Kansas women's basketball vs. New Mexico State

Kansas women's basketball senior forward Tina Stephens prepares to shoot a free throw against New Mexico State on Tuesday, Dec. 29.

Kansas women’s basketball team outpaced in-state rival Kansas State in the second half for a 70-63 win in the Sunflower Showdown Saturday. 

Kansas improves to 6-5 on the season and 2-3 in Big 12 play. 

The Jayhawks shot 39% as a team, but started out slow, opening the game just 2-for-12 from the floor in the first quarter. 

Kansas trailed by as many as 14 in the second quarter, before senior forward Tina Stephens put up eight points in the quarter to bring the Jayhawks within seven at halftime. Stephens dominated offensively, scoring a career-high 22 points and shooting 2-for-3 from beyond the arc.

The Jayhawks came out firing in the second half, starting on an 14-4 run capped by graduate transfer guard Julie Brosseau’s three-pointer to give Kansas its first lead of the game.

Entering the game as the leading scorer, sophomore guard Holly Kersgieter struggled in the first half, only putting up two shots. Still, she finished with 17 points and nine rebounds.

Kersgieter — who entered Saturday's game a perfect 23-for-23 from the free throw line — missed two free throws in the last seconds of regulation. After knocking down 10 on the day, she pushed her season total to 33-for-35.

Kansas State dominated the paint, out-rebounding the Jayhawks 38-30 and scoring 15 second chance points.

Just like the matchup against Texas Tech, Kansas sophomore center Chisom Ajekwu was once again in foul trouble without much offensive production. The Lawrence native finished with two points and three rebounds.

The Jayhawks continue Big 12 action when they travel to Norman to take on Oklahoma Wednesday. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.