🏀 Jayhawks Edged by Mountaineers on Senior Day
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Three players scored in double figures for Kansas as the Jayhawks dropped a tight affair with No. 18 West Virginia, 72-68, Saturday afternoon at Allen Fieldhouse.
The Jayhawks fell to 7-15 on the season and 3-13 in Big 12 play. The Mountaineers improved to 18-4 and 12-4. The game served as Senior Day for Kansas, who honored Julie Brosseau before the game, before she started and scored five points.
The Jayhawks trailed by as many as 15 in the third quarter, but couldn’t quite complete the comeback against the top-20 ranked Mountaineers. Aniya Thomas led Kansas with a season-high 19 points, while Zakiyah Franklin added 18 and Holly Kersgieter had 12 points and eight rebounds.
West Virginia jumped out to an 8-2 lead to grab a six-point advantage, but then never led by that much again throughout the quarter. Brosseau knocked down a 3-pointer off a pass from Ioanna Chatzileonti to make it 8-5. Trailing 10-5, Katrine Jessen hit a layup and Kersgieter followed with a layup of her own to make it 10-9.
The Jayhawks again cut it to a one-point game when Kersgieter hit a pair of free throws to make it 14-13. The Mountaineers then extended their lead back to five, before Mia Vuksic hit a 3-pointer off a pass from Franklin to make it 18-16. West Virginia, however, scored the final bucket of the quarter with 32 seconds left to make it a four-point game at the end of the first.
The Mountaineers controlled the second quarter, outscoring the Jayhawks by six to take a 10-point lead into the locker room at halftime. Kersgieter and Vuksic had six points apiece at half to lead Kansas.
In the third quarter, West Virginia led by double digits for the first seven and a half minutes, before the Kansas offense came to life. Trailing by 12, 53-41, Thomas connected on a layup to make it a 10-point game, before hitting a 3-pointer less than a minute later to make it 53-46 in favor of the Mountaineers.
After a stop on the defensive end, Kersgieter hit a layup to make it a five-point game. Thomas then hit one of two from the line to make it a four-point game to mark the closest the Jayhawks had gotten since the first quarter.
West Virginia’s Jasmine Carson hit a layup with 38 seconds left in the third to make it a six point game, but Franklin hit a bucket with 10 seconds left to make it a four-point game heading into the final quarter.
The Mountaineers held the Jayhawks at bay through much of the quarter and kept their lead as the Jayhawks charged. Trailing by four with 1:27 to play, Kersgieter hit a pair of free throws to close it to two at 66-64. West Virginia responded with a basket, before Franklin hit a layup with 37 seconds left to get it back to two again.
A three-pointer by West Virginia extended the lead back to five, and Kansas would never get closer than three.
Katrine Jessen finished with a career-high eight rebounds in the loss for Kansas.
The Jayhawks will return to action Wednesday at Iowa State for a 6:30 p.m., tip.