🏀 Jayhawks Lose Close Affair to Longhorns
AUSTIN, Texas – The Kansas Jayhawks battled the No. 20/21 Texas Longhorns for 40 minutes Thursday night at the Frank Erwin Center, but came up short 79-72.
Kansas fell to 5-3 on the season and 1-1 in Big 12 play. Texas improved to 9-2 and 3-1 in the conference.
The Jayhawks, who hadn’t played since Dec. 29 against New Mexico State, were led by sophomore Holly Kersgieter, who finished with a team-high 20 points and nine rebounds. Zakiyah Franklin scored a season-high 15 points, while redshirt freshman Chandler Prater had a career-high 14 points. Julie Brosseau also scored in double figures with 10 points.
With just eight players available, Kansas came out competitive in the first half against Texas. The two teams traded leads four times in the first half with Texas eventually taking a 44-38 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Prater, who entered the contest never having scored more than six points in a game, had 12 in the first half alone. She was 5-of-6 from the floor, connecting on her lone 3-pointer. Kersgieter also had a strong first 20 minutes, scoring seven points and grabbing five rebounds.
The Jayhawks shot 53 percent both in the first and second quarters, connecting on 17 of 32 shots from the field.
The Longhorns stretched their lead to 10 early in the second half, but the Jayhawks responded, just like they did in the first half. Mia Vuksic hit a 3-pointer two minutes into the second half to cut the lead to seven at 48-41. Kersgieter then hit a 3-pointer of her own to get the Jayhawks within four at 48-44.
Texas used buckets from Charli Collier and Celeste Taylor late to stretch the lead to eight, but Kersgieter scored with two seconds left in the third to close the gap to 62-56 after three. Her late bucket gave her 18 points and seven rebounds heading into the final quarter.
Entering the fourth quarter, Kansas scored 42 of its 56 points in the paint.
The game remained close in the final quarter, with the Longhorns fighting to hold off the Jayhawks. Texas led by seven with 1:39 left in the game, and Kansas eventually cut it to five when Brosseau hit a 3-pointer with 43 seconds left. But Texas went 4-for-4 from the line down the stretch to secure the win and earn the hard-fought victory.
- Redshirt freshman Chandler Prater finished with a career-high 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field. Her previous career high was six points, which she had last time out against New Mexico State.
- Sophomore Holly Kersgieter scored 20 points to notch her third game this season with 20 or more points. She was 9-for-15 from the floor and added nine rebounds.
- Sophomore center Chisom Ajekwu had a career-high four points and a career-high four rebounds. She also added three blocks for the first three blocks of her career. She played a career-high 19 minutes.
- Sophomore guard Zakiyah Franklin tied her career high with five rebounds. She also added six assists, her second-best total this season.
- The Jayhawks outscored the Longhorns 46-28 in the paint. The Kansas bench also outscored the Texas bench, 20-10.
- Holly Kersgieter’s nine field goals made were the most by a Jayhawk this season. The previous high was seven.
- Julie Brosseau’s three 3-pointers are tied for the second-most by a Jayhawk this season.
- Zakiyah Franklin finished with a season-high 15 points; 10 off her career high set last season against Oklahoma.
The Jayhawks will travel to Fort Worth, Texas to take on TCU on Sunday at 1 p.m.