LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas Jayhawks dropped a back-and-forth thriller to No. 14/13 Baylor on Sunday afternoon at Allen Fieldhouse, with the Bears pulling out an 82-79 win thanks to four free throws in the final eight seconds.
Aniya Thomas gave Kansas a four-point lead with 25 seconds left when she connected on one of two free throw attempts. But Baylor’s Ja’Mee Asberry hit a 3-pointer with 12 seconds left to make it a one-point game. The Bears then got a steal from Jordan Lewis with 10 seconds left. Lewis immediately gave the ball up to Asberry, who was fouled with eight seconds on the clock. Asberry hit both free throws to give Baylor a one-point lead at 80-79. The Jayhawks called a timeout and got a good look, but couldn’t finish. Baylor’s Nalyssa Smith corralled the rebound and got it to teammate Sarah Andrews, who hit two more free throws with just more than a second left. Kansas called a timeout, but couldn’t get a shot up before the buzzer and fell by three.
Kansas fell to 11-3 with the loss and 2-2 in Big 12 play, following a pair of wins earlier in the week over TCU and Texas. Baylor, meanwhile, improved to 11-4 overall and 1-2 in league play. Playing in front of a spirited home crowd, Kansas jumped out to an early lead and was up on Baylor 20-14 after the first quarter. The Jayhawks shot 8 of 15 from the floor in the first quarter and outrebounded the Bears, 10-6. Holly Kersgieter, who finished with a season-high 23 points, had eight points in the first quarter, and was perfect from the field at 3-of-3.
Baylor responded in the second quarter, thanks in large part to a 17-2 run in the frame. The Bears led 41-36 at half, outscoring Kansas 27-16 in the second. The Jayhawks shot 41 percent in the first half and outrebounded Baylor 21-18. Kersgieter had 12 points at the break.
The Jayhawks cut the lead to three after the third at 63-60. Julie Brosseau, who hit three 3-pointers for Kansas on Sunday, hit from deep in the final minute to tie the game, but Asberry hit a 3 at the buzzer to give the Bears a three-point lead heading into the final quarter. The two teams traded leads in the fourth, before Baylor eventually hung on for the victory.
On top of Kersgieter’s season-high 23 points, Ioanna Chatzileonti had a career-high 20 points to go with eight rebounds in 36 minutes. Zakiyah Franklin also hit the 20-point mark, finishing with 20 points, which also established a new season high for her. Franklin also added six assists, which is just one off her season best.
Andrews led all scorers with 25 points, while also adding six assists in 37 minutes. Asberry finished with 20 points, while Smith had 15 points and 10 rebounds. Queen Egbo also had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
"The crowd was exceptional, it's probably the best student turnout we have had at any time since I have been here. Hopefully they had a good time and you know they'll look forward to coming back and supporting this team. We really greatly appreciate everybody that made the effort to give us the best home court advantage possible today."
KANSAS COACH BRANDON SCHNEIDER
The Jayhawks return to action on Wednesday at Kansas State in the Dillons Sunflower Showdown. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
– With 20 points against Baylor, Ioanna Chatzileonti set a new career high. Her previous high was 19 which she set against Saint Louis on November 21.
– Holly Kersgieter had five 3-point field goals which ties her career high. She has now hit this mark four times in her career, most recently against Texas Tech on February 20, 2021.
– Kansas had three players score 20 or more points in Sunday’s game. Kergieter led the team in scoring for the ninth time this season with 23 points and was followed by Chatzileonti and Zakiyah Franklin who each had 20. This marked the first time since Kansas had three players score 20 or more points since Jan. 30, 2019 against Oklahoma.
– With 23 points, Kersgieter set a new season high. Her previous high was 22 against UTEP on November 27.
– Franklin’s 20 points were also good for a new season high. Her previous high was 14 against UTEP on November 27.
– Kansas had a total of 39 rebounds. Chatzileonti lead the team in boards for the third time this season with eight.
– The Jayhawks shot .500 (28-for-56) from the field, marking the sixth time this season that the team has shot .500 or better.