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Kansas wins big in first round of Sunflower Showdown | Sports

Kansas women’s basketball notched an 85-72 win against national rival Wildcats Sunday night.

The Sunflower Showdown was a defensive fight from the start. The first field goal didn’t come until three minutes into the game, with graduate guard Sarah Shematsi knocking down a three.

Junior guard Wyvette Mayberry got the Jayhawks on the board first with a three-pointer to tie the game.

Mayberry’s three sparked a 10-0 Kansas run that gave the Jayhawks a 10-3 lead with 3:22 to play in the first quarter.

The Jayhawks continued their offensive output throughout the rest of the quarter, leading 18-10 over the wildcats at the end of the first.

Kansas finished the first quarter shooting 44 percent from the field and also had seven more points on turnovers than the Wildcats in the first quarter.

The start of the second quarter was delayed when the lights went out at Allen Fieldhouse.

Despite the delay, Kansas maintained control of the game, scoring the first four points of the second quarter and extending their lead to 22-10 with 8:30 left in the first half.

The second quarter was more offensive than the first. The Jayhawks entered the locker room at halftime, shooting over 50% from the field and holding a 39-29 lead.

Senior center Tayanna Jackson finished the first half leading the Jayhawks in scoring with 12 points and six rebounds.

Senior guard Gabby Gregory led the wildcats in the half with 11 points playing all 20 minutes.

Kansas State came out of halftime and immediately began to narrow the 10-point deficit.

At one point, the Wildcats cut the Jayhawks’ lead to two points, but quickly stormed back. Kansas went on a 7-0 run midway through the third quarter to extend its lead to 52-42 with 3:20 left to play in the third quarter.

Kansas State was not going to go away easily. Led by Gregory’s 18 points through three quarters, the Wildcats rejoined the game late in the third quarter, losing only 56-50.

Mayberry led the offensive charge for the Jayhawks early in the fourth quarter, helping Kansas hold on to the lead through a close back-and-forth battle.

The Jayhawks continued to build their lead as time wore on in the game. With under five minutes left, Kansas held on to a 67-60 lead.

Kansas pulled away from the Wildcats one last time, going on a 6-0 run to make the score 73-62 with only 3:36 left to play.

The Jayhawks wrapped things up, beating their in-state rival 85-72 and winning the first meeting between the two teams this season.

Kansas will return to action on February 1, facing Baylor in Waco, Texas. That game will be on ESPN+.

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