🏀 TCU Skates by Kansas In First-Round Thriller

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Kansas (7-18) women’s basketball team fell 75-72 to TCU (10-14) in a thrilling first-round contest in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship. The Horned Frogs’ largest lead of the night was 16-points and the Jayhawks were able to close that margin to three in the fourth period.

Kansas raced out to a hot start in the opening stanza, scoring 22-points while holding TCU to only 13-points. The defense of the Jayhawks made itself known as the Horned Frogs ended the period shooting barely 21.1 percent from the floor, compared to KU’s 47.6 percent.

After finding their footing, TCU flipped the switch on Kansas outscoring them 23-14. This period tallied several ties with the final deadlock coming off a second chance paint layup from Chisom Ajekwu with 33 seconds left on the clock. Heading into halftime, the Jayhawks had tied the game at 36 all.

The third period was much of the same as these teams continued to go back-and-forth, neither ever really able to find much of a comfortable separation. Down the stretch the lead for TCU reached seven points, five times, and at the most of 10. In the closing minutes, the Jayhawks would go on a 9-5 scoring run to close the period.

The opening several minutes of the fourth period belonged to TCU, reaching their largest lead of the game of 16-points on a jumper from Tavy Diggs, with 7:39 on the clock. However, another second chance basket for Ajekwu gave Kansas the breath of life to get back into contention. Holly Kersgieter followed with a perfect trip to the charity stripe in addition to Chandler Prater’s paint layup, altogether brought the deficit to 10. The offensive onslaught continued for the Jayhawks who also got Aniya Thomas, Ioanna Chatzileonti, Zakiyah Franklin involved. Around the 1:19 mark, Chatzileonti’s jumper found the bottom of the net to bring the game within one at 73-72. TCU’s Heard notched a split trip at the free throw line which gave the Horned Frogs a two-point buffer with less than a minute remaining.

After the timeout, the Jayhawks were able to get a pair of good looks but were unable to capitalize. The contest would conclude with a free throw from TCU, 75-72.

Chatzileonti posted her third double-double with 18 points and 13 rebounds, followed closely by Kersgieter’s near double-double of 22 points and nine rebounds. Franklin led all players with six assists in the game. Kansas shot 43.8 percent from the floor, 30 percent from three, and 71.4 percent from the free throw line.

TCU was led by a pair of 20-point scorers in Heard and Diggs with 26 and 20 respectively. The Horned Frogs were held to 37.3 percent from the field, 25 percent from deep, and 73.1 percent from the charity stripe.