four assists. Thomas followed with 12 points, while Kersgieter and Ioanna Chatzileonti had eight apiece. Taiyanna Jackson finished with seven points, nine rebounds and five blocked shots while Prater grabbed seven rebounds.
The Jayhawks will hit the road this week, facing the Texas Tech Red Raiders in Lubbock, Texas, on Saturday, Feb. 19, at 2:00 p.m. CT.
- Zakiyah Franklin scored 25 points against West Virginia, which marks a new season-high. Of those points, Franklin started with 10 points in the first quarter and went 4-for-4 from the field. This marks the most points in the first quarter by a Kansas player all year and the most points by an individual in any quarter since Ioanna Chatzileonti scored 11 in the fourth quarter against Oklahoma State on February 2.
- In the second quarter, Aniya Thomas scored her first basket of the night on a fast break layup which allowed her to surpass the 900-career point milestone.
- Holly Kersgieter is now tied with Angel Goodrich for the seventh-most career three-pointers made in Kansas Women’s Basketball history with 135.
- Tonight’s win over West Virginia completes the first regular-season sweep for the Jayhawks over West Virginia.
- With 5 blocks in tonight’s matchup, Taiyanna Jackson moves into sixth on KU’s single-season blocks list with 70.