KU women’s basketball closes European trip with win in Greece

photo by: Kansas Athletics

S'Mya Nichols controls the ball during Kansas' game against Greek Select in Athens, Greece, on Aug. 13, 2023.

Freshman guard S’Mya Nichols led Kansas in scoring for the second consecutive exhibition game, center Danai Papadopoulou scored 14 points back in her native Greece, and Laia Conesa and Nadira Eltayeb each put up double-doubles as the KU women’s basketball team beat Greek Select 108-52 on Sunday.

The Jayhawks outrebounded Greek Select by a staggering 59-22 margin and used that dominance on the boards to build their advantage. After falling behind 10-7 early in the first quarter, KU embarked on a 25-8 run to lead by 14 at the end of the first quarter and just kept building from there.

Nichols’ game-high 20 points came in just 24 minutes on 9-of-12 shooting. Fellow freshman Conesa put up her second strong showing in a row with 13 points and 12 rebounds from her guard spot. As returning center Taiyanna Jackson played only 12 minutes, Papadopoulou and Eltayeb each reached double figures at center, with Eltayeb adding 11 boards.

Veterans Zakiyah Franklin and Holly Kersgieter added 12 and 14 more points, respectively.

“We had multiple people shoot the ball well today,” KU coach Brandon Schneider said in a press release. “It’s always nice to see the entire team be comfortable and step in and make some shots.”

Despite fielding nine players, Greek Select had four double-digit scorers who combined to account for all 52 of the team’s points, 27 of which came on 3-pointers.

KU’s defense improved over the course of the night in Athens, Greece, as the Jayhawks allowed fewer points in each successive quarter.

“I think we had one defensive thing we wanted to stress today, and that was some ball screen coverages,” Schneider said. “I was excited to see our team be able to make those adjustments.”

The Jayhawks made four 3s as they outscored Greek Select by 15 in the third quarter, but weren’t exceptional from deep overall for the game, going 8-for-26 (31%) in total.

With the preseason experience under their belt, they will return to action Oct. 6 for Late Night in the Phog at Allen Fieldhouse. Big 12 Conference women’s basketball media day is also set for Oct. 17.

photo by: Kansas Athletics

Kansas guard Laia Conesa dribbles up the court during the game against Greek Select in Athens, Greece, on Aug. 13, 2023.

photo by: Kansas Athletics

Kansas’ Danai Papadoulou goes up for a layup during the Jayhawks’ game against Greek Select in Athens, Greece, on Aug. 13, 2023.


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