Holly Kersgieter dribbles down the court between two Emporia State defenders

Freshman guard Holly Kersgieter drives to the hoop against Emporia State on Nov. 3, 2019. Kersgieter started in her first game of the season in the Sunflower Showdown against Kansas State on Jan. 29.

Column

In Kansas women’s basketball's devastating loss to rival Kansas State Wednesday, Jan. 29, freshman guard Holly Kersgieter seemed to be the Jayhawks' one bright spot.

She shot 4-13 from the field, which may not seem flashy. But, she was one of three Jayhawks to tally double figures in a rather poor shooting night as a team. Kansas shot just 33.3% on the night, as the team was looking for just about anyone to make key shots against K-State's strong defensive performance all night long.  

In her first start of the season on Wednesday, Kersgieter helped the team in just about every area as she tallied 11 points on the night, cleaned the glass with six rebounds, snatched two steals and kept the ball under control with just one turnover in 29 minutes.

The Jayhawks seemed to be a different team altogether when the 5-foot-10 guard from Oklahoma stepped onto the court as she was one of three players to total a positive +/- against K-State.

Kersgieter has been a shining star for Kansas just about all season long, playing 24.7 minutes a game and making the most of every second she’s out on the court.

 

Kersgieter is also one of the Jayhawks' best shooters, currently fifth on the team in field goal percentage on the year shooting 43.2% from the floor. This efficient shooting is exactly what the Jayhawks need each and every game, especially if the rest of the team is struggling to find its footing.  

In the Jayhawks' lone conference win against the Texas Tech Red Raiders, Kersgieter tallied 10 points on the night, shooting 3-of-5 (2-of-3 from three) from the floor, helping propel Kansas to a dominant 67-50 win.

With the possible new addition to the starting lineup, Kersgieter may be just what Kansas needs to break out of its slump. The Jayhawks have won one of their last eight games after starting a perfect 12-0 to start the season. These losses have all come to conference foes as well, putting them at dead last in the Big 12.

Although Kersgieter can play off the bench if the team needs her to, adding her to the starting lineup will allow for sophomore guard Brooklyn Mitchell to come off the bench and still produce. As the Jayhawks are in the midst of a three-game losing streak, a change to the starting lineup might just be what the team needs to steal a win in the next game.

Kersgieter and the Jayhawks are set to take on the Oklahoma Sooners at Allen Fieldhouse Sunday, Feb. 2, at noon, where they will look to put an end to this losing streak.