Kansas Women’s Basketball on the Rise with Fab Four Appearance
The Kansas women’s basketball team cannot be stopped! Since being snubbed from the WNCAA Tourney, the Lady Jayhawks have ripped off four straight wins in the WNIT. They’ve hosted all four of their WNIT games at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kan., winning each game with ease to this point.
The team started out with an 86-72 opening round win over Western Kentucky. Senior Taiyanna Jackson led the way, shooting 9-for-11 from the field, scoring 21 points and adding 15 rebounds. Zakiyah Franklin added 20 points, seven assists and six rebounds, and all of the starters were in double digits by the end of the game.
Over the next three games, the Lady Jayhawks led wire-to-wire in each game. It started with a 75-47 blowout win over the Missouri Tigers. The former Border War rival never stood a chance, as Franklin led the way with 21 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the field. Once again, every starter scored in double digits, as the Jayhawks ran away in this one.
In the third game of the tournament for the Lady Jayhawks, they faced another former Big 12 rival in the Nebraska Cornhuskers. The Huskers kept it close until KU took over in the fourth quarter. Four of the five starting players for the Lady Jayhawks were in double figures again.
This past Sunday, the Lady Jayhawks hosted the Arkansas Razorbacks. The women were out to avenge the men’s team, who lost 72-71 to the Razorbacks in the second round of the NCAA tournament. They were able to get their revenge in a 78-64 win over the Lady Razorbacks. Holly Kersgieter led the way with 25 points. Taiyanna Jackson added 22 points and 11 rebounds in another dominant effort. Franklin and Wyvette Mayberry each added 10 points in the outstanding team effort as well.
Now, the Lady Jayhawks will look to extend their season a little bit longer. Kansas will host the Washington Huskies tonight in a Fab Four semifinal matchup that should be very entertaining. The Huskies, like the Jayhawks, are riding high after winning multiple games in the tournament, including a 55-48 win over the Kansas State Wildcats. The Huskies then edged out their Pac-12 rival, the Oregon Ducks, 63-59. It was the fourth time those two teams had met this season.
The Huskies, like the Jayhawks, like to spread the ball around. The Jayhawks should have the advantage with three seniors in the starting lineup and playing in front of the home crowd. The game will be on ESPN+ and tips off at 6:30 CT. If the Lady Jayhawks beat Washington, they will host the NAIA Championship game on Saturday, April 1st, at 4:30 p.m. CT at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence. That game will be aired on CBS Sports Network.
With more eyes on the women’s game than ever before, it’s a good time to be a part of the Lady Jayhawks’ basketball program. Last weekend, the women’s tournament had four of the seven largest viewing audiences, outside of the Final Four, of all-time. The Iowa-Louisville game had 2.5 million viewers, the most of any non-Final Four women’s game ever. Those numbers top any NBA game that has aired on ESPN this season to date. It’s great to see the women’s game grow and people giving their time to this product.
In what could have been seen as a disappointment for not making the NCAA Women’s Tournament, the Lady Jayhawks have dominated their way through the WNIT and are looking to add more trophies to the display case in Allen Fieldhouse. A win tonight would set the team up for the biggest home game in Lady Jayhawks history, with a chance to bring home another championship to Lawrence.