🏀 KU Battles #11/10 Tennessee, Falling 68-58

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Kansas Women’s Basketball suffered its first defeat of the 2021-22 season on Friday, Nov. 26, in the South Point Shootout, falling 68-58 to #11/10-ranked Tennessee at South Point Arena.

The Jayhawks were led by Holly Kersgeiter, who scored a season-high 19 points and recorded eight rebounds, three assists and three steals. She was KU’s lone player to score in double figures, with Zakiyah Franklin and Mia Vuksic both scoring nine points apiece while Taiyanna Jackson chipped in eight points before fouling out in just 14 minutes of play.

Tennessee jumped out to a 13-3 lead with just over three minutes to play in the first quarter, holding the Jayhawks to just one field goal in the first seven minutes. Franklin and Vuksic reversed that with back-to-back three pointers, followed by a pair of free throws from Kergieter as KU finished the quarter on an 8-0 run to cut the deficit to 13-11.

Kansas’ run continued into the second quarter as the Jayhawks scored the first four points of the period and took a 15-13 lead following a fast break layup from Aniya Thomas. The next 11 points went to the Volunteers, but Kersgieter hit a pair of three-pointers down the stretch to help KU get within three, 28-25, at halftime.

KU would hold tight in second half, keeping the game within single digits for most of the half, but they were unable to get any closer than within five points. UT outscored the Jayhawks 40-33 in the final 20 minutes, hitting three more field goals and one more free throw than KU, despite each team attempting the same number of field goals.

The Jayhawks were held to a season-low 30.8% shooting, hitting 20-of-65 field goal attempts while also shooting 30.0% (6-of-20) from three-point range. KU held Tennessee to 33.3% shooting, but the Volunteers outrebounded the Jayhawks 55-to-38 and attempted 13 more field goals for the game. UT had the edge in second-chance points, 19-7, but KU was able to get out in transition more effectively, scoring 17 fast break points compared to 14 for the Vols.

"I thought we played extremely hard and competed. We understood the physicality that was going to take place and we never backed down, but most importantly, we played with great belief and a sense of belonging on the floor against a Top 10 team. Defensively, I thought we stuck to the game plan and did some good things. Offensively, we never really got in sync. They made us work for every clean look we got and for that you have to give UT credit."

Head Coach Brandon Schneider

Kansas, now 4-1 on the year, returns to action on Saturday, Nov. 27, with their second game of the South Point Shootout against UTEP. That game will tip off at 8 pm CT from the South Point Arena.