🏀 Kansas Falls in Big 12 Opener to No. 23/25 Oklahoma, 82-68
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas women’s basketball team opened its conference slate on Saturday by welcoming the No. 23/25 Oklahoma Sooners to Allen Fieldhouse, falling 82-68 in a hard-fought contest.
The Jayhawks fall to 9-2 (0-1 Big 12) on the season, while the Sooners rise to 13-2 (2-1 Big 12). Oklahoma improves its all-time series lead over Kansas, 44-33.
Saturday’s game against Oklahoma marked Kansas’ first game in 17 days, since last defeating Wichita State on the road on December 21. The Jayhawks now embark on their conference schedule with road games against TCU (January 10) and Texas (January 12) on deck.
The Jayhawks were led by four scorers in double-digits, including junior guard Holly Kersgieter (16 points), sophomore forward Ioanna Chatzileonti (12 points), junior center Taiyanna Jackson (12 points) and junior guard Zakiyah Franklin (11 points). Jackson paired 12 rebounds with her 12 points, marking her first career double-double.
“We had time to put in a game plan with practice and a shoot around and we just made too many errors for a night where you’re not making shots,” head coach Brandon Schneider said. “We will take a bit of time tomorrow to learn from those mistakes and obviously we have a one-day prep for TCU on Monday.”
It was a back-and-forth contest early in the first quarter, until Kansas was able to pull ahead, 18-10 off a 9-0 run, with all nine of those points coming in the paint. The Jayhawks were able to extend their first quarter lead to 26-14 behind 18 points in the paint and a game-high 7 points from Franklin.
The Sooners were able to come marching back in the second quarter, rattling off a 15-2 run to trail by three at 32-29 with 4:41 to go in the half. The Jayhawks would hold the halftime lead, 39-37 at the break, led by Franklin’s 9 points, while Kersgieter added 8 points. Kansas shot 47.1 percent (16-of-34) from the floor in the half.
Oklahoma was able to overcome the deficit in the second half, in large part due to the shooting of senior guard Taylor Robertson and senior guard Matti Williams. The duo combined for 44 of the team’s 82 points, with Robertson leading the game with 24 points on 8-of-11 from the field and 4-of-6 from beyond the arc.
Oklahoma would pull away in the final minutes of the game, shooting 43.8 percent (28-of-64) from the floor as a team. Kansas shot 37.9 percent (25-of-66), scoring 44 of their 68 points in the paint.
The Jayhawks will hit the road for the first time in 2022, when Kansas takes on TCU in Fort Worth, Texas, on January 10. Kansas will then continue its Texas tour to take on the Longhorns in Austin, Texas, on January 12.
- Four Jayhawks scored in double-figures on Saturday, marking the sixth game this season with four or more players in double-figures scoring. The Jayhawks have had four players in double-figures in each of the last three games.
- Junior guard Holly Kersgieter led in scoring for the Jayhawks on Saturday, scoring 16 points on 5-of-15 from the field. Kersgieter’s 16 points mark her seventh double-digit performance of the season, including her sixth straight.
- Junior center Taiyanna Jackson scored 12 points on 4-of-9 from the field, marking her fifth double-digit scoring effort of the season and fourth in the last five games. Jackson added 12 rebounds and a pair of blocks, registering her first-career double-double as a Jayhawk.
- Junior guard Zakiyah Franklin also reached double-figures in scoring on Saturday, scoring 11 points on 4-of-9 from the floor in 26 minutes of play. Franklin marks her seventh game in double figures.
- Sophomore forward Ioanna Chatzileonti was the final Jayhawk in double-figures on Saturday, scoring 12 points on 5-of-9 from the field. Chatzileonti has now scored in double-digits in four games this season.