Kansas women’s basketball ended its regular season schedule with a home game against No. 6 Baylor and lost 93-67. The 26-point defeat comes almost solely at the hands of the Baylor front court, as they were able to use height to grab what seemed to be every rebound available.
This has been the storyline for the Jayhawks for the past several weeks now. The height differential with their opponent is sometimes just too drastic to overcome.
With freshman forward Ioanna Chatzileonti being ruled out before the start of this game, Kansas was left with just two front court players: sophomore center Chisom Ajekwu and freshman forward Katrine Jessen.
To make matters worse, Ajekwu and Jessen dealt with some foul trouble in the first half with four and three fouls, respectively. This forced some of the Kansas guards and small forwards to play the center and power forward spots, and with Baylor having junior center Queen Egbo and junior forward NaLyssa Smith, the Jayhawks were in for a long 40 minutes.
“We had to play five guards to start the second half and five guards most of the second half. Not the most ideal situation, but I thought that our kids competed really hard, and that’s all you can ask for,” coach Brandon Schneider said after the game.
Baylor already led the nation in rebounding margin with a season average of 19 rebounds, and the Bears surpassed that margin easily against Kansas. Baylor out-rebounded the Jayhawks by 35, with Egbo and Smith recording double-doubles.
“We only had two true bigs, so post defense for those guys is much different than when you’re trying to guard them with guards,” Schneider said.
With the 59 rebounds the Bears were able to grab, they were able to clean up on the defensive end and keep possessions going on the offensive end. They were able to score 22 second-chance points off of 20 offensive rebounds. Even when Kansas was able to force a missed shot, it couldn’t stop Baylor from getting another shot off of the offensive glass.
Kansas’ leading rebounder against one of the top rebounding teams in the nation was 6-foot-3 Katrine Jessen with seven rebounds, and no other Jayhawk tallied more than four.
The Jayhawks finish the regular season with another sub-.500 record, going 7-17 (3-15 in-conference).
“I really appreciate the 10 players who were eligible for us, for their loyalty and their character -- and for pushing through what’s been an extremely challenging year,” Schneider said.
Kansas will await the Big 12 Tournament schedule to prepare for its next matchup.