🏀 Kansas Clipped by West Virginia, 62-60
MORGANTOWN, W. Va. – A late rally by Kansas fell just short as a Taiyanna Jackson lay-in attempt in the closing seconds fell off the rim, allowing West Virginia to claim a 62-60 victory over the Jayhawks on Wednesday evening at WVU Coliseum.
Trailing 60-51 with 4:19 to play, Kansas held WVU to just two points the rest of the way, while rallying to within two, 62-60, following a steal and layup by Wyvette Mayberry with nine seconds remaining. After KU fouled three times, WVU missed a pair of free throws, giving the Jayhawks possession in the front court with a chance to tie or win the game. Zakiyah Franklin got the ball in to Jackson, who’s attempt sat on the rim and bounced off as time expired.
The loss drops Kansas to 16-8 on the year and 6-7 in Big 12 play, while the Mountaineers move to 16-8 (7-6 Big 12) this season.
Jackson was nearly perfect on the night as she led the Jayhawks with 20 points on 9-of-10 shooting and finished one rebound shy of a double-double with nine boards. She added four blocked shots and one steal in the game. Franklin matched her career-high with four made three-pointers and totaled 16 points and five assists, while Mayberry also reached double figures with 13 points and six assists.
Kansas had a 32-to-20 advantage in points in the paint and shot 42.5% from the field, compared to 38.3% for WVU. The Mountaineers made up the difference by turning 15 KU turnovers into 22 points and hitting six more three-pointers than the Jayhawks.
Kansas rushed out to an early 7-0 lead less than three minutes into the game and led early in the early going until West Virginia used an 11-0 run to take its first lead of the game. Jackson hit a pair of free throws late in the quarter to stop the run and get KU back within three, 17-14, at the end of the first.
The Jayhawks shot the ball well in the second quarter, hitting 5-of-8 attempts from the field, but five KU turnovers allowed WVU to lead throughout. The Mountaineers used a 7-0 run in the middle of the quarter to build their largest lead of the half at 30-20, but the Jayhawks got back within four on a Franklin basket with just over a minute to play in the half. West Virginia pushed its lead back to seven on a three-pointer in the closing second of the half and led 36-29 at the break.
Jackson had eight of KU’s 14 points in the third quarter as the Jayhawks tried to cut into the WVU lead. Her second of back-to-back baskets late in the quarter had KU within three at 45-42, but another late three-pointer by West Virginia pushed the lead back to seven 50-43 as the third quarter proved to be a stalemate on the scoreboard.
The fourth quarter saw WVU lead by as many as nine, the final time at 60-51 before KU’s run 9-2 run to close out the game.
The Jayhawks are back home on Sunday, Feb. 19 to conclude the season series against No. 15 Oklahoma. Tipoff at Allen Fieldhouse is set for 2 p.m. CT on Big 12 NOW.