Kansas Jayhawks women’s basketball team beats Arkansas, advances to Fab 4 of WNIT

Senior guard Holly Kersgieter led Kansas with 25 points and seven rebounds and senior center Taiyanna Jackson added 22 points with 10 rebounds and four blocks as the Jayhawks beat Arkansas 78-64 in the Great 8 of the WNIT on Sunday at at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kan.

Kansas (23-11) had doubled up the Razorbacks by halftime, leading 38-19. Arkansas (24-13) mounted a comeback attempt in the second half, but KU held firm at home.

“That was a tough game, a really fast game ...” said Kersgieter, KU’s three-time All-Big 12 guard. “I think our mindset is just getting better and better each game.”

Jackson’s 22-point, 10-rebound performance was her 21st double-double of the year, and the Jayhawks led wire to wire for the third straight game in the annual WNIT.

“We had a fantastic first half,” KU coach Brandon Schneider said. “It was going to be really hard to replicate it, and Arkansas came out with a lot of fight. They were really aggressive and played downhill. Give them credit for an unbelievable third quarter.”

The Jayhawks will next play the Washington Huskies in the WNIT’s Fab 4 at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in Allen Fieldhouse. The winner earns a spot in the WNIT’s championship game, which is set for April 1 and will air on CBS.

Washington advanced by defeating Oregon 63-59 on Sunday in Seattle.

Kansas had advanced to the WNIT quarterfinals with wins against Western Kentucky (86-72), Missouri (75-47) and Nebraska (64-55). Arkansas had beaten Louisiana Tech (69-45), Stephen F. Austin (60-37) and Texas Tech (71-66).

KU has reached the WNIT championship game once before (2009), losing to South Florida. The Jayhawks are now 13-5 all-time in WNIT games.