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Nichols has 29, Kersgieter 26 to lift Kansas women over Big 12 champ, No. 20 Oklahoma 83-74


LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Freshman S'Mya Nichols had a career-high 29 points, senior Holly Kersgieter had a season-high 26 and Kansas ended the regular season with an 83-74 win over 20th-ranked and Big 12 Conference champion Oklahoma on Saturday.

Taiyanna Jackson had her 40th career double-double with 12 points and 15 rebounds as the Jayhawks (18-11, 11-8) enhanced their NCAA resume with a third Top 25 win and their eighth win in the last nine games. A third senior, Zakiyah Franklin, had 11 points.

Payton Verhulst had 22 points for Oklahoma (21-8, 15-2). Reyna Scott added 12 points and Lexy Keys 11.

The Big 12 tournament starts on Thursday but Oklahoma doesn’t play until Saturday. Kansas plays on Friday.

Kansas was up six heading into the fourth quarter, and after the Sooners scored the first basket they never really threatened. Oklahoma went 1 of 10 from 3-point range and 7 of 19 overall in the last 10 minutes. The Jayhawks, outrebounded by 10 for the game, were plus-4 in the fourth.

Nichols had 10 points in the first quarter to help the Jayhawks take a 19-10 lead. She didn't miss a shot, making three field goals and two free throws. But after Jackson hit a jumper in the second quarter to make it 21-10, the Sooners scored 14-straight points and turned that into a 21-2 run to take a 31-23 lead.

Oklahoma made 10-straight shots going back to the first quarter but the next eight came during the run. Keys started it with a 3-pointer and her second 3 put the the Sooners up 22-21. Verhulst capped it with a 3, giving her seven points in the streak.

Kansas closed it to 39-37 at the half.

Oklahoma ended up shooting 60% in the first half but committed 13 turnovers. The Sooners shot 32% in the second half with six turnovers.

The Jayhawks found the range in the third quarter, and used a 10-2 run in the middle, to build a 59-53 lead entering the fourth quarter. Kansas was 9 of 16 and Oklahoma 4 of 15 with six turnovers.

The Jayhawks shot 52% in the second half.

___ Get alerts and updates on AP Top 25 basketball throughout the season. Sign up here ___ AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball