🏀 Jayhawks Fall to TCU in Big 12 Opener
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Kansas Jayhawks were eliminated from the 2023 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship Thursday evening, falling 57-52 to TCU at Municipal Arena.
Chandler Prater led the Jayhawks with her second career double-double, finishing with 21 points and 12 rebounds, while Holly Kersgieter was the only other Jayhawk in double figures with 11 points. Taiyanna Jackson matched her career-high with 21 rebounds – a KU record for the Big 12 Championship – but was limited to seven points on 3-of-13 shooting. Kansas’ leading scorer Zakiyah Franklin had a 14-game streak of scoring in double figures ended as she was held to six points.
The loss drops Kansas to 19-11 on the year, which is the record the Jayhawks will have on Selection Sunday as the NCAA Tournament field is unveiled.
Kansas scored six-straight points in the early going to take an 8-3 lead just over three minutes into the contest, which would be the Jayhawks largest lead of the first half. The Jayhawks hit just four field goals in the first quarter but went 6-of-8 from the free throw line to keep pace as the teams were tied at 15-15 after 10 minutes of play.
The game was tied three more times in the second quarter, the latest at 25-all, which was followed by a 5-0 run by Prater, who put the Jayhawks up 30-25 on a three-pointer with 1:50 to play in the half. Franklin scored on KU’s final possession of the half to send Kansas into the locker room up 32-28.
TCU used a 7-0 run out of the locker room to take a 35-34 lead, the first of five lead changes in the third quarter. After the teams finished exchanging the lead, the Horned Frogs used a 10-3 run to take their biggest lead, 47-41, before Zsofia Telegdy scored on KU’s final possession of the quarter to make it 47-43 at the end of three. Four of TCU’s six field goals in the quarter were three-pointers, while KU went 1-for-4 from deep in the third.
Jackson hit a pair of free throws early in the fourth quarter, pulling the Jayhawks within one at 47-46 with 8:32 to play. The Jayhawks held TCU to just nine field goal attempts in the fourth quarter, but KU simply couldn’t convert at the offensive end, going 3-of-20 from the field in the final 10 minutes of play. It was still a one possession game into the final minute of the game, before TCU finished things off with four free throws down the stretch to win by five.
Kansas shot a season-low 29.4 percent (20-of-68) from the field and connected on just 4-of-19 (21.1 percent) three-pointers in the contest. KU outrebounded TCU 55-to-38 and attempted 12 more shots than the Horned Frogs, but TCU hit eight three-pointers and had six players score more than eight points on the night.
Kansas awaits its NCAA postseason fate, which will be announced on Sunday, March 12 at 7 p.m. CT on ESPN. The Jayhawks are seeking the program’s second-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and 15th in program history.