TUCSON, Ariz. – The Kansas Women’s Basketball team improved to 8-0 on Thursday night after a convincing 77-50 win over the 12th-ranked Arizona Wildcats at McKale Center.
The 27-point win by the Jayhawks ties the program’s largest margin of victory ever against a ranked opponent and marks the team’s first road win over a ranked non-conference opponent since 2013. Kansas and Coach Brandon Schneider are now 8-0 for the second time in his eight-year tenure and the first time since the 2019-20 season.
Taiyanna Jackson led the Jayhawks with her fifth double-double in eight games this season, picking up 19 points and a season-high 15 rebounds. Chandler Prater also added 19 points and seven rebounds, while Zakiyah Franklin posted a double-double herself with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
The Jayhawks, who were one spot outside the AP Top 25 in this week’s poll, are now knocking on the door of a national ranking after Thursday’s win. The loss for Arizona was the Wildcats’ first of the season, dropping them to 7-1 on the year.
“They are excited obviously, they understood the challenge that they faced coming into this environment and what an opportunity it was to demonstrate the experience that they have, the toughness they have,” Schneider said. “I think we have a very together group and I think the last few weeks we have been playing defense really connected. Coach Terry (Nooner) had this scout and had a fantastic plan and give the players credit for their follow through and their attention to detail.”
It was a fast-paced start for both teams, before the Jayhawks took control of the big-time early season showdown.
Arizona held an early 17-12 advantage after hitting seven of its first 10 field goal attempts. KU’s defense held the Wildcats scoreless the remainder of the first quarter but only scored two points, trailing 17-14 at the end of 10 minutes.
That defensive intensity for Kansas continued in the second quarter as the Jayhawks held Arizona to just 2-of-15 shooting and five points. The Jayhawks countered with an 8-0 run to take the lead, 28-22, following back-to-back three-pointers from Mia Vuksic.
The Jayhawks took the six-point lead into the locker room at halftime and never saw the game get any closer than that in the second half.
Leading 38-29 just past the midway mark of the third quarter, the Jayhawks meticulously built their lead to 21 by the end of the frame. Prater led the way during that stretch with eight points as Kansas stretched its lead from 38-29 to 54-33 by the end of the third.
The lead got as big as 32 points with 3:10 to play in the game when Franklin hit a layup to make it 75-43.
Kersgieter finished with 11 points for the Jayhawks in the rout, while Jackson added three blocks and two steals to her impressive stat line. Jackson now has 116 blocks in her career, which rank ninth all-time in program history.
Prater was 13-for-13 from the free throw line, which is tied for the most free throws without missing one since the 2009-10 season.
Kansas returns home to Allen Fieldhouse for back-to-back non-conference matchups, beginning on Sunday, Dec. 11, against Wichita State. That game will tip off at 2 p.m. CT and be broadcast on Big 12 NOW via ESPN+.