Jayhawks remain hopeful, despite 5-game skid
photo by: Damon Young/Photo courtesy of KU Athletics
Only three games and eight days remain in the regular season for the Kansas women’s basketball team. And while recent results haven’t been what coach Brandon Schneider and the Jayhawks desired, they remain more hopeful than discouraged.
Following a 9-point home loss to Texas earlier this week, Schneider repeated a sentiment he has brought up throughout KU’s current five-game losing streak: He sees the Jayhawks competing.
Putting the skid behind them on Saturday won’t be easy, with No. 18 West Virginia visiting Allen Fieldhouse. But the Jayhawks did play a tight game with the Mountaineers on the road just more than two weeks ago, losing 69-61. That setback was the first in KU’s ongoing streak.
Schneider thinks the Jayhawks have been competitive in every one of this string of losses, and he wants them to “continue to grow and improve and play to the best of (their) ability as we head down the home stretch.”
It was during the last quarter of KU’s loss to Texas this week that Schneider saw those characteristics, as his team trimmed a 19-point deficit to single digits late.
“You’re playing primarily with freshmen, sophomores and a junior that just continue to fight and battle and compete and represent themselves in a way that we talk about all the time,” Schneider said.
What: Kansas (7-14 overall, 3-12 Big 12) vs. No. 18 West Virginia (17-4, 11-4)
When: 1 p.m. Saturday, ESPN+
Where: Allen Fieldhouse
Quick Note: The Jayhawks’ struggles finishing around the basket contributed heavily to their most recent defeat.
They shot 39.6% from the field overall, and could’ve boosted those percentage points significantly by converting deep in the paint. KU finished just 13-for-25 on layups.
Many of their misses came in the first quarter, when the Longhorns outscored them 17-5.
“Unfortunately, I think we were 0-for-7 at the rim,” Schneider said of the first period. “I thought we got some good looks. Just played too sped up to finish what we felt like were some layups.”
The Jayhawks shot 15-for-32 in the paint and 6-for-21 from everywhere else, including a 5-for-13 showing on 3-pointers.
In their previous meeting with WVU, they only made 14 of 32 layups.
Streaking: WVU’s star senior guard, Kysre Gondrezick, remains on a scoring tear.
Coming off 19 points in the Mountaineers’ loss to Iowa State, Gondrezick now has scored 14 or more in 15 consecutive games. She has topped 20 seven times in that span, as well.
She scored 19 against Kansas earlier this month, but the Jayhawks held her to 6-for-18 shooting. Gondrezick is a 44.1% shooter on the year. She leads WVU with 47 3-pointers, hitting 37%.
Slumping: KU opponents consistently are outrebounding the Jayhawks in Big 12 play.
Against Texas, the Longhorns controlled the glass, 41-32.
On average, foes are outrebounding KU, 40.5-36.5.
In the first KU-WVU game, the Mountaineers won the battle, 32-28.
KU last won the rebound margin in a game in its most recent victory, against TCU. The Jayhawks held a 38-37 edge on the glass and won the game, 82-72.
Last game’s starters
G — Zakiyah Franklin, 5-7, so.
G — Holly Kersgieter, 5-10, so.
G — Brooklyn Mitchell, 5-6, jr.
F — Ioanna Chatzileonti, 6-3, fr.
F — Katrine Jessen, 6-3, fr.
G — Kyrse Gondrezick, 5-9, sr.
G — Kirsten Deans, 5-8, so.
G — Jasmine Carson, 5-10, jr.
F — Kari Niblack, 6-1, jr.
F — Esmery Martinez, 6-2, so.