GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands – The Kansas Jayhawks battled a Top 10 opponent for the second straight day at the Cayman Islands Classic, falling to No. 6 UConn 71-63 at John Gray Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon.
Kansas goes 0-2 at the Cayman Island Classic, falling to 2-3 on the year while UConn splits its two games at the tournament and moves to 4-2 this season.
“The standard is so much greater than it ever has been”, said Coach Brandon Schneider. “Nobody played better competition in this tournament than Kansas. Kansas didn’t duck anyone. We played the two-best teams in the tournament and competed hard. We made mistakes that we’re going to have to learn from, but competing the right way was not one of those mistakes.”
Kansas got off to a hot start from beyond the arc as Wyvette Mayberry was able to hit a three-pointer off of a dish from Holly Kersgieter. UConn responded however, as they went on a 7-1 run to take a 9-6 lead. Kansas was able to add three points before the end of the first, but the Huskies went on a 15-4 run to end the quarter, giving them a 17-9 lead. The Jayhawks were held scoreless for the last 4:58 of the period.
After a quick layup from UConn, Kansas held the Huskies scoreless for the next 5:01, but the Jayhawks were unable to capitalize offensively. KU was able to only score four points in that time, cutting the lead down to 19-13. The rest of the quarter was back and forth, but Kansas outscored the Huskies 11-8 to cut the deficit to five, 25-20, heading into the half.
The third period opened with a three-point play by Paige Bueckers to extend their lead to eight. However, Kansas responded by going on a 6-0 run over the next 2:05 to cut the lead down to two. Kansas played fast, earning touch rebounds and converting three-straight transition layups.
The Jayhawks finally got it going again from three with back-to-back three-point field goals from Mayberry and S’Mya Nichols. With time expiring in the third, UConn hit their third three of the game to take an eight-point lead into the fourth.
With 9:35 in the fourth, Taiyanna Jackson earned her 30th-career double-double, third in just five games this season, with an offensive rebound, her 10th of the night. Jackson finished the game with 16 points and 12 rebounds and was named to the Cayman Islands Classic All-Tournament Team.
Kansas entered the last four minutes of the game down nine, but Kansas was able to cut the lead down to five with 1:35 remaining. UConn was able to hold off the Jayhawks to take home the 71-63 victory.
Following a three-week absence, the Jayhawks return to Allen Fieldhouse on Thursday, Nov. 30, to host Southeastern Louisiana. That game will tip off at 6:30 p.m. CT and be broadcast on ESPN+.