No. 12 Arizona women’s basketball got a wake-up call Thursday, while Kansas proved it’s not a team to be overlooked.
The unranked Jayhawks upset Arizona 77-50 in dominant fashion on the road. Senior center Taiyanna Jackson led Kansas with 19 points and 15 rebounds, and four players finished in double-digits.
Zakiyah Franklin finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds, Chandler Prater had 19 points, and Holly Kersgieter added 11.
Arizona, meanwhile, struggled to just 30.9% shooting, and 19% from beyond the arc. Cate Reese finished with 14 points and 8 rebounds to lead her team, and Jade Loville added 13 points, but no other Wildcat finished with more than 8.
Ready to take us serious now?? pic.twitter.com/kzHzUxDiQu— Kansas Women's Basketball (@KUWBball) December 9, 2022
Ready to take us serious now?? pic.twitter.com/kzHzUxDiQu
“This was a wake-up call and it’s probably what we needed because we have not arrived,” Arizona coach Adia Barnes told reporters. “There were glaring things that we did that we do every day in practice. They were exploited in the game. So I think that this will be a chance for us to get better and see what we need to work on, and it’s the same as the things we’ve been talking about the last month or so.”
The game provided stark contrast between an Arizona squad that has yet to learn to play together and an experienced Kansas team that played a free-flowing, team-oriented offense.
The undefeated Jayhawks weren’t stingy with their passes as they sought the open player, leading to a balanced scoring effort. Jackson, Franklin and Kersgieter are all seniors, and Prater is a junior, and their ease with each other showed on the court.
Our largest win over a ranked team since 1996 🙌 pic.twitter.com/BWyMj3nljt— Kansas Women's Basketball (@KUWBball) December 9, 2022
Our largest win over a ranked team since 1996 🙌 pic.twitter.com/BWyMj3nljt
Kansas spent time just outside the AP Top 25 last season, going 21-10 overall and 11-7 in conference, including wins over No. 13 Texas and No. 19 Oklahoma in the regular season. The Jayhawks also recorded a first-round NCAA tournament win over Georgia Tech before falling to Stanford in the second round.
Kansas is currently getting votes in the poll, and their upset over Arizona almost ensures the team a spot in next week’s rankings.
Arizona sits at 7-1 so far this season, but Kansas was their first test. Arizona’s first seven games came against teams below No. 129 in the NET rankings. The Pac-12 will provide more challenging opponents, as Arizona will take on teams like No. 2 Stanford, No. 13 UCLA and No. 17 Oregon.
Kansas will also get the chance to pad its resume in the Big-12, playing No. 10 Iowa State, No. 19 Baylor, No. 23 Oklahoma, No. 24 Kansas State and an unranked Texas squad that spent time in the Top 25 this season.