🏀 Jayhawks Take Down Vanderbilt 74-67 in Big 12/SEC Challenge
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas Jayhawks won the Big 12/SEC Challenge matchup against Vanderbilt 74-67 on Sunday afternoon at Allen Fieldhouse.
The win improves Kansas to 7-1 on the year, while Vanderbilt falls to 5-5. The victory also keeps the Jayhawks undefeated at home this season.
Three Jayhawks scored in double-figures, led by Holly Kersgieter with 16 points. She was followed closely by Aniya Thomas and Taiyanna Jackson with 15 apiece. Thomas hit a pair of milestones in Sunday’s game, scoring her 800th career point while also hitting her 100th career three-pointer.
Vanderbilt got off to a quick start against the Jayhawks, taking an early 8-3 lead, but that lead was erased by the end of the quarter as KU used an 8-0 run to lead 15-12 at the end of the first. The Commodores held KU to just four points in the second quarter and took a 28-19 lead into halftime.
The game changed drastically in the second half as KU came storming out of the locker room and used an 11-0 run in the third to regain the lead. The Jayhawks outscored Vandy 27-15 in the third quarter and extended to lead to 10 points on multiple occasions early in the fourth. The Commodores cut the lead to three with 2:17 to play, but it was Thomas who had the answer with a three-pointer of her own, pushing the KU advantage to 62-56 with just under two minutes to play.
Kansas hit 11-of-11 free throws in the fourth quarter to close out the victory, while shooting a season-best 91.3% (21-of-23) from the line for the game. The Jayhawks recovered from a slow second-quarter and still shot 50% (24-of-48) from the field. KU had their biggest advantage in the paint, outscoring Vanderbilt 36-to-14.
"The main adjustment we made was to player tougher and harder and I thought we did that in the second half. We did all the things that require more toughness and competitive spirit and drive. That’s something that will be very important for us. I don’t care what you do as far as x’s and o’s, if the main ingredient of your team is physical toughness, the other team is in trouble."Kansas Head Coach Brandon Schneider
Kansas returns to action on Sunday, Dec. 12, against Santa Clara, in a non-conference matchup that will tip off at 2 p.m. from Allen Fieldhouse.
- Kansas shot 91.3% (21-of-23) from the free throw line on Sunday, recording the highest free-throw percentage since January, 30 2019, vs. Oklahoma (94.1%; 32-of-34)
- The Jayhawks shot 50% (24-of-48) for the game, marking the fourth time this season that KU has shot 50% or better from the field.
- Kansas scored nearly half of its 74 points inside the paint against Vanderbilt. The Jayhawks held a 36-to-14 in the paint, for a +22 margin.
- Ioanna Chatzileonti matched her career-high with nine rebounds and surpassed the 200-career rebound mark in the game.
- For the sixth time this season, three or more Jayhawks scored 10+ points in a game.