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Thursday, March 12, 2020

KU women’s basketball to open Big 12 tournament vs. Texas Tech

KU junior center Bailey Helgren (35) celebrates her teammate freshman guard Zakiyah Franklin's (15) bucket. KU defeated Indiana State 84-72 on Thursday, Nov. 7.

KU junior center Bailey Helgren (35) celebrates her teammate freshman guard Zakiyah Franklin's (15) bucket. KU defeated Indiana State 84-72 on Thursday, Nov. 7.

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While the Kansas women’s basketball may have stumbled through conference play, the Jayhawks finished with their best regular season record since 2013 (15-14). Sure, 4-14 in Big 12 play is not ideal. But three of those wins came in the last six games, so the Jayhawks at least made some progress in the latter half of the season.

The first conference win of the year came against KU’s next opponent in Texas Tech. The No. 10 seed Jayhawks take on the No. 7 seed Red Raiders in the first round of the Big 12 tournament in Kansas City Thursday. The winner faces No. 2 seed TCU in the quarterfinals on Friday.

What: Kansas vs. Texas Tech, first round of the Big 12 tournament

When: 8:30 p.m., today

Where: Municipal Auditorium, Kansas City, Mo.

Series: Texas Tech leads, 23-12

Quick Note: Arguably the best player on the team this season, freshman guard Zakiyah Franklin was named to the Big 12 All-Freshman Team. Franklin averaged 12.1 points per game and shot 36.3% from the field during the regular season.

Streaking: Junior forward Tina Stephens started the last six games of the regular season and made the most of her time on the court with four double-doubles. She finished the year averaging 10.2 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. Stephens also finished 10th in the Big 12 in rebounding with 108 boards.

Slumping: KU dropped its final two games of the regular season in decisive fashion. The Jayhawks were outscored 144-105 in those two games against Iowa State and Kansas State. The Jayhawks will look to get back on track in the Big 12 tournament.

Probable starters

Kansas (15-14, 4-14)

G — Aniya Thomas, 5-7, so.

G — Zakiyah Franklin, 5-7, fr.

F — Tina Stephens, 6-2, jr.

F — Mariane De Carvalho, 6-2, sr.

F — Emma Merriweather, 6-5, r-so.

Texas Tech (18-11, 7-11)

G — Chrislyn Carr, 5-5, so.

G — Jo’nah Johnson, 5-9, jr.

G — Sydney Goodson, 5-8, jr.

G — Lexi Gordon, 6-0, jr.

F — Brittany Brewer, 6-5, sr.

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