Jayhawks Take Down No. 10 Kansas State in Dillons Sunflower Showdown

Box Score | Season Stats

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Behind 22 points from freshman S’Mya Nichols and seven fourth-quarter points from super-senior Holly Kersgieter, the Kansas Jayhawks defeated No. 10 Kansas State by a score of 58-55 before a crowd of 9,007 at Allen Fieldhouse Sunday afternoon.

Kansas trailed 51-47 with 4:36 to play, but used an 11-1 to take the lead and closed the game by outscoring the Wildcats 11-4 to secure the victory.

With the win, Kansas improves to 16-11 overall and 9-7 in Big 12 play, which includes a 5-1 record in its last six outings. The Jayhawks are now 12-1 this season at Allen Fieldhouse and have won 20 of their last 21 home games, dating back to last season.

The win is KU’s second over a top 10 opponent this season, after the Jayhawks previously defeated then-No. 4 Baylor, 87-66, on Jan. 10 at Allen Fieldhouse. This marks the first time since 2000 that the Jayhawks have defeated two top 10 teams in the same season.

Three players finished with double figures for Kansas, who was led by 22 from Nichols on 8-of-16 shooting. Taiyanna Jackson had 11 points, seven rebounds and eight blocked shots – one off her career high and the single-game school record. Kersgieter added 10 points and seven rebounds and was KU’s closer with seven points in the fourth quarter.

“That was an incredible atmosphere for college basketball,” Kansas coach Brandon Schneider said after the game. “Kansas State is a very good team, but I thought we really stuck together, never fragmented and had some players step up and make plays in big moments to help us win the game.”

Jackson started off scoring by running the length of the court and being rewarded with a fast break layup on an assist by Holly Kersgieter. Kansas nailed all three of its three-point attempts in the first quarter, as Wyvette Mayberry, Zakiyah Franklin, and Nichols each knocked down one in the quarter. Another Jackson fast-break layup forced K-State to call a time with a little over two minutes left in the first frame, with the Jayhawks leading 17-6.

The Wildcats went on a 9-2 run to shrink the Kansas lead to just four at the quarter break. This marks the second-highest-scoring quarter by the Jayhawks against a conference opponent this season since the 22 first quarter points against Cincinnati. Nichols was just a point short of double-digits as she collected nine points heading into the second quarter.

Kersgieter hit her own three-pointer to start the second-quarter scoring, making KU four-for-four from beyond the arc. Kansas State stormed back and took its first lead of the game with 5:21 left in the second quarter. KSU’s lead got to 28-22 before KU junior Skyler Gill’s personal 4-0 run brought it back within a bucket. KU rounded out the quarter with a Franklin dish to junior Danai Papadopoulou to end the first half down 30-28, with seven different players contributing points in the box score.

Jackson earned her fifth block of the game, a rebound, and a bucket, all within 10 seconds for KU’s first points of the second half. Six-straight Nichols’ points, another Mayberry three-pointer and a Jackson jumper tied it up at 41-41 at the under-five media timeout. Nichols hit a free throw, and KSU scored another basket with the Jayhawks down a point, 42-43, going into the final frame of action.

Both squads traded off scoring in the fourth quarter, with Kansas State maintaining the upper edge before a 4-0 Kansas run tied it up 51-all with 3:31 left to play. Kersgieter nailed a jumper just in time to beat the shot clock to give Kansas its first lead of the quarter at 53-51. Kersgieter closed out KU’s scoring by going 3-4 from the line as Kansas completed a 11-1 run in 3:54 minutes of action. The Jayhawks held the Wildcats without a field goal for over four minutes before KSU hit a three with 12 seconds left to bring it to a final score of 58-55.

Next Up

The Jayhawks are on the road for the final time in the regular season on Wednesday, Feb. 28, with their first trip to Orlando, Florida, to face Big 12 newcomer UCF. Tipoff is set for 5 p.m. CT, and the game will be broadcast in Big 12 NOW on ESPN+.