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No. 6 Longhorns Outlast Jayhawks in Quarterfinals of Big 12 Championship


KANSAS CITY, Mo. ( – Freshman S’Mya Nichols registered her eighth 20-point game of the season Saturday night, but seventh-seeded Kansas fell to second-seed Texas 76-60 in the quarterfinals of the 2024 Phillips 66 Big 12 Women’s Basketball Championship at T-Mobile Center.


Nichols, an All-Big 12 First Team selection, led Kansas with 20 points, while Holly Kersgieter added 17 points and Zakiyah Franklin contributed 13. Big 12 Co-Player of the Year Madison Booker led Texas – ranked No. 6 nationally – with a game-high 21 points and seven assists.

The loss dropped Kansas to 19-12 on the season. The Jayhawks will now turn their attention to the NCAA Tournament Selection Show, which is slated for Sunday, March 17.

The Jayhawks took an early lead less than three minutes into the game, when Kersgieter knocked down a three-pointer and Franklin converted on a basket to make it 5-4, Kansas. The Longhorns responded with five straight points to grab a 9-5 lead at the first media timeout of the game at the 5:08 mark of the first quarter.

After a pair of free throws from Nichols made it 9-7, the Longhorns scored eight straight to grab a 17-7 lead with 3:01 to play in the first. Kansas ended the run with a another three-pointer from Kersgieter, and then after a Texas bucket, Taiyanna Jackson scored on a putback to make it 19-12, which held up to be the score after the opening quarter.

Kansas scored the first six points of the second quarter, thanks to four-straight points from Nichols and a pair of free throws from Franklin. The 6-0 spurt cut the Texas lead to one at 19-18. The Longhorns extended the lead back to six at 24-18, before Nichols converted a layup to make it a four-point game. Texas then scored the next five to go up nine, before Franklin got it back to seven with a jumper at the 4:35 mark of the second quarter to make it 29-22 at the media timeout.

Texas got the lead to eight at 31-23 before Kersgieter rattled off five straight points to make it a three-point game with 2:13 to play in the half. Following a basket and a free throw from Texas, Kersgieter hit one of two from the free throw line to make it a five-point game at 29-24, which marked the halftime score. Kersgieter led the Jayhawks in the first with 12 points, going a perfect 3-for-3 from deep.

Kersgieter stayed hot to start the second half, knocking down a 3-pointer after a Texas bucket to make it a four-point game. Nichols then scored on a layup to cut it to two. The Longhorns then scored just their second basket of the third quarter with 5:46 left to make it a four-point game. The Jayhawks held Texas to just four points over the first five-plus minutes of the second half, despite battling foul trouble in the post. Texas led 38-34 at the first media timeout of the second half.

Texas got its third basket of the half with 4:18 left in the third to extend its lead to six. But Nichols scored five straight points for the Jayhawks, thanks to a pair of free throws and a 3-pointer to make the score 40-39, Texas, which was the closest the score had been since it was 19-18. But Texas answered right back with a quick 6-0 spurt again to extend the lead back to seven. Franklin and Kersgieter then had back-to-back layups, before UT’s Aaliyah Moore scored with 24 seconds left in the third to make the score 48-43 at the end of three.

Texas opened the fourth with a 3-pointer to go up eight and then never led by fewer than six the rest of the way, outscoring Kansas by 11 in the final quarter. Moore posted a double-double for Texas with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Taylor Jones added 15 for Texas, which improved to 28-4 on the season.