Kansas women’s basketball, led by freshman guard Zakiyah Franklin, came back to defeat Wright State 74-63 in the first match of the FAU Thanksgiving Tournament Friday. Franklin scored a career-high 19 points in the victory.
The Jayhawks struggled early in the first quarter, trailing the remainder of the quarter after going up 2-0. Sophomore guard Aniya Thomas, however, kept Kansas relevant, scoring 7 of its 12 total points. The Jayhawks entered the second quarter trailing 18-12.
The second quarter was much of the same, but Wright State seemed to take an advantage. The Raiders took a 10-point lead midway through the quarter, but Franklin sparked a run after drilling a triple. The three sparked an 8-2 run to decrease the deficit to just four.
Kansas entered the second half trailing 32-28 and were shooting only 33% (10-of-30) from the field in the first half. The Jayhawks also went 1-of-10 from the three-point line.
However, a trip to the locker room seemed to be what Kansas needed as the Jayhawks came out of halftime on fire. Franklin went on a 6-0 run for Kansas and gave it its first lead since the opening point of the game.
The Jayhawks went 8-of-18 in the quarter and hit two threes in the period, more than they hit the entire first half.
The fourth quarter, however, is when Kansas made its money. The Jayhawks went on an 11-2 run to start the quarter and never let up from there. Kansas scored 26 points in the period and held the Raiders to just 6-of-21 shooting. The Jayhawks entered the period tied but ended up outscoring Wright State by 11 points to claim victory.
After Franklin, Thomas led in scoring with 15 points and freshman guard Holly Kersgieter had 14 points. Junior forward Tina Stephens and junior center Bailey Helgren were both close to double-doubles. Stephens finished with eight points and nine rebounds while Helgren tallied eight points and eight rebounds.
Kansas will look to win the tournament as it takes on the hosting team, FAU, in the championship round Saturday.