🏀 Jayhawks Roll to Win in Season Opener
Lawrence, Kan. – Behind a 25-point performance from senior Aniya Thomas, the Kansas Jayhawks won their season opener on Wednesday, defeating SIU-Edwardsville 98-62 at Allen Fieldhouse.
Kansas is now 1-0 on the season, improving to 3-0 all-time against SIUE. Head coach Brandon Schneider is now 6-1 in season openers at KU.
“I thought we were good in spurts,” Schneider said following the game. “This time of year, you’re trying to develop an identity on the defensive end and some chemistry on the offensive end. We didn’t play exhibitions, we just played scrimmages, so there will be a lot for us to take from this game.”
The Jayhawks started the night with a quick 7-0 lead and never looked back. The Jayhawks had eight steals and scored 13 fast-break points in the first quarter as they built a 23-6 lead after 10 minutes of play. Sophomore Chandler Prater drew multiple Cougar fouls, going 5-6 from the free throw line, while sophomore Ioanna Chatzileonti and super-senior Julie Brosseau got the 3-pointers rolling.
In the second quarter, the Jayhawks continued to outpace the Cougars, dominating on offense. Senior Aniya Thomas found her footing and speed in the quarter with seven points, finishing multiple coast-to-coast fast break plays. Brosseau shot 100% from three-point range, going 3-of-3 in the quarter and 4-of-4 for the first half. The Jayhawks went into halftime with a 29-point lead, 46-17.
After SIUE outscored the Jayhawks 31-23 in the third quarter, Kansas controlled the fourth as they pulled away and finished two points shy of the century mark. The 98 points scored by the Jayhawks is the most in a season opener since defeating Oral Roberts 106-80 in the first game of the 2009-10 season.
Thomas led the Jayhawks with 25 points, while Brosseau had 17 and junior Zakiyah Franklin reached double figures with 11. KU shot 54.5% (36-of-66) from the field and hit 12-of-26 (46.2%) three-pointers on the night, matching the fifth-highest single-game mark in program history. The Jayhawks also knocked down 14-of-19 free throw attempts for a 73.7% clip.
The Jayhawks will play again this Sunday, Nov. 14, where they will host Tennessee State in Allen Fieldhouse. Tip-off is set for 2:00 p.m. and the game will be broadcast by Big 12 NOW on ESPN+.
- Junior center Taiyanna Jackson made her first start in a Jayhawk uniform and finished with five points, five steals, and two blocked shots, in addition to a game-high 10 rebounds.
- The 25 points scored by Aniya Thomas is three points off her career high of 28, which was set against TCU on February 8, 2020.
- Sophomore Katrine Jessen finished with a career-high three blocks, to go along with eight points and eight rebounds in 20 minutes of action.
- Julie Brosseau shot a perfect 5-of-5 from beyond the arc, finishing with 17 points in 21 minutes. Her five three-point field goals were her most since transferring to Kansas at the start of the 2020-21 season.
- The Kansas bench outscored SIUE’s 59-18 and the Jayhawks outscored the Cougars 31-0 in fast break points.
- The Jayhawks forced the Cougars into 26 turnovers, the most by an opponent since Nov. 30, 2019 at Florida Atlantic (26).
- Kansas shot 54.5% (36-of-66) from the field. That is the highest mark for KU since Nov. 17, 2019 vs. UMass Lowell (55.9%).