Kansas women’s basketball moves to 1-7 in conference play after a hard-fought 69-61 loss in the Sunflower Showdown against Kansas State.
K-State opened up the scoring with a mid-range jumper by sophomore guard Christiana Carr. A post-move score by senior forward Jasauen Beard then made it 4-0 right out of the gate.
Sophomore guard Aniya Thomas’ steal and "and-1" put Kansas on the board, energizing the crowd. Junior Tina Stephens followed with a layup to tie the game.
The first quarter was filled with defense and sloppy offensive play from both sides. Kansas finished the quarter with six turnovers but added three blocks and a steal on the defensive end.
In her first career start, freshman guard Holly Kersgieter gave the Jayhawks their first lead of the game with a three-pointer late in the quarter putting the Jayhawks up 9-8 going into the second.
Stagnant defense from both sides continued in the second quarter. Kansas was unable to score for over five minutes in the period and committed four turnovers. The Jayhawks finished with 13 total turnovers.
K-State also had trouble taking care of the ball in the second half, committing five turnovers of their own. However, they were able to push the ball inside and get easy baskets to extend their lead to 24-19 with 1:12 left to play.
A three-pointer just before the end of the half by freshman guard Zakiyah Franklin pulled Kansas within two points going into the break. Franklin struggled shooting 7-of-23 on field goals, but she was all over the court, finishing with 15 points, five rebounds and two blocks.
While Kansas senior forward Mariane De Carvalho struggled to shoot the three in the first half, going 0-for-6, she added a quick nine points on threes within the first five minutes of the third. K-State responded by knocking down several long-range shots, including four straight by Carr to put K-State up 46-37 with 3:08 left in the third.
In the final seconds of the quarter, Kansas threw up two jumpers. Both were no good, but Kersgieter was able to grab the offensive rebound and put it back at the buzzer, cutting K-State's lead to three.
The first five minutes of the fourth went back-and-forth. Coming out of the media timeout, with five minutes to go and Kansas down five, The Jayhawks pressed and forced a key turnover, to give them the ball.
Kansas was unable to close the gap throughout the fourth, and they were only able to come within four points. K-State knocked down some free-throws late in the game to keep their lead. The Wildcats finished 17-of-21 from the line.
Next up for the Jayhawks is a home game Sunday, Feb. 2 against Oklahoma. Tipoff is set for 12:00 p.m.