🏀 Jayhawks Drop Tight Game to 5th-Ranked Bears
WACO, Texas – The Kansas Women’s Basketball team dropped a tight affair with No. 5/7 Baylor, 85-77, on Saturday afternoon at the Ferrell Center.
Coach Brandon Schneider’s team stuck with the Top-10 Bears throughout the game and led the hosts as late as midway through the third quarter. However, Baylor’s NaLyssa Smith had a career-high 31 points to go with 16 rebounds, helping the Bears hang on for a tough victory.
The Jayhawks dropped to 19-7 on the season and 10-6 in Big 12 Conference play. Baylor improved to 23-5 and 13-3 in league play.
Sophomore forward Ioanna Chatzileonti had a career-high 21 points for the Jayhawks in the setback, including the first two for Kansas in the game. Baylor opened up a small lead in the first quarter that never got bigger than five. Kansas took the lead when Julie Brosseau hit a 3-pointer off a pass from Chandler Prater to give the Jayhawks an 11-9 lead with 2:40 to play in the opening quarter.
After a 3-pointer from the Bears, Chatzileonti put the Jayhawks back in front at 13-12 when she converted on a jumper. But Baylor closed out the scoring in the first on a 3-pointer and held a 15-13 lead after the opening quarter.
Early in the second quarter, Baylor maintained its lead and led 20-19 at the 7:19 mark of the frame. But Kansas went on a 9-0 run to grab a 28-20 lead just past the midway mark of the second. Chatziletonti and Prater accounted for all nine points of the run for the Jayhawks.
Baylor responded with a run of its own, however, going on a 13-0 run to take a 33-28 lead with 55 seconds to play in the half. Holly Kersgieter scored four points over the next 32 seconds to cut the lead to one, but then three Baylor free throws – two by Smith – extended the lead back to four at 36-32 at halftime.
The Jayhawks and Bears battled through the early part of the third quarter and Kansas tied the game at 43 with 6:10 to play in the quarter when Prater hit a jumper. Kansas took a lead shortly after when Zakiyah Franklin scored to go up 45-43. Baylor’s Ja’mee Asberry hit a 3-pointer 15 seconds later to retake the lead once and for all.
The Bears pushed their lead to double digits later in the third, before Kansas eventually cut it to seven at the end of the quarter. Baylor led by as many as 10 in the fourth, but Kansas had one final run in it to make the game tight late. Trailing by six with just less than three minutes to play, Franklin scored an and-one to cut the lead to three at 75-72.
But Queen Egbo hit back-to-back buckets for the Bears to push the lead back to seven and ice the game.
Franklin finished with 17 points on 8-of-13 shooting for the Jayhawks, while Prater added 13 and Brosseau had 11.
Kansas will host Texas for Senior Night on Wednesday, March 2 at 7 p.m.