Kansas women’s basketball earns much-needed win over No. 10 Kansas State

Kansas coach Bradon Schneider gathers his players during the second half of the Sunflower Showdown
Kansas coach Bradon Schneider gathers his players during the second half of the Sunflower Showdown / Evert Nelson/The Capital-Journal / USA

The Kansas women’s basketball team had their biggest win of the season Sunday afternoon as the Jayhawks took down their in-state rivals, the No. 10-ranked Kansas State Wildcats 58-55.

It was the second top-1o win of the season for the Jayhawks (first time that’s happened since 2000), and they did so in front of an impressive crowd of more than 9,000 at Allen Fieldhouse – including former KU women’s basketball legend Lynette Woodard. The win moves KU to 9-7 in Big 12 play and 16-11 overall.

The Jayhawks were led by a sensational performance from freshman S’Mya Nichols and super-senior Holly Kersgieter.

Nichols had 22 points on 8-of-16 shooting from the field. She also added two assists and one steal.

Kersgieter finished with just 10 points, but seven of those came in the fourth quarter alone and included some clutch free throws (3-of-4) with less than a minute in the game.

After the game, she called it “one of the best moments I've had in my career.”

The win significantly helps KU’s chances of making this year’s NCAA Tournament.

According to the latest Bracketology projections from ESPN – which were last updated prior to today’s game – the Jayhawks are currently listed as one of the “First Four Out.” That will likely change after the top-10 win they got today.

If they can go on the road this week and beat the Big 12’s worst team in UCF (3-13 in conference, 12-14 overall) and then earn another top-25 victory when they face No. 23 Oklahoma in Lawrence to end the Big 12 regular season on March 2, they will almost certainly hear their name called when the Selection Show rolls around in a few weeks.

The Jayhawks face UCF in Orlando on Wednesday, Feb. 28, at 5 p.m. CT. The game will be available for streaming on ESPN+.