🏀 Jayhawks Fall to Sooners in Big 12 Tournament Quarterfinals
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The fifth-seeded Kansas Women’s Basketball team was upended by fourth-seeded Oklahoma on Friday, 80-68, in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Championship at Municipal Auditorium.
The Jayhawks fell to 20-9 on the season, while No. 19/21 Oklahoma, avenging a loss just six days ago to Kansas, improved to 24-7.
Kansas was led by junior Taiynna Jackson, who had eight points, 12 rebounds and six blocks. With her six blocks, she now has 90 on the season, establishing a new single-season program record for blocks, passing Lisa Tate, who set the previous record of 88 during the 1992-93 season.
With the loss, the Jayhawks will now turn their attention to the NCAA Tournament, with the Selection Show set for Sunday night at 7 p.m., on ESPN.
The Jayhawks came out hot Friday and took an early lead over the Sooners. Kansas raced out to a 13-3 lead less than three minutes into the game. Trailing 3-2, the Jayhawks scored 11 straight, thanks to four points each from Ioanna Chatzileonti and Zakiyah Franklin and a 3-pointer from Julie Brosseau.
Oklahoma cut it to 15-12, but then Franklin hit a jumper and Chatzileonti hit back-to-back buckets to push the lead back to 21-12 at the 2:28 mark of the first quarter. Oklahoma, however, ended the quarter on an 8-0 run to trail by just one after the first quarter, 21-20.
The Sooners stayed hot in the second, starting the quarter on a 14-2 run to open up a 34-23 lead with 5:54 to play in the first half. Mia Vuksic hit a 3-pointer to stop the run and get the deficit back to eight. But that was as close as Kansas would get in the quarter as Oklahoma pushed its lead back to 13 at half, 45-32.
Oklahoma controlled the third quarter, leading by at least eight throughout the period and taking a 60-49 lead into the fourth quarter. The Jayhawks were down 60-46 right before the quarter ended when Franklin converted an and-one to bring the deficit to 11.
The Jayhawks had one final run, however. It came when Aniya Thomas scored five straight points herself to close the gap to six at 69-63 with 5:38 to play. But Kansas couldn’t get any closer as Oklahoma wrapped up the win down the stretch.
Franklin led all Jayhawks with 15 points on 5 of 9 shooting from the floor. She also added five assists and a career-high four steals. Thomas had 13 points and a season-high seven rebounds off the bench in 27 minutes, while Chatzileonti had 11 points. Holly Kersgieter had nine points and nine rebounds to go with a pair of assists. Madi Williams and Taylor Robertson led Oklahoma with 19 points apiece. Williams also had 11 rebounds and seven assists.