LAWRENCE, Kan. (KUAthletics.com) – Behind a double-double of 22 points and 13 rebounds from super-senior center Taiyanna Jackson, the Kansas Jayhawks defeated Southeastern Louisiana 67-56 on Thursday afternoon at Allen Fieldhouse.
With the win, Kansas improves to 3-3 on the year while SLU falls to 4-4.
“I think it really helped that we played such a good opponent today in terms of preparation. Southeastern was in the NCAA Tournament a year ago and they won their league. Every loss they have this season was to an NCAA Tournament team from a year ago, so I think it helped knowing that we were playing somebody that was definitely good enough to beat us if we didn’t prepare the right way.”
KANSAS COACH BRANDON SCHNEIDER
Kansas got out to an early 10-4 lead which was quickly erased by the Lady Lions. Tied at 12-12 with a minute left in the first quarter, SLU hit a three-pointer to take its first lead of the game. Jackson converted a fastbreak layup with five seconds left in the first as SLU held a 15-14 lead after 10 minutes of play.
At the first break in the second quarter, the Lady Lions held a 24-20 advantage over the Jayhawks as they were able to hit two tough floaters to break a 20-all tie. Kansas held SLU scoreless for the next 4:27 as KU went on a 14-2 run to take a 34-26 lead into halftime.
Leading the way in the first half for Kansas was S’Mya Nichols, who scored 11 points while shooting 66.7% (4-of-6) from the field. Jackson had eight points and corralled six rebounds in addition to two blocked shots in the opening half.
Jackson continued to dominate the glass in the second half. She was able to get two offensive rebounds off of Kansas’ first two misses and made both put-backs, including an and-one attempt. The rest of the quarter was back and forth, but the Jayhawks held on to a double-digit lead throughout and were up 50-39 heading into the final quarter. The teams were even in the fourth quarter, with each scoring 17 points as Kansas picked up the win by a final score of 67-56.
Jackson led the Jayhawks with a season-high 22 points for the contest and posted her fourth double-double of the season and 31st of her career with 13 rebounds. Nichols scored in double figures for the fifth straight game, totaling 16 points on 5-of-7 shooting, while Zakiyah Franklin added 11 points and three assists.
The Jayhawks will embark on their fourth road trip of the early season as they travel to College Station, Texas to take on Texas A&M on Dec. 3. That game will tip off at 1 p.m. CT and be broadcast on the SEC Network on ESPN.