KU women look to get back on track vs. K-State on ESPNU

photo by: Chance Parker/Journal-World photo

Kansas senior Taiyanna Jackson drives to the basket against West Virginia on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023.

Fresh off of becoming one of 15 players in the country added to the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year watch list, Kansas senior Taiyanna Jackson will lead the Jayhawks into a battle with in-state rival Kansas State at Allen Fieldhouse on Sunday.

The game is the first of two installments of this year’s women’s hoops Sunflower Showdown — on Kansas Day, no less — and it will be broadcast nationally on ESPNU.

Tipoff is slated for 5 p.m.

The Jayhawks enter the game at 13-5 overall and 3-4 in Big 12 Conference play. After starting Big 12 play with a pair of wins over Oklahoma State and Texas Tech, Brandon Schneider’s club has lost four of its last five conference clashes, with three of those losses coming to ranked teams.

Kansas State, meanwhile, comes to Lawrence with a 13-8 overall record and a 2-6 mark in Big 12 play. The Wildcats have lost five of their last six conference games after splitting with Texas and Oklahoma State to open Big 12 play.

Kansas State is 0-4 in true road games so far this season and the Jayhawks are 9-1 at home. The home team has won the last five matchups in this series, which K-State leads 78-49 overall, including a mark of 33-27 in games played inside Allen Fieldhouse.

The Jayhawks have defeated the Wildcats at home in each of the past two seasons, however, and they’ll have a great chance to do so again in this one if Jackson continues her dominant play.

The 6-foot-6 senior from East Chicago, Indiana, leads the conference with 54 blocks (which ranks third nationally) and is fifth in the country in field goal percentage (64.9%) and rebounds per game (12.7).

She has recorded a Big 12-best 12 double-doubles in KU’s first 18 games of the season, with five of those coming in conference play. Jackson also averages 14.8 points per game and has scored in double figures 15 times already.

K-State is led by senior Gabby Gregory at 19 points per game and sophomore Serena Sundell, who is one of five players in the nation currently averaging at least 11 points, five rebounds and five assists per game.

Sunday’s game marks the beginning of a stretch where three of the next four Kansas games will be played at home.

After this one, the Jayhawks will travel to Waco, Texas, next Wednesday for a rematch with Baylor, before playing host to Texas on Feb. 4 and TCU on Feb. 8.


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