🏀 WNIT Run Continues as Jayhawks Host Nebraska Thursday
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas Women’s Basketball will play a former conference foe in the postseason for the second time this week when KU hosts Nebraska in the Super 16 round of the WNIT on Thursday, March 23, at Allen Fieldhouse.
Tipoff is set for 6:30 p.m. CT on Thursday and the game will be televised on Big 12 NOW via ESPN+, with Josh Klingler and Wayne Simien on the call. Fans can also listen to the game on the Jayhawk Radio Network from Learfield, with Steven Davis and David Lawrence calling the action.
Thursday’s game will be a rematch from non-conference play, when Nebraska handed Kansas its first loss of the season in an 85-79 triple-overtime contest in Lincoln on Dec. 21.
Kansas (21-11) advanced to the third round of the WNIT with victories over Western Kentucky (86-72) and Missouri (75-47), while Nebraska (18-14) defeated Missouri State (74-65) and Northern Iowa (77-57) to advance. This will be the first postseason meeting between the programs since KU defeated the Cornhuskers 57-49 in the first round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament.
All-Big 12 First Team selection Zakiyah Franklin has scored at least 20 points in both of KU’s WNIT victories after leading the Jayhawks with 21 points in the second-round win over Missouri. Franklin set a new career-high with five three-pointers made against MU, which is also a Kansas record in the WNIT. Franklin leads the Jayhawks in scoring at 15.9 points per game for the year, and she’s averaging 20.5 points in the WNIT.
Taiyanna Jackson finished two rebounds shy of a double-double after totaling 14 points and eight rebounds against Missouri. Jackson also recorded two blocked shots, giving her a new single-season school record 96 blocks for the season, eclipsing her previous record of 95 from last season. Jackson, a unanimous All-Big 12 First Team and All-Big 12 Defensive Team selection, is on pace to become the first Jayhawk since 1982 to average a double-double for an entire season, and Wednesday was named a region finalist for WBCA All-America honors, which are announced at the end of the month.
Holly Kersgieter, a three-time All-Big 12 selection, had 12 points against Missouri and became the 13th player in program history to eclipse the 1,500-point mark for her career. Kersgieter, who hit her 200th career three-pointer in the opening round against Western Kentucky, is No. 13 on KU’s all-time scoring list with 1,502 points.
Kansas has put all five starters in double figures in each of the first two rounds of the WNIT. Wyvette Mayberry is averaging 13.5 points per game in the WNIT and Chandler Prater is at 12.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game after recording a double-double versus WKU.
Kansas is competing in the WNIT for the sixth time, first since 2011, and the Jayhawks are in the postseason for the second consecutive season. KU is 11-5 all-time in the WNIT and now has two victories in the tournament for the third time after also doing so in 2009 and 2010. With the first-round victory over WKU, Kansas improved to 20-11 on the season, securing its second-straight 20-win season and the 23rd in program history. The Jayhawks have matched the win total from last season with 21, and a win on Thursday would give KU 22 victories in a season for the first time since 2008-09.
Nebraska comes to Lawrence with a record of 18-14 following victories over Missouri State and Northern Iowa to open the WNIT. The Cornhuskers placed eighth in the Big Ten with an 8-10 conference record and lost to Michigan State 67-64 in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament.
With a win, Kansas would advance to the Great 8 round of the WNIT, where the Jayhawks would face the winner of a Super 16 matchup between Arkansas and Texas Tech.