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Jayhawk Women Battle No. 9 Virginia Tech, Fall 59-58 in Cayman Islands Classic


GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands ( –  Kansas women’s basketball stood toe-to-toe with No. 9 Virginia Tech on Friday at the Cayman Islands Classic, but suffered a 59-58 defeat inside John Gray Gymnasium.


The loss drops Kansas to 2-2 on the year, while Virginia Tech improves to 4-1.

The game featured seven ties and 17 lead changes, with neither team leading by more than seven points in the game. Kansas outscored Virginia Tech 32-22 in the paint and turned 21 Virginia Tech turnovers into 17 points. The Jayhawks shot 38.9% from the field and hit 4-of-13 three pointers, while the Hokies were 41.5% from the field and hit 3-of-12 threes.

“I think the most encouraging thing I take away from this game is how well our bench played. We had some players who came off the bench and were part of our best lineups tonight. I thought we did a much better job of being assignment correct defensively. We had some really strong possessions at the defensive end, but didn’t finish enough of them the way we needed to.”


Taiyanna Jackson was 3-for-3 from the field in the first quarter, but limited to six minutes of action due to foul trouble. Kansas led by as many as four early in the quarter, but Virginia Tech took the lead late in the quarter and held a 19-16 advantage after 10 minutes of play.

Virginia Tech scored the first four points of the second quarter, pushing their advantage to 23-16 with 8:51 to play in the half. The Jayhawks responded with a 10-3 run, tying the game at 26-all on a three-pointer from Ryan Cobbins with 4:05 to play. Both teams settled in defensively and the score was tied three more times in the half before Virginia Tech took a 32-21 lead to the break.

The Hokies again started a quarter with momentum, putting up the first six points of the third to lead 38-31 before S’Mya Nichols ended the run with a deep jumper. Nichols again connected from deep, knocking down a three-pointer that cut the deficit to four, 40-36, at the third quarter media timeout.

Kansas was within one at 44-43 when Jackson picked up her fourth foul, which was followed by a technical foul assessed to the KU bench. Virginia Tech hit all four free throws and scored a basket on the ensuing possession, but Nichols scored the final four points of the quarter as the Jayhawks clawed to within three, 50-47, as the third quarter concluded.

The Jayhawks regained the lead less than two minutes into the fourth quarter on a jumper from Nichols, which was the first of eight lead changes in the final 10 minutes of play. Holly Kersgieter gave Kansas its final lead of the game with a three-pointer that made it 58-56 with 3:15 to play. Virginia Tech answered with a three on their next possession and it proved to be the final scoring of the game as each team was held scoreless for the final 2:57 of the game.

Nichols led the way for Kansas with 13 points, while Zakiyah Franklin joined her in double figures with 12. Jackson battled foul trouble and finished with eight points, four rebounds and one blocked shot in just 18 minutes of action. Eight different Jayhawks scored in the game, including 14 points coming from the bench.

Next Up
Kansas concludes play at the Cayman Islands Classic on Saturday, Nov. 25, taking on No. 6 UConn at 6:30 p.m. CT.