K-State women’s basketball hosts Kansas team capable of an upset.
By. Luke Lazarczyk
No. 7 K-State 17-1 (6-0)
Not many teams are playing as well as No. 7 Kansas State. The Wildcats have two top 10 wins and an unblemished conference record. Led by center Ayoka Lee, the defense is among the best in the nation. K-State has surrounded the All-American with a plethora of talented guards and wings, creating a perfectly balanced roster. As long as they continue their level of play, the Wildcats should be considered a national championship contender.
Kansas 9-8 (2-4)
The Kansas Jayhawks’ 2023-24 season is highlighted by unfulfilled potential. After falling in two close matches against highly ranked opponents, Kansas has been inconsistent. The Jayhawks began Big 12 play 0-3 but then dominated No. 4 Baylor 87-66. This was followed up by a devastating 91-56 loss to No. 11 Texas. This has left the 2023 WNIT Champions with a record just above .500. The matchup against the Wildcats can either reignite the season or leave more questions.
Matchup to Watch: Ayoka Lee vs. Taiyanna Jackson
Lee is known as one of the best low-post players in college basketball. As she continues another remarkable season, few players have challenged her near the basket.
Jayhawk center Taiyanna Jackson has not received nearly the amount of attention Lee has in her career. After averaging 15 points and nearly 13 rebounds a game last season, the senior is now just under a double-double with 12.4 points and 9.9 boards a game. In the Jayhawks’ upset victory over then-No. 4 Baylor, Jackson dominated the game with a 27-point, 19-rebound performance. Her play hasn’t been consistent, but she has shown she can perform at the highest levels.
Meanwhile, Lee has had great game after great game, resulting in five 20-point double-doubles, most recently in K-State’s 61-58 win over then-No. 10 Texas. Lee is on pace for another award-filled season. Against Jackson, Lee may have a chance to go one-on-one for the majority of the game. With each player dominating inside and ranking in the top 15 for blocks per game, whoever wins the interior battle may determine the winner of the Sunflower Showdown.
Guard Jaelyn Glenn
Guard Serena Sundell
Guard S’Mya Nichols
Guard Holly Kersgieter
Prediction: K-State 77-64