Women’s Hoops Set for Top Competition at Cayman Islands Classic

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LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas Jayhawks will spend Thanksgiving weekend at the Cayman Islands Classic, where KU will face Top 10 opponents in consecutive days, matching up against No. 9 Virginia Tech and No. 6 UConn.


Kansas will meet Virginia Tech at 4 p.m. CT on Friday, Nov. 24, before taking on UConn at 6:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, Nov. 25. The games will be played at John Gray Gymnasium in George Town, Cayman Islands. Both games will be streamed by FloSports, while the audio broadcast will be provided by the Jayhawk Radio Network from Learfield, with Steven Davis calling the action.


Kansas heads to the Cayman Islands with a 2-1 record following its 70-61 victory over Kansas City on Saturday, Nov. 18 at Municipal Auditorium. Four starters scored in double figures against Kansas City, led by S’Mya Nichols with 17 points while Taiyanna Jackson recorded her second double-double in three games with 12 points and 12 rebounds.


Kansas is in the midst of a four-game stretch of road or neutral games, which started with a 91-85 defeat at Penn State on Nov. 13. The Jayhawks have played just once at Allen Fieldhouse this season, defeating Northwestern State 88-46 on Nov. 8 to open the season.


Virginia Tech is 3-1 on the season and ranked No. 9 in both national polls this week. The Hokies lone loss was an 80-76 defeat against No. 3 Iowa, while they have victories over High Point, Houston Christian and UNC Greensboro. A Final Four team last season, VT is led by All-America center Elizabeth Kitley, who averages 24.3 points and 10.8 rebounds per game.


UConn is 3-1 on the season and ranked No. 6 in the AP Top 25 poll following victories over No. 20 Maryland and Minnesota last week. The Huskies are led by All-America forward Aaliyah Edwards, who averages 18.0 points per game, and 2021 Wooden Award winner Paige Bueckers, who’s posting 17.8 points per contest.


Four Jayhawks are averaging double figures in scoring, while all five starters are at 9.0 points per game through the first three outings of the season. Holly Kersgieter is leading the way, scoring 18.7 points per game while shooting 60.0% (21-35) from the field and 55.0% (11-20) from three-point range. Kersgieter is 10th in career scoring at Kansas with 1,615 points and third in three-pointers with 219 in her career.


Unanimous Preseason All-Big selection Taiyanna Jackson is averaging 14.7 points, 10.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocked shots per game while shooting 58.3% (21-36) from the field. On Nov. 14, Jackson was named to the Wooden Award Watch List, her third preseason watch list. She’s also been recognized by the Naismith Award and the Lisa Leslie Award.


Kansas freshman S’Mya Nichols has set a new career-high in scoring in each of the last two games, first with 14 points at Penn State, followed by 17 against Kansas City. Nichols is now averaging 12.7 points per game for the year.


Up Next

Kansas returns home to Allen Fieldhouse on Thursday, Nov. 30, to host Southeastern Louisiana in non-conference action. That game is set to tip off at 6:30 p.m. and be televised on ESPN+.