Joanne Allen-Taylor (20 points, three assists, five steals) and Rori Harmon (10 points, six assists, six steals) guided the No. 9 Texas Longhorns past an ESPN-projected No. 9 seed in the Kansas Jayhawks, who battled to the end Wednesday night at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kan.
Kansas leading scorer Holly Kersgieter (18 points) made a three off a pass from Zakiyah Franklin (16 points, six rebounds, five assists) to cut the Jayhawk deficit to five with 42 seconds to go. However, Julie Brosseau missed a trey that would have cut it to three with 31 ticks remaining and Texas held on with a 4-of-4 effort from the free throw line over the final 31 seconds.
Kansas trailed by just one with 3:38 to play, but the Longhorns went on a 9-0 run after that.
The Jayhawks haven’t made the NCAA Tournament since 2013. They have faced an extremely difficult stretch in their schedule recently and that continues on Saturday when they play at No. 19 Oklahoma. Kansas’ last three games have been against No. 8 Iowa State, No. 5 Baylor and Texas and it has lost all three.
The Jayhawks won their previous seven games in row — all against unranked opponents. They also beat Texas 70-66 on Jan. 12.
Wednesday night’s contest was tied after one and Kansas led by two at the break. The Longhorns went on to win the third by four and the fourth by eight.
Lauren Egbo added 12 points and seven boards to the winning cause and DeYona Gaston rounded out Texas’ double-figure scorers with 10 points. Audrey Warren chipped in with six points and seven rebounds.
Ioanna Chatzileonti posted 10 points in defeat.
Allen Taylor was 2-of-4 from beyond the arc and Harmon was 8-of-12 at the charity stripe. Kersgieter was 3-of-4 from distance, while Chatzileonti was 6-of-6 at the line and Franklin was 8-of-11 at the line. Both teams shot a lot of free throws as Kansas was 21-of-27 (77.8 percent) and Texas was 18-of-24 (75 percent).
The Jayhawks were hurt by their 22 turnovers, while the Longhorns turned it over 14 times.