🏀 Jayhawks Comeback Falls Short at KSU
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Despite eight blocks from Taiyanna Jackson and a furious fourth-quarter rally, the Kansas Jayhawks fell to in-state foe Kansas State in the Dillons Sunflower Showdown, 69-61, Wednesday night, Jan. 19, at Bramlage Coliseum.
The Jayhawks fell to 11-4 and 2-3 in Big 12 Conference play. Kansas State improved to 14-4 and 4-2 in league play.
Kansas trailed K-State 54-38 with 5:57 left, before eventually tying the game up at 59-all with 2:21 left. The Jayhawks used a 19-3 run to knot the score at 57, before the two teams traded buckets to get to 59. From there, Kansas State went on a 10-0 run to take a 69-59 lead with 27 seconds left and take control of the game for good.
Trailing by 16, Kansas got a bucket from Zakiyah Franklin and four straight free throws to make it a 10-point game. Holly Kersgieter than scored to make it an eight-point game. After a free throw from K-State, the Jayhawks got it to seven on a Franklin hoop and then cut the deficit to four when Kersgieter connected from deep on a 3-pointer.
K-State’s Ayoka Lee pushed it to six, but back-to-back 3-pointers from Aniya Thomas and Kersgieter tied the game at 57.
But Kansas State outscored the Jayhawks 12-4 down the stretch.
The Wildcats broke open their 16-point lead in the fourth after a close opening to the game. The Wildcats led 18-14 after the first quarter and just 26-25 at halftime. Kansas had six blocks and six steals in a first half that featured three lead changes and three ties.
But Kansas State outscored Kansas 19-11 in the third quarter to take a nine-point lead into the fourth quarter.
Thomas led the Jayhawks with 16 points, establishing a new conference high for her this season. It was her highest point output since scoring 19 in the second game of the season against Tennessee State. Kersgieter (14 points), Franklin (12 points) and Ioanna Chatzileonti (11 points) were all in double figures in the loss. Franklin also had team-highs in assists (six) and rebounds (six).
Jackson’s eight blocks were just one off the school record of nine set by Lisa Tate twice. Jackson also added five rebounds and a steal in 29 minutes. The eight blocks were the most since Tate also had eight in 1993 and matched the Bramlage Coliseum record for blocked shots by an opposing player.
The Jayhawks will return to the court on Saturday, Jan. 22, against Texas Tech at Allen Fieldhouse. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m. CT and the game will be broadcast on Big 12 NOW on ESPN+.