🏀 Jayhawks Overcome Halftime Deficit for Seventh-Straight Win
LUBBOCK, Texas – Kansas overcame a 13-point halftime deficit to defeat the Texas Tech Red Raiders, 71-68, at the United Supermarkets Arena in Lubbock, Texas on Saturday, earning KU its seventh-straight victory in Big 12 play.
Kansas (19-5, 9-4 Big 12) trailed 38-25 at the halftime break, before outscoring Texas Tech (10-15, 3-11 Big 12), 46-30 in the second half, earning its seventh-straight win in Big 12 play, including the Jayhawks’ 10 league win this season. Kansas’ 10 wins in Big 12 play mark the first time since the 1999-2000 season the Jayhawks were able accomplish such a feat.
Kansas was led by 17 points from junior center Taiyanna Jackson, who was joined by three Jayhawks in double-figures, including sophomore forward Ioanna Chatzioleonti (16 pts.), senior guard Aniya Thomas (14 pts.) and junior guard Holly Kersgieter (10 pts.).
“I’m so proud of this group and the resiliency and toughness that they showed today,” Head Coach Brandon Schneider said following the game. “They took it to us in the first half, but we battled back and competed a lot harder in the second half. Nobody displayed that more than Aniya Thomas, she was the difference maker for us today without a doubt.”
The Jayhawks were ice cold from the field in the first quarter, going more than six minutes without scoring while shooting 4-for-17 from the field. Despite its shooting woes, KU’s defense kept the Jayhawks close by holding Texas Tech to 15 points as the Lady Raiders led 15-9 after ten minutes of play. KU’s shooting woes would continue in the second quarter as Tech built a lead of 13, 38-25, at halftime.
Momentum turned the way of the Jayhawks early in the third quarter as KU had runs of 6-0 and 7-0 in the first five minutes to get back within two at 42-40. Tech would push the lead back to four before Aniya Thomas hit three-pointers on each of KU’s last two possessions in the quarter, giving the Jayhawks a 49-47 lead at the end of the third.
KU continued the momentum by scoring the first seven points of the fourth quarter to take its largest lead at 56-47. Texas Tech then went on a 7-0 run of their own to retake the lead at 59-58 with 2:27 remaining.
After a Zakiyah Franklin lay-in to even the score at 62, Thomas scored three-straight points to give KU a 65-62 lead with 1:17 to go.
Texas Tech responded with a 3-pointer to even it up at 65-65, followed by a layup by Chatzioleonti to regain the lead for the Jayhawks at 67-65. Texas Tech’s Vivian Gray responded with an and-one to give the Red Raiders a 68-67 lead with just over 30 seconds to play.
Trailing by one, Kansas put the ball in the hands of Kersgieter, who drove the lane and scored on a layup to give KU the lead with 24 seconds to go. The Jayhawks then stopped Texas Tech from scoring on their own end, before Kersgieter connected on a pair of free throws to win the game, 71-68.
The Jayhawks are back at Allen Fieldhouse next Wednesday, Feb. 23, to face No. 6/5 Iowa State. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. CT and the game will broadcast on Big 12 NOW on ESPN+.