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Mayberry, Jackson dominate Wildcats in Sunflower Showdown win for Kansas | News, sports, work

photo by: Chance Parker/Journal-World

Kansas junior Wyvette Mayberry dribbles the ball against Kansas State on Sunday, January 29, 2023.

Junior guard Wyvette Mayberry and senior center Tayanna Jackson carried the load for Kansas as the Jayhawks dominated in the paint in an 85-72 victory over Kansas State in Sunday’s Sunflower Showdown at Allen Fieldhouse.

Both teams got off to a rough start to the game, with Kansas’ first bucket coming nearly four minutes into the game when Mayberry buried a 3-point jumper.

From then on, the Jayhawks changed their game plan and focused on getting into the field for layups instead of 3-point attempts. Kansas outscored K-State 10-0 in points in the paint, led by Jackson’s six points. Jackson also collected six rebounds and two steals in the first quarter.

“Obviously, it’s a person who is a pictorial presence at both ends of the floor. He is someone who is an elite defender, an elite rebounder and keeps getting better on offense,” said coach Brandon Schneider.

KU shot 44% in the quarter after completing an 18-3 scoring streak, while K-State (2-7 Big 12, 13-9 overall) failed to drop its shots, absorbing only the 18% of his shots from the floor. Kansas led 18-10 going into the second quarter, all on combined points from Mayberry and Jackson.

Kansas hot pitches moved into the second quarter. The Jayhawks shot 50% from the floor with an emphasis on running the ball for close inside field goal attempts. KU added 14 more points in the paint, closing the half with an impressive 24 inside points.

photo by: Chance Parker/Journal-World

Kansas junior Chandler Prater awaits the rebound against Kansas State on Sunday, January 29, 2023.

The Wildcats found their rhythm from the floor in the second quarter, converting 50 percent of shot attempts and from behind the arc and draining five deep shots. Senior guard Gabby Gregory carried the scoring load for the Wildcats, amassing eight points on perfect 3-for-3 shooting.

KU held a comfortable 39-29 lead going into halftime, with Jackson leading the charge with 12 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals at halftime.

The Jayhawks offense slowed in the third quarter, hitting just 4 of 13 attempts from the floor on 30% shooting. Kansas lost the battle inside 10-8.

photo by: Chance Parker/Journal-World

Kansas sophomore Sanna Strom shoots the ball against Kansas State on Sunday, January 29, 2023.

K-State outscored the Jayhawks 21-17 as Gregory continued to score despite shooting only 1-of-4 from the floor. She managed to find her way to the charity streak, draining all four of her free throw attempts and scoring seven more points in the third period.

Jackson and Mayberry provided the majority of Jayhawk’s offense in the fourth quarter, scoring 18 of 29 total points and ultimately keeping the game out of K-State’s reach, resulting in an 85-72 victory over the Wildcats.

Kansas scored four players in double figures in the Sunflower Showdown, with Mayberry posting a career-high 26 points and a season-high four steals. Senior guard Holly Kersgieter and Jackson both had double-doubles.

photo by: Chance Parker/Journal-World

Kansas senior Holly Kersgieter passes the ball against Kansas State on Sunday, January 29, 2023.

“Wyvette had a fantastic day and I thought he did a really good job trying to attack the paint before the area could settle. She did what you want point guards to do and that is close out the game by making bad shots,” Schneider said.

Gregory scored an impressive 25 points with three other Wildcats scoring in double digits, but K-State couldn’t find ways to stop the Jayhawks from scoring in the paint.

“I think it’s going to be an incredible fight every game out here, and I would expect that,” head coach Jeff Mittie said of the Kansas-Kansas State rivalry.

KU improves to 4-4 in Big 12 play (14-5 overall) and has a tough road battle against Baylor Wednesday at 7 p.m.

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