KU Falls To K-State in Big 12 Championship

March 7, 2006

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DALLAS, Texas – The University of Kansas women’s basketball team couldn’t overcome a hot-shooting Kansas State club and fell to the Wildcats 72-52 in the first round of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship. <?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

After falling behind 12-0 to start the contest, the never-say-die Jayhawks used a stingy defense to jump-start the offense and get back in the game with 10 unanswered points. In the process, KU held K-State scoreless for more than six minutes to close within 12-10 at the 10:57 mark. However, KSU hit back-to-back 3-pointers to quickly regain an eight point lead.

The Jayhawks finally tied the game at the 6:55 mark of the first half when senior guard Erica Hallman converted an old-fashioned three-point play to knot the score at 20.

After Kansas tied the score at 24, K-State outscored the Jayhawks 13-3 over the final four minutes of the first half to take a 10-point advantage into halftime. Hallman and freshman forward Marija Zinic tied for team-high honors with eight points in the first 20 minutes as the Jayhawks shot just 29.2 percent from the field as a team.

Near the start of the second half, junior guard Shaquina Mosley hit a 3-pointer from the baseline, and senior forward Crystal Kemp knocked down a turn-around jumper in the lane to pull KU within eight points 44-36.

Over the next few minutes, both teams traded baskets until KSU went on a 12-4 run to open up a 56-40 lead with just over 8:30 to play.

Kemp, who became just the sixth player in KU history with 1,600 points and 800 rebounds, was KU’s most effective offensive player in the second half. After scoring just three points in the first half (0-3 from the field), the Topeka, Kan., native drained 5-of-9 shots from the floor in the second half to finish the game with 13 points. She also collected a team-high nine rebounds.

Hallman finished the contest with 10 points and Zinic added 14 to round out KU’s double-figure scorers. Zinic was a perfect 12-of-12 from the free throw line – setting a school record for most FTs made by a KU player in the Big 12 Tournament.

Kansas State was led by freshman guard Shalee Lehning who scored a game-high 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the floor and junior guard Claire Coggins who collected 13 points. As a team, the Wildcats shot 52 percent from the field while making 14-of-18 free throw attempts.