Jayhawks Fall at K-State in Sunflower Showdown, 58-52
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Although the Jayhawks led for over 25 minutes, a late Wildcat lead proved too much to overcome as Kansas fell to in-state rival Kansas State, 58-52, in the 110th installment of the Sunflower Showdown on Sunday afternoon inside Bramlage Coliseum.
With 15 points, freshman guard Chayla Cheadle led the Jayhawks’ offensive efforts against the Wildcats, while senior forward Chelsea Gardner tallied her 13th game in double digits with 13 total points. Senior guard Natalie Knight recorded double digits with a late three-point shot in the waning seconds of the game and finished with 12 points. Kansas connected on 18-of-49 shots, a below-average shooting percentage of 37 percent. The Jayhawks shared the ball well assisting all 18 of their field goals.
“We kept turning the ball over and we were careless,” head coach Bonnie Henrickson said. “I’m not saying there weren’t a few (players) that did a good job, but we were our own worst enemy. We need to attack and make the right decisions.”
Kansas State (11-3, 1-2) took home the win with only a slightly better shooting percentage than the Jayhawks (9-7, 0-3), 38 percent (18-for-47). KSU had three Wildcats in double figures with senior guard Ashia Woods leading the way after netting 15 points. Junior guard Bri Craig and sophomore guard Kindred Weseman followed with 13 and 11 points, respectively.
“They scored on us in transition,” Hendrickson said. “I thought we did a good job with our effort and intensity. Our half-court defense was good to start the game. Then they chipped away at us in transition.”
It took nearly two minutes for either team to get a shot to fall to start the game. K-State struck first, but four three-point shots helped Kansas establish a 14-2 run and take an early advantage over the Wildcats. The Jayhawks held the Kansas State silent from the field for more than five minutes.
Not only were the Jayhawks hot from behind the three-point line, but they were shooting the ball well inside the perimeter too. Still on a run, Kansas was 62 percent from field goal range behind an 8-for-13 mark.
KU led by as many as 14 in the first seven minutes of the game, but K-State was determined to make a comeback. In less than 20 seconds, the Wildcats managed to make two treys and closed the gap to single digits, 20-12. The two threes sparked an 8-0 run for Kansas State.
Free throw shots helped Kansas State to chip away at the Jayhawk lead. Struggling offensively, Kansas fell into a scoring drought going 0-for-6 in nearly four minutes. Meanwhile, KSU was now within three points of the Kansas advantage (28-25) and on a 7-0 run.
Granting Kansas’ wishes, Knight ended the Jayhawk scoring drought with KU’s fifth three-pointer of the game, which sparked a 7-1 run for Kansas and helped build back a cushioned lead. The Jayhawks left the Wildcats scoreless until 28 seconds remained in the first 20 minutes. Kansas took a 35-28 lead into halftime.
Gardner was at the top of Kansas’ offense and already in double digits with 10 points. Two other Jayhawks were closing in on double figures as Cheadle and Knight each had nine points going into the halftime break. KU shot 46 percent from the field, while sharing the ball; all 12 of Kansas’ field goals had been assisted. After going 5-for-9 from beyond the arc, Kansas was 56 percent from behind the three-point line. The Jayhawks held KSU to 41 percent shooting from the field.
Although, the two teams started the first half by trading baskets, K-State put up 10 unanswered points and took over the lead before Kansas could shut down the run. The KSU defense kept Kansas from scoring a basket for nearly eight minutes.
Kansas refused to give the Wildcats control. KSU was nine minutes and counting without a field goal behind the defensive efforts of sophomore forward Caelynn Manning-Allen. The Chicago native helped the defense keep K-State quiet by tallying four defensive rebounds and three blocks to go along with four points on offense.
K-State found energy and took off on an 11-1 run that lasted deep into the final minutes of the game to gain back the lead. But, with just over a minute to play, Cheadle knocked in a three-point shot despite being fouled and recorded her second career four-point play and closed in on the Wildcats, 52-49.
A three by Craig all but sealed the game for Kansas State. Knight put up a late three of her own, but that wouldn’t be enough to overcome the K-State advantage, as Kansas fell 58-52.
- The Jayhawks shared the ball well assisting all 18 of their field goals against K-State.
- Three or more Jayhawks have netted double figures in 11 of Kansas’ 16 games.
- Seniors Chelsea Gardner and Natalie Knight both tallied their 13th game in double figures against the Wildcats with 13 and 12 points, respectively.
- Kansas’ defense held K-State to a below-average 38 percent from the field.
- Sophomore Caelynn Manning-Allen chalked up a career-high three blocks during a nine minute scoring silence from the Wildcats.
Kansas will return home to Allen Fieldhouse for a contest against TCU on Wednesday, Jan. 14 at 7 p.m.
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