LAWRENCE, Kan. (KUAthletics.com) – In a game that featured 11 ties, 24 lead changes and neither team leading by more than five points, it was the Kansas Jayhawks that prevailed over Iowa State, defeating the Cyclones 60-58 on Wednesday night at Allen Fieldhouse.
Kansas got double-digit scoring performances from S’Mya Nichols, Zakiyah Franklin and Wyvette Mayberry. Nichols led the Jayhawks with 16 points while Franklin and Mayberry added 13 apiece. The game was the 140th career game for Franklin at Kansas, which surpasses the legendary Lynette Woodard for the most games played in program history.
“We made plays tonight when we really had to,” Kansas coach Brandon Schneider said postgame. “I thought our defense was exceptional, to only give up two fast break points and hold those guys under 40 percent shooting speaks to the effort we had.”
With the win, Kansas improves to 10-9 on the season and 3-5 in Big 12 Conference play, while Iowa State falls to 12-6 (6-2 Big 12).
Franklin opened the game with a three-pointer on KU’s opening possession. Following that bucket, the Jayhawks were held scoreless for the next six minutes. Taiyanna Jackson scored on a post move with 3:03 in the quarter to knot the score at 5-5 and, in the process, moved to No. 31 on KU’s career scoring list, passing Tracy Claxton.
Kansas then added a three-pointer from Ryan Cobbins and a layup from Nichols to lead 10-8 after 10 minutes of play. The Jayhawks defended well in the quarter, holding the Cyclones to just 3-of-16 shooting from the field.
The second quarter continued to be back-and-forth basketball as there were seven lead changes in the period. Kansas was led by Mayberry, who totaled five points in the quarter on perfect shooting. The Jayhawks also continued their effort on the defensive end, as KU forced seven turnovers in the second. Kansas and Iowa State went into the locker room knotted up at 24 at the halftime break.
Iowa State started to heat up in the second half, as the Cyclones sparked an early 6-0 run in the third quarter. Kansas was able to weather the Cyclone run and continued to keep the game close late into the third quarter. Kansas then went on a 6-0 run of their own to quickly take the lead back from the Cyclones. ISU closed the gap, but Kansas took a 41-40 lead into the fourth quarter.
The highly contested action continued in the fourth quarter, which featured eight ties and 13 lead changes. The game went down to the wire, as both teams traded one-point leads down the stretch.
Kansas took its final lead with 1:52 to play on a layup by Nichols. A pair of defensive stops and two free throws apiece by Franklin and Cobbins allowed the Jayhawks to take the largest lead of the game at 60-55 with 10 seconds to play. ISU hit a late three-pointer to close the final margin to 60-58.
Nichols, Franklin and Mayberry combined for 42 of KU’s 60 points, with Taiyanna Jackson adding nine points, four rebounds and three blocks in just 16 minutes of action. Cobbins chipped in seven points and eight rebounds – one off her season high – in 21 minutes of action off the bench.
Kansas heads to the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Oklahoma, on Saturday, Jan. 27 to face the Oklahoma Sooners. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. CT and the game will be broadcast on ESPN+.