🏀 Women’s Hoops Set for Dillons Sunflower Showdown at Kansas State
LAWRENCE, Kan. – For the fourth time this season, the Kansas Jayhawks will face a top-10 ranked opponent as KU heads to Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Kansas, to face No. 7 Kansas State on Saturday, Jan. 20.
Tipoff of the Dillons Sunflower Showdown is set for 1 p.m. CT and the game will be televised on Big 12 NOW on ESPN+ with Brian Smoller (play-by-play), Missy Heidrick (analyst) and Hannah Whetstone (sideline) on the call. Fans can also listen to the game on the Jayhawk Radio Network from Learfield, with Steven Davis calling the action.
Kansas is 9-8 on the year and 2-4 in Big 12 play following a 91-56 defeat at No. 11 Texas on Tuesday evening. The loss followed back-to-back home wins over No. 4 Baylor and Oklahoma State the previous week. KU’s 87-66 win over Baylor on Jan. 10 marked the first league win of the season and KU’s first win over a top five opponent since 2009.
Kansas State will be the sixth nationally ranked opponent that Kansas has faced this season and the third in the past four games. KU is 1-4 against ranked teams this season, with three of the five games coming against top 10 opponents. A win over K-State on Saturday would give Kansas multiple victories over top 10 teams in the same season for only the second time in school history, and first since 2000.
The longtime rivalry between Kansas and Kansas State is the most-played rivalry in Kansas Women’s Basketball history, with 129 all-time meetings between the programs. K-State leads the series 79-50, which includes a 38-16 record against the Jayhawks in Manhattan. The two teams have split the season series in each of the past three seasons, with the home team winning each meeting. Kansas is seeking its first win over KSU at Bramlage Coliseum since 2019.
The Wildcats are 17-1 (6-0 Big 12) on the year and outscoring opponents by 19.0 points per game during league play. KSU has won 11-straight games since falling 77-70 to No. 5 Iowa on Nov. 26.
Kansas’ starting five of Wyvette Mayberry, Zakiyah Franklin, Holly Kersgieter, S’Mya Nichols and Taiyanna Jackson have combined to score 84.6% of the Jayhawks’ points this season, a percentage that’s even higher at 90.2% in Big 12 play.
Nichols is the reigning Big 12 Freshman of the Week after claiming her second weekly honor on Monday after averaging 19.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.5 steals per game in KU victories over Baylor and Oklahoma State. Nichols scored a team-high 14 points at Texas on Tuesday, her fifth-straight game in double figures, and she’s leading the Jayhawks with 14.1 points per game this season.
Franklin was the only other Jayhawk in double figures at Texas, scoring 11 points. With her next game action, she will match legendary Jayhawk Lynette Woodard’s school record for games played with 139, and Franklin is No. 9 on KU’s all-time scoring list with 1,723 career points.
Kersgieter leads the Jayhawks in league play, averaging 15.2 points per game on 55.2% (16-29) shooting from three-point range. She became KU’s all-time leader in three-pointers made at Texas Tech on Jan. 6 and ranks No. 8 on KU’s all-time scoring list with 1,764 career points.
Jackson became the fifth player on KU’s 2023-24 roster to score over 1,000 career points when she surpassed the milestone against Baylor on Jan. 10. Jackson had a career-high 27 points and season-high 19 rebounds in the game for her eighth double-double of the season and 35th of her career. Jackson has 865 rebounds in her time at Kansas, which ranks No. 5 in career rebounds, and she’s second in school history with 246 blocked shots.
The Jayhawks return to Allen Fieldhouse on Wednesday, Jan. 24, to close out the regular season series against Iowa State. Tipoff is set for 6:30 p.m. CT and the game will be broadcast on Big 12 NOW on ESPN+.