If you asked head coach Brandon Schneider before the season if the Kansas women's basketball team would be satisfied with a 7-4 record in nonconference play, the answer would be a definitive 'no.'
They entered the year with higher expectations than they've had in a decade and began the year sub-.500 through seven games. The Lady 'Hawks were a 3-pointer away from securing a top-10 victory over Virginia Tech and were upset by Penn State on the road. But regardless of what was expected from them, there are still reasons to believe they can blossom into the squad we expected coming into the preseason.
Last night, senior guard Zakiyah Franklin and Taiyanna Jackson led KU to a 69-52 victory over Nebraska inside Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas remains undefeated at home with some momentum for the tilt against West Virginia on Dec. 30 to open conference play.
Franklin led the team with 16 points on 5-for-9 shooting, sinking 2-of-6 3-point attempts. Jackson was one rebound shy of a double-double, posting 12 points and nine boards while also blocking three shots.
Highly touted freshman S'Mya Nichols struggled with ball security, turning the rock over seven times, but still poured in 13 points of her own. Wyvette Mayberry hit a couple of threes and finished with 12.
Now on a 4-game winning streak, Kansas seems to finally have it figured out — and it couldn't have come at a better time. In January alone, they have six road games, two coming against No. 5 Texas and No. 12 Kansas State. KU will also host No. 10 Baylor in Allen Fieldhouse on Jan. 10.
It will be an uphill battle for Kansas women's basketball from here on out. Playing in one of the toughest conferences in the sport after a disappointing nonconference stretch isn't ideal. However, there will be several games that they can prove to the NCAA Selection Committee why they are a tournament team rather than a WNIT squad.