Sophomore guard Aniya Thomas jumps up while shooting the ball.

Sophomore guard Aniya Thomas shoots the ball. Kansas defeated Texas Tech 67-50 Saturday, Jan. 18.

Column

A new chapter begins in the Dillons Sunflower Showdown, this time on the women’s hoops side. The Jayhawks will host Kansas State Thursday, Jan. 29 at 8 p.m. inside Allen Fieldhouse.

The last five meetings between the in-state conference rivals have been dominated by the Wildcats, having won the last four games by an average margin of 11.75 points. The single victory for Kansas came last year, Jan. 13 at Bramlage Coliseum.

Kansas is 12-6 this year, coming into the game losing their last two outings on the road against Texas and Iowa State. The Wildcats are 8-9 on the season, but they have two wins in conference play (Texas Tech and Oklahoma) opposed to the Jayhawk's one (Texas Tech). 

As far as the matchup goes, it could be a difficult one for the Jayhawks. The top two scorers for K-State are senior forward Peyton Williams and redshirt freshman Ayoka Lee, who are both averaging over 15 points a game

Kansas has struggled this year against teams with more size. Against Texas, the Jayhawks allowed the Longhorns' two starting forwards a combined 39 points and struggled to rebound. After the game, coach Schneider said that Texas' size was “difficult to match up with.”

In tomorrow's matchup, this will need to be rectified if Kansas wants to come out on top. Rebounding and keeping the Wildcat bigs from getting easy buckets will be key for Kansas. 

Both teams will also feature balanced-scoring offenses, which could result in a high-scoring game. K-State has five players averaging double-figures in points and comes into the game averaging 72 points as a team. The Jayhawks one-up K-State with six players scoring 10 plus points a game. 

Guard play will also be a huge deciding factor in this game. Sophomore guard Aniya Thomas is coming off a nine-point outing against Iowa State after scoring her career high of 21 against Texas.

Kansas' guards, including Thomas, have been streaky all year and will need to have a good game collectively to come out of the Sunflower Showdown with a win.

Edited partly by Ben Winfrey