Jayhawks Down Sooners, 83-77, for Fifth Big 12 Road Win
March 4, 2012
NORMAN, Okla.—Senior forward Aishah Sutherland put up 23 points and nine rebounds to lead the University of Kansas women’s basketball team to an 83-77 victory over the Oklahoma Sooners Sunday afternoon at the Lloyd Noble Center. This marked the Jayhawks’ fifth Big 12 road win of the season, the most for KU since 1997.
With the win, KU improved to 19-11 overall and 8-10 in the league, while notching its 100th all-time Big 12 Conference victory. Kansas’ eight conference wins are its most since 2000. The Sooners dropped to 19-11 overall and 11-7 in conference play.
Freshman guard Natalie Knight and junior guard Angel Goodrich also had double-digit scoring efforts. Knight scored 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds while Goodrich contributed 12 points, six rebounds and nine assists.
Kansas shot 43.5 percent from the floor, including 44.4 percent from behind the arc. The Crimson and Blue also benefitted from an 84 percent free throw percentage for the game on its way to its first win in Norman, Okla., since 1998, snapping a 15-game skid versus the Sooners.
The Jayhawks flew out to an 11-3 lead, with Sutherland attributing seven of the 11 points. By the 14:06 mark, Sutherland had already grabbed six of her nine rebounds, including three offensive boards.
OU mounted a quick comeback, getting within two with 11:55 left in the opening period. Kansas responded with four quick points before the Sooners went on the offensive again. Goodrich and Knight silenced a 7-2 run from OU with back-to-back three-pointers, making it 25-18, KU, with 5:15 to play in the opening half and giving the Jayhawks theirlargest lead since the 16:59 mark.
The Jayhawks went into the lockerroom holding a one-point advantage over the Sooners, 31-30. Sutherland had already amassed 17 of her 23 points off of 8-for-13 shooting by the break and had eight total rebounds.
OU claimed the first four points after the break, grabbing its first lead of the contest. Goodrich responded with a layup and sophomore CeCe Harper knocked down a three to give the Jayhawks back a 36-34 advantage with 18:47 left to play.
The two teams would then trade baskets for the next three minutes with the lead changing four times. Kansas then went on a 9-0 run, sparked by a jumper from Sutherland and supplemented by another three from Harper. Sutherland had six of the points during that stretch.
A jumper from Knight gave the Jayhawks a 10-point lead, their largest lead of the night so far with 9:11 to play. After swapping baskets over the next few minutes, Knight hit her career-best third three-pointer of the night to make it 58-47, KU. Goodrich and sophomore guard Tania Jackson soon followed with threes of their own to make it 64-50 with 4:24 to play.
Solid free throw shooting down the stretch secured the win for the Jayhawks as they went 17-for-20 in the last five minutes. The Sooners began fouling with two minutes to go. Knight made seven-of-eight free throws and junior Monica Engelman drained six-of-six from the charity stripe to give Kansas the victory.
With the regular season complete, the Kansas Jayhawks head to Kansas City, Mo., for the 2012 Big 12 Championships, March 7-10, at Municipal Auditorium.