KU women’s hoops comeback falls just short in 77-73 loss at Baylor

photo by: Damon Young/Kansas Athletics

Kansas' Chandler Prater puts up a jump shot from the outside during the Jayhawks 77-73 road loss at Baylor on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023 in Waco, Texas.

The Kansas women’s basketball team cut its deficit to just two points with 12 seconds left in the fourth quarter at Baylor on Wednesday night, but senior guard Holly Kersgieter’s team-high 20 points weren’t enough to complete the comeback, and the Jayhawks fell 77-73.

It was a rough start for both teams. Points came at a premium, with just four combined points scored in the first five minutes of the game.

Kersgieter scored Kansas’s first field goal, converting from beyond the arc with 4:18 left in the quarter.

Both defenses ramped up the pressure to force a combined 13 turnovers while keeping transition baskets to a minimum. The Bears (15-6 overall, 6-3 Big 12) scored just eight points in the quarter, shooting under 30%, while the Jayhawks scored 12 points on 36% shooting to take a four-point lead into the second quarter.

The Jayhawks found their way to the paint in the second quarter and were able to put pressure on Baylor’s interior defenders. Kansas (14-6, 4-5) outscored Baylor 10-4 in the paint, keeping its tight lead before junior guard Sarah Andrews led Baylor on an 8-2 scoring run to take a two-point lead and end the first half up 30-28.

Senior center Taiyanna Jackson spent the second quarter on the bench after racking up two personal fouls in the first, ending the half with just four points and two rebounds.

Kersgieter had 11 points at halftime and was the only player on either team to score in double figures by the break. Kansas had 13 turnovers in the first half, and the Bears scored 11 points off of those turnovers.

Jackson immediately made her presence felt in the third quarter. She wasted no time getting involved on both sides of the floor, racking up six points, four rebounds, two blocks and a steal in 10 minutes of play.

Despite Jackson’s impact in the post, Baylor managed to match Kansas with 16 points in the paint in the third quarter. The Bears were able to space the floor and create wide-open shots, converting 3-of-8 of their 3-point attempts while KU failed to make one.

Baylor held onto a 53-45 lead after shooting over 55% for the quarter, led by graduate forward Caitlin Bickle and freshman forward Bella Fontleroy, who each scored seven points.

Kansas outscored the Bears 28-24 in the fourth quarter, but Andrews’ 11 points in the quarter shut down the Jayhawks’ comeback attempt and led Baylor to the four-point home win.

Kersgieter led Kansas’s scoring effort with 20 points. Jackson, Wyvette Mayberry and Zakiyah Franklin also hit double digits in the loss. Kansas shot over 40% as a team and outrebounded the Bears 44-32.

Kansas may have won the battle on the glass and in points in the paint, but Baylor had four players score double-digit points, led by a game-high 23 points from Andrews. Freshman guard Darianna Littlepage-Buggs added 10 rebounds to her stat line, giving her a double-double, her fourth in the last five games.

Next up, Kansas returns home to face No. 24 Texas at 4 p.m. Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse.


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