Sophomore guard Aniya Thomas led Kansas women’s basketball over the UIC Flames after struggling heavily in the first game of the season. Kansas defeated the Flames 91-50 to move to 2-0 on the season with Thomas leading the way with a team-high 17 points.
The Jayhawks were feeling it early in the game as freshman guard Zakiyah Franklin nailed a three-pointer just 20 seconds in.
Just two minutes later, Franklin connected from beyond the arc once again, this time on the fast break. Franklin ended the quarter with nine points, an assist and a steal to help give the Jayhawks an early 27-14 lead at the end of the first quarter.
In the first quarter, Kansas hit five three-pointers. Against Indiana State, the Jayhawks made four total three-pointers.
The Jayhawks started the second quarter fast, going on a 9-0 run. Thomas was at the forefront of the attack as she hit a three to go along with two steals during the run.
The Kansas offense then began to stall, and the Flames brought it down to a 13-point deficit. Kansas eventually went into the half with a 39-26 lead.
Senior forward Mariane De Carvalho went into the half with two points on 1-of-7 shooting. She quickly turned it around after the break, though, hitting two free throws. A minute later, De Carvalho scored on a three-point play after being fouled on a layup. By the end of the quarter, De Carvalho had nine points.
She was not the only Jayhawk scoring in the quarter, either. Kansas scored 33 points in the quarter, getting seven points from Thomas, four points from freshman Holly Kersgieter and four points from sophomore guard Brooklyn Mitchell.
The Jayhawks also held UIC to just 11 points in the quarter.
The highlight of the quarter came from Thomas. She drew a charging foul and as she was going to the ground, she burst out in laughter. Kansas took the ball up the court, and Thomas immediately drilled a three.
Thomas struggled against Indiana State, spending the majority of the game in foul trouble and even fouled out late in the game. That narrative changed against the Flames as she was a force to be reckoned with.
Thomas eventually went on to finish the game with 17 points, four assists, six rebounds and two steals.
Up 35 at the end of the quarter, coach Brandon Schneider rotated players in and out throughout the fourth quarter, allowing some of the newer Jayhawks to garner some playing time. Kansas never slowed down in the quarter either, playing hard on both sides of the ball.
The Jayhawks continued to execute on offense and then on defense, forced turnovers, put hands in faces and at times, even playing press defense.
The 41-point victory is the first time Kansas has scored 90 points in a game since Dec. 1, 2016, against UC Riverside.
Thomas led the team in scoring, and junior transfer forward Tina Stephens was right behind her with 15. Stephens also finished with 10 rebounds. Stephens and Thomas were two of five Jayhawks who scored in double figures.
Kansas will return to action Wednesday, Nov. 13, when the Jayhawks take on Omaha at home.