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Jayhawks’ Win Streak Snapped at No. 24 Baylor

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WACO, Texas (KUAthletics.com) – S’Mya Nichols matched her career high with 23 points on Wednesday night, but the Kansas Jayhawks had its five-game win streak snapped after suffering a 69-61 defeat to No. 24 Baylor at Foster Pavilion.

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Nichols reached the 20-point mark for the fifth time in her freshman season, totaling 23 points on 6-of-11 shooting while knocking down all 10 of her free throw attempts. Zakiyah Franklin added 15 points, and Wyvette Mayberry had 10 points and six rebounds. Taiyanna Jackson totaled eight points, nine rebounds and two blocked shots.

Kansas moves to 15-11 on the year and 8-7 in Big 12 play with three games remaining in the regular season. Baylor improves to 20-6 (9-6 Big 12) after earning the win to split the regular season series against Kansas.

“I think it’s one of those games where you let the frustration of the offensive end and not making baskets impact important defensive possessions on the other end,” Kansas coach Brandon Schneider said after the game. “It’s that next play mentality, it’s something that every player battles, it’s something that every team battles. I thought Baylor capitalized on those moments, in particular with points in the paint. That’s where I’m probably most disappointed with our performance is not doing a better job of overall defending the paint.”

Kansas scored the first five points of the game and led by as many as six, taking a 9-3 advantage off of a Taiyanna Jackson basket just less than four minutes into the first quarter. The Jayhawks were held scoreless for the next five minutes as Baylor rallied to tie the game at nine all. S’Mya Nichols scored four-straight points, helping the Jayhawks to a 15-11 advantage before the Bears closed the quarter with the last five points to take their first lead of the night at 16-15.

The lead changed hands four times early in the second quarter before Baylor used a 10-0 run to take a 28-19 advantage at the 3:25 mark. The Jayhawks were held scoreless for more than six minutes in the quarter and Baylor led by 10 on three occasions before taking a 35-26 lead into halftime with all KU’s points scored by the five starters.

Nichols scored 13 of KU’s 19 points in the third quarter, including the final nine that helped Kansas pull to within two at 47-45 with 1:52 to play in the period. Baylor, however, answered with a 7-0 run to end the quarter and extended their lead back to nine at 54-45.

Baylor maintained a double-figure lead until the final 1:16, when Nichols scored on a fast break layup to match her career high and make it a nine-point game at 67-61. Franklin knocked down a three-pointer, cutting it to six with 37 seconds to play, but Baylor closed out the game with a pair of free throws and claimed the 69-61 victory.

Next Up
Kansas returns home to Allen Fieldhouse for the second edition of the Dillons Sunflower Showdown against No. 10 Kansas State on Sunday, Feb. 25. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m. CT and the game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN2.

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