🏀 Jayhawks Suffer Second Big 12 Setback at Iowa State
AMES, Iowa – The Kansas Jayhawks made a valiant effort to overcome a 16-point second half deficit at Iowa State on Wednesday, but came up just short, falling 69-61 to the Cyclones at Hilton Coliseum.
With the loss, Kansas falls to 7-6 on the year and 0-2 in Big 12 play, while ISU improves to 9-4 (2-0 Big 12) this season.
“That’s the nature of the game, momentum,” said Head Coach Brandon Schneider after the game. “Our shooting in the second quarter really hurt us. I thought we were getting good looks, but probably missed a few extra passes. I thought we missed Holly numerous times. The six threes by Iowa State in the third quarter is a killer. We have to make them dribble it and have to rotate quicker so we aren’t giving them those looks.”
The Jayhawks got off to a good start on both ends of the court, holding Iowa State to 4-of-11 field goal shooting in the first quarter while forcing six Cyclone turnovers. At the offensive end, Holly Kersgieter ignited a 13-2 run with a pair of three-pointers as KU led by as many as nine on two occasions, including a 17-8 lead at the end of the quarter. Four different Jayhawks scored in the opening quarter, including six points each for Kersgieter and Taiyanna Jackson.
S’Mya Nichols pushed the lead into double figures with a basket on KU’s opening possession of the second quarter, but the Jayhawks missed their next 12 field goals as Iowa State clawed back to within two at 20-18. Zakiyah Franklin ended the cold spell with a three-pointer, making it 24-18, but ISU scored the final six points of the quarter and knotted the score at 24-24 heading into halftime.
Iowa State retook the lead early in the second half and hit four three-pointers in just over four minutes to lead 38-29 with 5:58 to play in the third. An 8-0 run by ISU pushed the Cyclones lead to 46-31 with 3:05 to play in the quarter, but Kansas responded with six straight points on a three-pointer from Nichols and a fast break layup and free throw converted by Kersgieter to make it 46-37. ISU scored the final basket of the quarter with 1:55 to play and lead 48-37 heading to the fourth.
ISU increased its lead to 16 points on two occasions early in the fourth quarter, including a 59-43 with 6:52 to play. Kansas answered with a 10-0 run started by a Franklin three-pointer that got the Jayhawks within six at 59-53, the closest KU had been since early in the second half.
After Iowa State scored six of the next eight points to push their advantage to 11, 65-54, Kansas again made a run. Franklin and Nichols scored the next seven points for KU as a 7-1 run got the Jayhawks within five at 66-61 with 1:27 to play, but Iowa State scored the final three points of the game at the free throw line to close things out.
For the fifth time this season, Nichols led the way Kansas with 16 points in addition to team-highs of six rebounds, four assists and a career-high four steals. Kersgieter and Franklin also scored in double-figures, as Kersgieter finished with 14 points on 3-of-5 from beyond the arc while Franklin finished the evening with 15 points.
Kansas plays its second road game of the week with a trip to Lubbock, Texas to face Texas Tech on Saturday, Jan. 6. Tipoff from United Supermarkets Arena is set for 2:00 p.m. CT and the game will be broadcast on Big 12 NOW on ESPN+.