On a hot streak: KU women go 4-0, take down Black Bears in tournament opener
Kansas women’s basketball traveled to Moraga, California, on Friday to take on the Maine Black Bears to begin the Saint Mary’s Thanksgiving Classic. KU managed to control the paint on both ends of the court in a dominant performance where Kansas trailed for just 22 seconds.
KU dominated the low post which proved to be the key to success for the Jayhawks in a 76-49 win over Maine. Kansas outscored the Black Bears 50-22 in points in the paint while it also cleaned the glass, outrebounding Maine 40-28.
KU opened the game red hot, starting on a 9-0 run led by junior guard Wyvette Mayberry. The Black Bears immediately responded with a 12-2 run in just over three minutes of play to erase the deficit and take a one-point lead.
In a first quarter full of scoring runs, Kansas then went on a 15-2 run to take a 12-point lead to end the first quarter.
Mayberry was a spark plug starting against the Black Bears. Mayberry shot perfect from both the field and the charity stripe, scoring nine points while adding two assists and a steal in the opening period.
Senior center Taiyanna Jackson showcased her low-post dominance in the first half, scoring 10 points on 5-for-7 shooting in the paint, along with a game-high six rebounds and three assists in the half. Jackson anchored the Jayhawks on defense as well, adding a block and a steal to her stat sheet.
Junior guard Caroline Bornemann carried the load for Maine in the first half, scoring 12 of the team’s 28 total points. Bornemann shot 5-for-9 from the field, splashing home two three-pointers, while leading the Black Bears in rebounds.
Kansas took a 16-point lead at halftime thanks to a 60% shooting half, with senior guard Zakiyah Franklin leading the team with 13 points, 10 of those coming just in the second quarter, adding two steals to her total.
The Jayhawks’ lead only continued to grow in the third quarter as KU played to its strengths: attacking at the rim and getting to the foul line. Kansas shot 7-for-15 in the quarter with every made basket coming from inside the arc.
The Jayhawks converted all four of their free throw attempts while keeping Maine away from the line entirely. KU found itself with a 27-point lead with no signs of slowing down as it headed into the fourth quarter.
Franklin, who played 30 minutes off the bench, led the way for Kansas with 21 points on 10-for-16 shooting, while Mayberry, Jackson, junior guard Chandler Prater and senior guard Holly Kersgieter all scored in double figures.
Although the Jayhawks won this game by 27 points, their poor shooting from beyond the arc showed once again. Kansas ended shooting 2-for-15 from deep, yet finished with an above-50% shooting day against Maine.
Next up for the now 4-0 Kansas Jayhawks: a match with Saint Mary’s as they continue the Thanksgiving Classic Saturday at 4 p.m.