KU women set for rematch with Nebraska in Round 3 of WNIT
After cruising past the Missouri Tigers 75-47 on Monday, the Kansas Jayhawks advance to the Super 16 in the WNIT Tournament to take on the Nebraska Cornhuskers in Allen Fieldhouse on Thursday. The Jayhawks now have a chance to avenge their 85-79 triple-overtime loss to Nebraska back in December, with that game played in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Kansas has won back-to-back tournament games by double-digit margins, with its first battle against the Western Kentucky Lady Toppers last week.
In their first meeting with Nebraska this season, the Jayhawks were neck-and-neck with the Cornhuskers all night long, forcing three overtimes in the eventual loss. In that matchup, senior center Taiyanna Jackson racked up her season-high in rebounds with 21 boards. Senior guard Zakiyah Franklin scored a game-high 27 points in the loss and played nearly every minute, totaling a whopping 54 minutes of action.
Kansas’ starting rotation looks a bit different now since that game, with junior forward Ioanna Chatzileonti out of the starting lineup with a foot injury. Chatzileonti last played on Jan. 14 against Oklahoma, as junior guard Wyvette Mayberry has since been plugged into the starting role.
The Jayhawks are excited to get a chance to avenge their loss earlier in the season on their home court in front of the Kansas fans.
“I’m so happy we’re playing them and I’m happy we get to get our revenge and I’m happy we get to be playing in Allen,” Jackson said.
“We’re going to need our Jayhawks Nation to come out each and every time and I’m confident that they will. I’m excited for the next game,” junior guard Chandler Prater said.
The Jayhawks opened the season with 10-straight wins under their belt before their battle with Nebraska, earning the No. 20 seed in the nation. Kansas was ranked in the AP Top-25 poll this season for the first time since 2013.
In KU’s last game, Jackson made history against the Tigers, breaking her own school record in single-season blocks. Jackson has racked up 96 blocks on the year, surpassing her record of 95 just last season. She has the opportunity to break the 100-block mark against Nebraska on Thursday.
Nebraska finished its regular season with an 18-14 record and an 8-10 record in Big Ten Conference play. The Cornhuskers’ regular season came to an end after losing to the Michigan State Spartans 67-64 in the Second Round of the Big Ten tournament.
The Cornhuskers’ season schedule hasn’t been an easy one, playing in 11 games against top-20 ranked opponents. Nebraska sports a 2-9 record against ranked teams this season with wins against KU and a 90-67 win on Maryland’s home court back in December.
Nebraska has five players scoring double-figures on a nightly basis, led by junior guard Jaz Shelley’s 14.6 points per game. Sophomore center Alexis Markowski is just shy of averaging a double-double for the season, recording 12.2 points and 9.9 rebounds per game.
Shelley earned All-Big Ten First Team honors after a very impressive season. Shelley ranks third in the conference in assists per game, three-pointers made per game, fourth in free throw percentage and 16th in scoring. Markowski earned All-Big Ten Second Team honors, with junior forward Isabelle Bourne and graduate guard Sam Haiby earning Honorable Mentions to the team.
Nebraska is 24-10 in the last 34 meetings against the Jayhawks and are 15-1 in Lincoln in that span. This time, the Jayhawks play at home to host the Cornhuskers in the third round of the WNIT Tournament.
The last time the Jayhawks played the Cornhuskers in the postseason was back in 2012, where Kansas defeated Nebraska 57-49 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Catch KU take on the Cornhuskers on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. with a chance to advance to the Great 8 to take on the winner of Arkansas vs. Texas Tech.