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Kansas State Collegian

Kansas State Collegian

The independent student news publication at Kansas State University

Kansas State Collegian

Know Your Opponent: Jayhawks look to interrupt Wildcats’ exceptional season

K-State women’s basketball hosts Kansas team capable of an upset
Guard+Serena+Sundell+drops+back+and+hits+a+layup+in+the+Jan.+13%2C+victory+over+Texas.+The+Wildcat+win+keeps+K-State+undefeated+in+conference+play+and+marks+the+second+top-10+victory+for+the+season.
Carter Schaffer
Guard Serena Sundell drops back and hits a layup in the Jan. 13, victory over Texas. The Wildcat win keeps K-State undefeated in conference play and marks the second top-10 victory for the season.
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.

Key Players

K-State

Guard Jaelyn Glenn

Guard Serena Sundell

Kansas

Guard S’Mya Nichols

Guard Holly Kersgieter

Prediction: K-State 77-64

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About the Contributors
Luke Lazarczyk, sports writer
Sports editor for 2023-24. Previously sports editor for 2022-23 and writer for 2021-22.
Carter Schaffer, editor-in-chief
EIC for 2023-24. Previously EIC for 2022-23 and writer and photographer for spring 2022.
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