Second Half Surge Leads Jayhawks Past Gators in Big 12/SEC Challenge, 76-66
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas Jayhawks started slow but were able to power through in an exciting 76-66 victory against the Florida Gators Sunday afternoon in Allen Fieldhouse. KU had five players score in double-digits for the second time this season. With this win, the team moves to an 8-0 record and is one of 15 Division I women’s basketball programs still undefeated.
The Jayhawks defense came out in the first quarter with 10 rebounds. On offense, KU put up 10 points early. Despite their effort, the Jayhawks were down 14-10 going into the second quarter.
After a slow start to the second quarter, KU went on a 10-point run to take the lead with 1:45 left. Six of the 10 points came by way of three-pointers from sophomore guard Brooklyn Mitchell and freshman guard Zakiyah Franklin. Kansas held the lead in the final seconds of the half, but a pair of free throws by Florida tied the game at 29 going into the locker room.
Kansas shot 64.3 percent (9-of-14) from the field and was 71.4 percent (5-of-7) from beyond the arc in the third quarter. Freshman guard Holly Kersgieter put up nine points in the quarter, making her the second-leading scorer.
In the final 10 minutes, the Jayhawks were able to pull away for the first time with a 10-point lead. The Gators fought for a comeback, but Kansas’ defense held Florida off and was able to win its Big 12/SEC Challenge matchup. Junior forward Tina Stephens put up eight points in the fourth quarter, collecting a total of 16 points. Stephens, along with Mitchell, led the Jayhawks as leading scorers with 16 points each.
The Jayhawks will continue non-conference play as it faces Saint Mary’s on Dec. 15 at 2 P.M. in Allen Fieldhouse. Tune in on Big 12 Now or ESPN+.
Aniya Thomas drives the lane and banks in the layup for the and1.
Holly Kersgieter drills a corner 3-pointer at the buzzer as the Jayhawks take a 52-47 lead into the fourth quarter.
Brooklyn Mitchell dishes it to Tina Stephens for the layup that sparked a 7-0 run for the Jayhawks.