🏀 Jayhawks Open Season Wednesday Against SIUE
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The 54th season of intercollegiate women’s basketball at the University of Kansas tips off on Wednesday, Nov. 10, at 7 p.m. CT, as the Jayhawks host SIU-Edwardsville. The game will be broadcast by Big 12 NOW on ESPN+.
KU and SIU Edwardsville will both be opening the 2021-22 season on Wednesday night in what will be the third all-time meeting between the two programs.
The Jayhawks return four starters and nine letterwinners from last season, when they finished 7-18 overall and tied for ninth in the Big 12. Leading the way for KU is junior guard Holly Kersgieter, who was selected to the Preseason All-Big 12 Women’s Basketball team. She led the Jayhawks in scoring with 17.0 points per game as a sophomore, while also hitting a team-high 40 three-point field goals.
Kansas returns four players who averaged at least 20 minutes per game last season in Kersgieter, Zakiyah Franklin, Aniya Thomas and Ioanna Chatzileonti. Franklin has led the Jayhawks in assists in both of the past two seasons, and she ranked third on the team in scoring last year with 9.9 points per game. Thomas led the Jayhawks with 42 steals last season, ranking ninth in the conference, while also scoring 8.5 points per game. Chatzileonti recorded three double-doubles as a freshman and earned a spot on the Big 12 All-Freshman team by averaging 8.1 points and a team-leading 7.1 rebounds per game.
The Jayhawks are 5-1 in season openers under head coach Brandon Schneider, including victories in each of the past four years. Kansas Women’s Basketball is 42-11 all-time in season openers and has played the season opener at Allen Fieldhouse in each of the past 14 seasons. The last time KU started the season away from its home court was in 2006-07, when the Jayhawks played their first two games in Kansas City. The Jayhawks have an all-time record of 47-6 in the first home game of the season.
SIU Edwardsville is picked to finish eighth in the Ohio Valley Conference this season after going 6-19 overall and 3-17 in the OVC last season. The Cougars return their top seven scorers from last season, led by junior forward Ajulu Thatha, who led the team in both scoring (9.0 ppg) and rebounding (6.1 rpg) last season. Leading SIUE into Lawrence is first-year head coach Samantha Quigley Smith, who came to Edwardsville in April from Division II Lewis University.
Kansas will return to action on Sunday, Nov. 14, hosting Tennessee State in a game that will tip off at 2 pm from Allen Fieldhouse.