In a game that had its ups and downs, the Kansas Jayhawks used Aniya Thomas’ 14 points in 18 minutes to survive a late charge from the Texas Tech Lady Raiders to win their seventh straight Big 12 conference game.
Both teams had a tough shooting start and the first quarter ended with Texas Tech holding a 15-9 lead. Texas Tech started to figure it out in the 2nd quarter, while the Jayhawks were still struggling. The game ended at halftime with the Lady Raiders holding a 38-25 lead thanks to Vivian Gray’s 18 points at halftime.
But the Jayhawks came out firing in the 2nd half, using Taiyanna Jackson’s excellent defense to stop Vivian Gray and fuel a huge Kansas run. A 24-9 3rd quarter for the Jayhawks turned that 13-point halftime deficit into a 2-point lead going into the final period.
Kansas continued their hot streak in the 4th, but the inevitable comeback came. Vivian Gray started to find holes in the Kansas defense, but a clutch attack from Aniya Thomas and a big defense from Taiyanna Jackson put Holly Kersgieter in position to freeze the game for the Jayhawks at the free throw line .
Taiyanna Jackson: She led all Jayhawks with 17 points and added 8 rebounds and 4 blocks. His defense helped stop Vivian Gray for the entire 3rd quarter, which allowed the Jayhawks to mount their comeback.
Ioanna Chatzileonti: She scored 16 points on 10 shots and added 5 rebounds. She stepped up on a night when KU’s leading outside scorers were largely ineffective.
Aniya Thomas: She scored 10 of her 14 points in the last 2 minutes of the 3rd quarter and the first 2 minutes of the 4th quarter. Meanwhile, Kansas went from a 2-point deficit to a 9-point lead.
With 7:56 to go in the 3rd quarter, Zakiyah Franklin made the first 3-pointer for the Jayhawks. They were 0-9 before that shot and finished just 4-17 on the night.
Kansas didn’t allow Texas Tech to pick up an offensive rebound in the 2nd half until 4:55 remained in the game. The Jayhawks went 31-11 during that streak.
In a tie with 1:20 left in the game and Texas Tech having the ball, Aniya Thomas passed and stole and lay-up to put Kansas in the lead 64-62.
The Jayhawks head home to face the Big 12, the No. 6 Iowa State Cyclones, who are one game ahead of Kansas in the standings. This is the first 4 game against other Big 12 title contenders to close the season. Game tips at 7 p.m. on February 23 and will air on Big 12 Now on ESPN+
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