Aniya Thomas leaps for the ball

Junior guard Aniya Thomas leaps for the ball during a match in Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas women's basketball will face off against TCU Thursday to kick off the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship. 

The ninth-seeded Kansas women’s basketball team prepares to square off with eighth-seeded TCU on Thursday in one of two play-in games in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship. 

If Kansas wins, they will face off with one-seeded Baylor on Friday. 

The Kansas women have struggled this season, managing to win only seven games through non-conference and conference play. However, the Jayhawks lost six games with a final score of fewer than five points. 

Out of KU’s three conference victories this season, one comes against the Horned Frogs back in early February. The Jayhawks defeated TCU at home 82-72. The key in that win was the Jayhawks’ ability to shoot just around 80% from the charity stripe, a characteristic this team is known for. 

There have been many inconsistencies to the women’s team this year, with one being offensive production. Senior forward Tina Stephens opted out of her final year in Lawrence, leaving sophomore guard Holly Kersgieter as the only Jayhawk to average double-digit scoring. 

In addition, Kansas struggles with many players playing out of position to combat the lack of height in the post, causing an increase in fouls for the Jayhawks. 

Keys for success  

There are three simple things that KU needs to do in order to be successful in the Big 12 tournament and potentially going forward. The first is limiting their personal fouls. In the seven games that Kansas has won, they have committed fewer fouls than their opponent.

Second, KU needs to find more players who can put the ball in the basket. With Kersgieter being the only scorer averaging double figures, the Jayhawks need to find different players to take the load off her shoulders. Lastly, KU must limit its turnovers. Although Kansas averages 15.3 turnovers per game to the conference average of 15.1, turnovers have proven to make or break the Jayhawks this season. 

Tip-off against TCU is scheduled for 5 p.m. inside Municipal Auditorium. 


Recommended for you