Kansas picked up another comfortable win with a 61-36 victory over Washington on Wednesday. The win moves the Jayhawks to one game away from bringing home a WNIT championship.
The Jayhawks used a balanced scoring attack and lockdown defense to beat the Huskies. Senior guard Zakiyah Franklin led Kansas with 14 points, while senior center Taiyanna Jackson recorded her 22nd double-double of the season with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
After getting out to quick starts in the past three games, Kansas struggled out of the gates against Washington. The Jayhawks did not score for the first 3:30 until a jumper from senior guard Holly Kersgieter broke the drought.
Washington did not pull too far in front, but sophomore forward Dalayah Daniels won the frontcourt matchup against Jackson early on. Daniels had four points and six rebounds, while Jackson was held without a basket in the first quarter.
The Jayhawks came out of the media timeout down 6-2, but that did not last long as they went on a quick 7-0 run to reclaim the lead.
Kansas, who ranks 340th in the nation in bench points per game, was helped out in the first quarter by contributions from the bench. Freshman forward Zsófia Telegdy and sophomore guard Sanna Strom both knocked down threes to spark the Jayhawks’ offense.
Junior guard Wyvette Mayberry converted an and-one near the end of the quarter, giving Kansas a 15-10 lead after the first.
Daniels opened the scoring in the second with a layup, but that was just about it for Washington’s offense in that quarter. The Huskies scored only six points and shot 3-for-18 from the field.
As Washington went on a 3:04 scoring drought, Kansas extended its lead to 21-12 with a 6-0 run.
The Jayhawks were not done going on runs, as they went on a 9-0 run over 2:57, led by Jackson breaking into the scoring column. Jackson’s presence was felt all over the floor in the second quarter, with six points, five rebounds, and two blocks.
Kansas took a 30-16 point lead into the break despite Washington holding a big advantage on the glass. The Huskies outrebounded the Jayhawks 25-17 with a major edge on the offensive end at 10-4.
The third quarter was more of the same for Kansas. The Jayhawks opened the quarter on an 8-0 run while holding Washington scoreless for the first 3:35.
Washington was hurt in the third quarter by turnovers. The Huskies turned it over five times, leading to six points for the Jayhawks.
After the initial spurt, Kansas continued to keep Washington at arm’s length, leading 48-28 going into the final quarter.
Kansas continued to keep its foot on the gas thanks to the play of Franklin. She knocked down two threes early in the fourth as the Jayhawks kept pulling away from the Huskies.
The trend of lockdown defense continued in the fourth, with Kansas holding Washington to eight points on 16.7% shooting.
Kansas has clinched a berth in the WNIT Championship to play Columbia in Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday. Tipoff is set for 4:30 p.m. and will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network.