🏀 Kansas Falls to Defending National Champion Stanford in Round of 32
STANFORD, Calif. – The eighth-seeded Kansas Jayhawks saw their season come to an end Sunday night in the NCAA Tournament’s Round of 32, falling to defending national champion Stanford, 91-65, at Maples Pavilion.
Coach Brandon Schneider’s Jayhawks finish the season with a 21-10 mark. Top-seeded Stanford moved to 30-3 on the season and advanced to the Sweet 16.
Stanford led by just two at halftime, but outscored Kansas 58-34 in the second half, fueled by 25 second-half points from Lexie Hull, who finished with a career-high 36 points. The Cardinal shot 62 percent (21-34) from the floor in the second half and were 9 of 16 from 3-point range.
In the first half, Stanford built an early lead and continued to try to pull away, but Kansas always had a response. The Cardinal jumped out to a 5-0 lead just 90 seconds into the game, but back-to-back buckets from Zakiyah Franklin and Holly Kersgieter got it right back to one point at 5-4.
Leading 12-11 later in the first quarter, Hull hit a 3-pointer to push Stanford up four, and then another hoop extended the lead to six. Less than a minute later, Stanford extended its lead to its largest of the first half – seven – when Hannah Jump connected from deep to make it 20-13, Stanford with 1:55 to play in the opening quarter.
But Kansas got a jumper from Ioanna Chatzileonti and then after an Aniya Thomas offensive rebounds, Chatzileonti hit a 3-pointer from the corner off a pass from Franklin to make it 20-18 at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter was more of the same. Stanford led for the first eight-plus minutes of the quarter, but never by more than five points. Trailing 31-28 with 1:16 to play in the half, Julie Brosseau hit her first 3-pointer of the night to pull the Jayhawks even at 31 all. It marked the first tie since it was 8-8 at the 5:31 mark of the first quarter. Stanford got a bucket from Hull with 51 seconds left in the half to take a 33-31 lead at the break.
Chatzileonti led Kansas with nine points in the first half, including her second 3-pointer of the NCAA Tournament. She entered the tournament with two 3-pointers in 25 regular season games.
But in the second half, Stanford controlled the game and finished the third quarter on a 20-4 run to lead by 19 going into the fourth and continued to pull away over the game’s final 10 minutes.
The Jayhawks were led on the night by Franklin, who finished with 13 points, five rebounds and four assists. Chatzileonti finished with 11 points, while Taiyanna Jackson had eight points, six rebounds and three blocks.