Kansas women land 2 players on all-Big 12 first team for first time in conference history

photo by: Chance Parker/Journal-World photo

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

The Kansas women’s basketball team landed three players on the various all-Big 12 postseason teams, voted on by the league’s coaches and released Monday evening.

Senior center Taiyanna Jackson and senior guard Zakiyah Franklin both earned a spot on the 11-player first team, marking the first time in the 27-year history of the Big 12 Conference that the KU women had multiple players on the first team.

A tie in the voting resulted in one additional player being named to the first team for which coaches could not vote for their own players.

In addition, senior guard Holly Kersgieter earned honorable mention honors.

“We are grateful for the recognition our players have received from the Big 12 coaches,” KU coach Brandon Schneider said in a news release Monday. “It is a testament to their hard work and dedication to improvement, and hopefully more evidence of our program’s growth and progress.”

photo by: Aiden Droge/Kansas Athletics

Kansas guard Zakiyah Franklin drives to the basket during the Jayhawks’ 77-59 win over Texas Tech on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Jackson, who is on pace to become the first KU women’s player since 1982 to average a double-double for the season, was a unanimous selection to the first team. She also was a unanimous selection to the Big 12 all-defensive team.

Jackson enters postseason play averaging 15.1 points per game and 12.3 rebounds. She scored in double figures in 24 of KU’s 29 games and scored a career-high 24 points twice.

She grabbed double digits in rebounds 21 times, including six games with 15 or more rebounds and a career-best 21 boards in wins over Nebraska and Oklahoma State.

Jackson also led the Big 12 in blocks (89), field goal percentage (68%) and double-doubles (18). Her blocked shots total is the second highest in school history, just six behind her own school record set a season ago, and her field goal percentage is pacing toward becoming the second-best single-season mark in KU women’s basketball history.

While averaging 35.8 minutes per game this season — second in the conference — Franklin led the Jayhawks in scoring at 15.9 points per game.

Franklin also leads the Jayhawks with 94 assists and is KU’s leader in 3-point percentage (48.7%) and free throw percent-age (86.2%), while ranking fourth overall in the Big 12 in scoring.

She enters the postseason at No. 14 on Kansas’ all-time scor-ing list with 1,433 points and fifth in career assists with 412.

After appearing on the first team a season ago, Kersgieter earned honorable mention honors for the second time in her career this season. She ranks third on the team in scoring, averaging 13.9 points per game, and second in rebounding at 6.3 rebounds per game. Kersgieter scored in double figures 20 times this season.

Kersgieter ranks 13th on KU’s all-time scoring list, with 1,465 career points, and also is fourth in school history with 194 career 3-pointers.

Kansas (19-10 overall, 9-9 Big 12) is the No. 7 seed in this week’s Big 12 tournament and will face No. 10 seed TCU in the first round at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Missouri, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.


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