Mayberry, Jackson dominate Wildcats in Sunflower Showdown victory for Kansas

photo by: Chance Parker/Journal-World

Kansas junior Wyvette Mayberry dribbles the ball against Kansas State on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2023.

Junior guard Wyvette Mayberry and senior center Taiyanna Jackson carried the load for Kansas as the Jayhawks dominated in the paint in an 85-72 win over Kansas State in Sunday’s Sunflower Showdown at Allen Fieldhouse.

Both teams had a rough shooting start to the match, with Kansas’ first bucket coming almost four minutes into the game when Mayberry buried a 3-point jumper.

From then on, the Jayhawks changed their game plan and focused on getting into the paint for layups instead of 3-point attempts. Kansas outscored K-State 10-0 in points in the paint, led by Jackson’s six points. Jackson also racked up six rebounds and two steals in the opening quarter.

“Obviously, she’s someone that is a paint presence on both ends of the floor. She’s somebody that is an elite defender, elite rebounder and continues to get better offensively,” head coach Brandon Schneider said.

KU shot 44% in the quarter after completing an 18-3 scoring run, while K-State (2-7 Big 12, 13-9 overall) couldn’t get its shots to fall, draining just 18% of its shots from the floor. Kansas led 18-10 headed into the second quarter all from Mayberry and Jackson’s combined points.

Kansas’ hot shooting rolled over to the second quarter. The Jayhawks shot 50% from the floor with an emphasis on getting the ball inside for close interior shot attempts. KU added 14 more points in the paint, ending the half with a whopping 24 interior points.

photo by: Chance Parker/Journal-World

Kansas junior Chandler Prater waits for the rebound against Kansas State on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2023.

The Wildcats found their rhythm from the floor in the second quarter, converting 50% of shot attempts and from behind the arc and draining five shots from deep. Senior guard Gabby Gregory carried the scoring load for the Wildcats, racking up eight points on a perfect 3-of-3 shooting.

KU held a comfortable 39-29 lead heading into halftime, with Jackson leading the charge with 12 points, six boards, four assists and two steals at the break.

The Jayhawks offense slowed in the third quarter, scoring just 4-of-13 attempts from the floor on a 30% shooting clip. Kansas lost the battle on the interior 10-8.

photo by: Chance Parker/Journal-World

Kansas sophomore Sanna Strom shoots the ball against Kansas State on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2023.

K-State outscored the Jayhawks 21-17 as Gregory continued scoring despite shooting just 1-of-4 from the floor. She managed to find her way to the charity stripe, draining all four of her free throw attempts and scoring seven more points in the third period.

Jackson and Mayberry provided most of the Jayhawk offense in the fourth quarter, scoring 18-of-29 total points and ultimately keeping the game out of K-State’s reach, taking the 85-72 victory over the Wildcats.

Kansas had four players score in double figures in the Sunflower Showdown, with Mayberry scoring a career-high 26 points and a season-high of four steals. Senior guard Holly Kersgieter and Jackson both tallied double-doubles.

photo by: Chance Parker/Journal-World

Kansas senior Holly Kersgieter passes the ball against Kansas State on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2023.

“Wyvette had a great day, and I thought she did a really good job in transition of trying to attack the paint before the zone could set up. She did what you want point guards to do and that’s close out the game by making foul shots,” Schneider said.

Gregory scored a whopping 25 points with three other Wildcats scoring double-digit points, but K-State couldn’t find ways to stop the Jayhawks from scoring in the paint.

“I think that it’s going to be a heck of a battle every game here on out, and I would expect that,” head coach Jeff Mittie said of the Kansas-Kansas State rivalry.

KU improves to 4-4 in Big 12 play (14-5 overall) and has a tough road battle against Baylor at 7 p.m. Wednesday.


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