The Kansas Jayhawks pulled off a huge upset in Big 12 women’s basketball with a 70-66 overtime win over the No. 13 Texas Longhorns on Wednesday night.
Kansas (11-2, 2-1 in Big 12) was playing its third game in five nights, the result of rescheduling its Jan. 2 Big 12 opener with TCU due to COVID-19 protocols. The Jayhawks tipped off Big 12 action last Saturday with a loss at home to Oklahoma, followed by a road win at TCU on Monday.
At times, the Jayhawks looked like the fresher team in a matchup in which the Longhorns (12-3, 1-2) have traditionally had the upper hand. In 42 previous meetings, Texas had a 31-11 record and hadn’t lost to Kansas at home since Jan. 4. 2012.
Kansas also beat a ranked team for the first time this season, and for the first time since 2018.
The league’s traditional powers — namely Baylor and Texas — have struggled so far in Big 12 play. Baylor has lost both of its Big 12 games to Kansas State and Oklahoma. Texas has lost two of its three Big 12 games, with the losses to Texas Tech and Kansas coming on their home floor.
The Jayhawks changed that with a gutty win that saw them nearly win it in regulation, only to see Texas guard Aliyah Matharu tie the game with nine seconds left in regulation. Then, Kansas threw away its chance to win — literally — on an errant pass from Zakiyah Franklin that went out of bounds. But Texas had less than a second and couldn’t get a shot away.
In overtime, the Jayhawks kept pouring in points. Franklin atoned for her miscue with an overtime-opening 3-pointer. Holly Kersgieter, who saved a considerable amount of her team-high 19 points for the fourth quarter and overtime, hit key lay-ups and free throws as the Jayhawks built as much as a six-point lead with less than a minute to play.
Matharu tried to play the hero once again, hitting a 3-pointer with three seconds left. But Kansas’ Chandler Prater iced the game with a free throw with one second left, setting off a celebration on the Kansas bench.
Aniya Thomas scored 11 points for Kansas, while Franklin added 10 points.
Joanne Allen-Taylor led Texas with 18 points and DeYona Gaston added 14 points. Matharu scored 11 points, but only played 11 minutes due to foul trouble.
Kansas hosts Baylor on Sunday, while Texas hosts West Virginia on Saturday.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.
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