Big 12 Women's basketball vs OU

Junior guard Zakiyah Franklin drives the ball against Oklahoma in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 tournament. 

In the Jayhawks’ fifth Big 12 Conference matchup of the season, the No. 23 Kansas women’s basketball team lost their third straight game 80-72 in Norman, Oklahoma, on Saturday. 

Junior and senior guards Wyvette Mayberry, Zakiyah Franklin and Holly Kersgieter filed out a steady offense to give Kansas a lead in the majority of the contest. Oklahoma’s high-scoring fourth quarter, complete with seven points off of free throws, sunk Kansas’ efforts at the end. 

After a slow offensive start to the game, Kansas went on an 11-2 run to jump out to a seven-point lead. A jumper from Mayberry, her seventh point of the game, extended the Jayhawks’ lead to 15-9.

Franklin and center Taiyanna Jackson then combined for six late points in the span of two minutes, and a layup by junior forward Ioanna Chatzileonti cemented a 9-point Kansas lead at the end of quarter one, with the score standing at 24-15. Mayberry, one of the Jayhawks’ top scorers, had two fouls called against her in the first quarter, putting her in trouble early.

Traded turnovers and missed shots opened quarter two for both teams, with the first score happening almost two minutes into the period. Junior guard Mia Vuksic, who averages only 4.3 points per game, scored Kansas’ first bucket of the quarter, drilling a three at the 8:18 mark.

Another scoring drought occurred for over two minutes until Jackson made a pair of free throws to cement the score at 29-17. 

Unfortunately for the Jayhawks, Oklahoma then went on an 8-2 scoring run, and Kansas’ lead dwindled to only five points. Although they still held a significant lead, the Jayhawks had only scored seven points in seven-and-a-half minutes in the second period, allowing the Sooners to inch closer. Two late layups from Kersgieter and sophomore guard Sanna Strom allowed Kansas to take a 35-28 lead into halftime.

Jackson and Strom powered the offense early on, with their two pairs of free throws being the Jayhawks’ only points through the first three minutes of the half, allowing Oklahoma to go on a 9-4 run. A jump shot and a free throw from Oklahoma’s redshirt senior forward Madi Williams brought the Sooners within one, the closest they had been to the lead since the game was tied at 2-2. 

Luckily, a layup and a pair of free throws from Kersgieter fended off Oklahoma’s comeback, allowing the Jayhawks to extend their lead by two points.

The Sooners scored three points in a row, giving them their second lead of the game. Two layups by Mayberry regained a Jayhawk lead, but as the third quarter ended, the two teams would end up tied 53-53.

An 11-4 opening run from Oklahoma gave the Sooners their largest lead of the game, with the score standing at 55-60. Another three-pointer from Vuksic and a pair of free throws from Franklin would get the Jayhawks back within two, but following this, a 10-0 Sooners run would keep them comfortably in the lead.

Kansas would attempt to claw its way back, with Franklin and Mayberry combining for seven points in only 51 seconds to set the score at 69-74, but Oklahoma’s offensive prowess and Kansas’ foul-happy fourth quarter made a game that the Jayhawks led for the majority of game time slip out of reach.

The Sooners would win 80-74 in the contest, scoring 27 points in the fourth quarter alone. 

The Jayhawks’ next game will host West Virginia at 7 p.m. on Jan. 18 to continue Big 12 Conference play. The game will be broadcast on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.