LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas Jayhawks outscored West Virginia 57-24 in the second half to turn a 14-point halftime deficit into a 77-58 victory over the Mountaineers on Wednesday night at Allen Fieldhouse.
The Jayhawks, now 13-4 (3-3 Big 12) on the year, trailed 40-28 with 6:04 to play in the third quarter following a technical foul against the Kansas bench. KU scored the next 15 points to take its first lead of the game 43-40. The Jayhawks would extend the lead to 61-48 thanks to a 33-6 run and finished the game outscoring WVU 49-16 over the final 16 minutes.
“I think a coach appreciates when a team responds after a technical,” Kansas Coach Brandon Schneider said after the game. “It’s usually a way for the players to know that I have their back and when they come back and play that hard, I think it is reciprocated.”
The 14-point margin is the sixth-largest halftime deficit overcome in school history and the largest since KU came from 17 points down to defeat Texas Tech, 68-66, on January 21, 2015.
Kansas had four players in double figures, led by Wyvette Mayberry and Zakiyah Franklin with 19 points apiece, while Holly Kersgieter had 16. Taiyanna Jackson recorded her 11th double-double of the season with 13 points and 16 rebounds, while adding three blocked shots.
The first quarter was back and forth, with West Virginia leading 17-15 after one. The Jayhawks struggled to get going in the second quarter, turning the ball over nine times, and shooting only 18.2% from the floor while scoring a season-low five points in the quarter to go into the break trailing 34-20.
WVU’s margin remained 14 at 42-28 after the Mountaineers scored four points in a possession following a technical foul. The Jayhawks went on a 15-0 run to take the lead for the first time all night and shot 62.5% from the floor during the third quarter to lead 44-43 with 10 minutes to play.
Kersgieter started off the fourth quarter by hitting two threes within the first minute and a half to give the Jayhawks a three-point lead. This led to the Jayhawks starting the fourth quarter on a 9-2 run. Franklin dished out seven assists, which is a new season high, and Mayberry scored 13 points in the fourth quarter alone as KU pulled away for the 77-58 victory.
The win improves the Jayhawks record to 13-4 overall, and 3-3 in Big 12 play. Kansas is now 2-1 at home in Big 12 conference play and 9-1 overall at Allen Fieldhouse this season.
Kansas plays its third nationally-ranked opponent in the past five games as the Jayhawks head on the road to face No. 18 Iowa State on Saturday, Jan. 21. That game will tip off at 5 p.m. CT and be televised on ESPN+.