Zakiyah Franklin dribble the ball near the sideline as an Iowa State guard runs in front of her

Freshman guard Zakiyah Franklin dribbles down the court against Iowa State. The Jayhawks fell to the Cyclones 61-42 Tuesday, March 3.

Column

With the early end to Kansas women’s basketball’s most successful season under Brandon Schneider due to the COVID-19 virus, the play of the team left us with many memories from the past year. 

The Jayhawks' 15-14 season, a great improvement from previous years, had highlights throughout. Here are my top four moments of the women’s season.

1. Finishing non-conference play undefeated 

Kansas had success in non-conference play over the previous four years under Schneider but still had a few losses mixed in each season. This year, the Jayhawks were able to finish the non-conference with an 11-0 record, including a win over SEC foe Florida. 

In the final non-conference game against Wofford, freshman guard Holly Kersgieter led the Jayhawks with 21 points and had her breakout game of the season. The 83-64 win at home gave Kansas its outstanding, undefeated start. 

2. Holding Texas Tech to just 50 points in a win

For the Jayhawks' first conference win of the season, they defeated Texas Tech 67-50 at home. Senior forward Mariane De Carvalho led the Jayhawks with 16 points, and the Kansas defense looked the best it had all season.

Texas Tech finished second during Big 12 play with an average of 78.66 points per game and was an impressive offensive team overall. 

“Defensively we played really connected,” Schneider said to Kansas Athletics after the win. “I thought overall we had a really good team defensive performance.” 

3. Close battle with Oklahoma

In the Jayhawks' first meeting with Oklahoma at home, Kansas got off to a fast start but ended up falling in overtime. However, the heartbreaking loss was avenged with another close game late in the season, in which Kansas won 83-80. 

Down the stretch, Kansas held onto a three-point lead and knocked down its free throws to close out the game. This win gave the Jayhawks their third win in conference play, tying Schneider’s most wins in conference as head coach. 

4. Ramalho’s 3-pointer on senior night

Senior night for Brazilian natives forward Mariane de Carvalho and guard Niccolly Ramalho, despite the loss to Iowa State, had a really special atmosphere.

Ramalho was teary-eyed before the game and took advantage of her time on the court. She knocked down a 3-pointer, sending the crowd into a frenzy and played tough defense.

“My time here has been life changing. I have a family here,” Ramalho said after the game. “You just had to look at the stands and you could see all those people to support us. There was no way I wasn’t going to cry.”

Though the season was cut short, the 2019-20 Kansas women's basketball squad will be remembered forever.