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Kansas Collects Senior Night Victory over No. 20 Oklahoma


LAWRENCE, Kan. ( – S’Mya Nichols scored a career-high 29 points and Holly Kersgieter added 26 in her final game at Allen Fieldhouse as the Kansas Jayhawks defeated No. 20 Oklahoma 83-74 on Saturday evening.


In defeating the No. 20 Sooners, who had already clinched the Big 12 regular season championship, Kansas picked up its third win over a ranked opponent this season. The Jayhawks improved to 18-11 on the year, while finishing league play with an 11-7 record. Kansas has a .500 or better record in conference play for the third-straight season and finished the year with a 13-1 record at Allen Fieldhouse.

The win came on Senior Night for Kansas, who honored five seniors prior to tipoff. As they have been for much of the past three years, the Jayhawks were led by the senior trio of Kersgieter, Taiyanna Jackson and Zakiyah Franklin, who combined with Nichols to score 78 of KU’s 83 points in the contest, which was played in front of 4,609 fans.

“There are program changers and there are all kinds of numbers out there to indicate and prove what these guys have meant to the women’s basketball program here,” Kansas head coach Brandon Schneider said postgame. “But just look at the attendance, there’s no greater evidence than the support this team has earned.”

Kersgieter scored a season-high 26 points, hitting 11-of-16 field goal attempts and adding three made three-pointers to her school record total, which now stands at 263. Jackson recorded her 13th double-double of the season and 40th of her career, scoring 12 points and pulling down 15 rebounds before fouling out late in the contest. She also had two blocked shots, which extends her school record total to 296. Playing in her school record 150th game as a Jayhawk, Franklin had 11 points and three assists in 36 minutes of action.

While the seniors made their various contributions, it was the freshman Nichols who led the Jayhawks on this night. She connected on 7-of-11 field goal attempts, including 2-of-3 three-pointers, while using her aggressiveness to get to the free throw line. Nichols went 13-of-16 from the stripe, setting careers in both free throw makes and attempts, to get to 29 points and rounded out her stat line with two rebounds and two assists.

KU’s fifth starter, senior Wyvette Mayberry added the other five points on the night. The Jayhawks fifth senior honored on Saturday was Ryan Cobbins, who had three rebounds and an assist in 15 valuable minutes of action off the bench.

Kersgieter and Nichols paved the way in the first quarter as they combined to score 17 of the Jayhawks’ 19 points. Oklahoma led 6-2 less than three minutes into the game, but Kansas scored the next 10 points and used a 15-2 run to lead 17-8 with 2:32 to play in the quarter. The teams traded baskets on the final possession of the quarter and Kansas led 19-10 after Nichols went coast-to-coast to score at the buzzer, giving her 10 points in the first.

OU went on a 14-0 run early in the second quarter, regaining the lead at 24-21 before extending the lead to eight at 31-23 as the run reached 21-2. Kersgieter halted the run and scored the next five Kansas points as she moved into double figures with 12 points.

Nichols completed two traditional three-point plays to score the next six points for KU to cut Oklahoma’s lead to within four at 36-32. She added another three points off of free throws to finish the half with 19 points. The Sooners led 39-37 at halftime after outscoring the Jayhawks 29-18 in the second quarter.

Kansas and Oklahoma traded off scoring for the first five minutes of the second half with the Jayhawks holding a 47-46 advantage at the media break. A 6-0 KU run featured another Nichols basket and free throw and a Kersgieter three, giving Kansas a 55-48 advantage of the half to that point. The Jayhawks led 59-53 at the end of the third after posting a 22-14 scoring edge in the quarter.

OU got within four with its first basket of the fourth quarter, but a 5-0 spurt by the Jayhawks gave KU a nine-point edge. The Jayhawks never let the lead get lower than six the rest of the game, as KU put the game at the free throw line, hitting 8-of-11 attempts in the fourth quarter to secure the victory.

Next Up
Kansas enters postseason play at the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship, which takes place on March 7-12 at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Missouri. The Jayhawks will play their first game on Friday, March 8, with time and opponent to be announced following the conclusion of the regular season on Sunday.