Kansas Falls to No. 3 Oklahoma, 76-59
March 13, 2009
OKLAHOMA CITY –
Kansas fell to No. 3 Oklahoma, 76-59, in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 women’s basketball championship in Oklahoma City. Danielle McCray and Sade Morris combined to score 37 points, but it was not enough to overcome the Sooners’ Courtney Paris and her 27 points and 14 rebounds.
With the loss Kansas falls to 18-13, while Oklahoma improves to 28-3. Oklahoma has now won 12 straight against the Jayhawks dating back to the 1999-2000 season.
Oklahoma jumped out to an early 9-2 lead behind several Amanda Thompson mid-range jumpers. Kansas’ Morris and McCray, however, would get on track to lead Kansas on a 13-7 run and force an Oklahoma timeout with just over nine minutes remaining in the first with the score 16-15.
The Sooner lead bounced between one and eight points throughout the first half. Oklahoma led KU, 36-30 at the half and the Sooner’s All-American center, Courtney Paris, had 17 points and nine rebounds in the opening frame. McCray paced Kansas with 14 points in the first.
The opening minutes of the second half played much the same way that the first half did with Oklahoma nearly pushing the lead to double-digits, but KU would answer with mini-runs of their own.
Oklahoma pulled away from the foul-riddled Jayhawks mid-way through the second. Danielle Robinson’s jumper 7:32 into the second pushed OU’s lead to 13 at 51-38. Both teams would exchange buckets for several minutes until the Sooners would go on a 14-2 run to make the score 72-49 with 4:28 remaining.
Despite the loss, Kansas set a Big 12 Conference Tournament record by shooting a perfect 13-for-13 at the free throw line. It is the first time that a team finished a tournament game without a free throw miss. The perfect free throw shooting percentage is the best mark this season for the Jayhawks and the first time KU has accomplished the feat since KU went 31-for-31 from the line against Nebraska on Feb. 11, 1996.
McCray led the Jayhawks with 22 points on 7-for-17 shooting. She has scored over 20 points for the sixth time in seven games. Oklahoma-native Morris would finish with 15 points and a team-high six boards. Freshman Aishah Sutherland scored 10 points, for her third double-digit scoring day of her career.
Oklahoma outscored Kansas 18-6 on second chance points. The Sooners also has the rebound advantage, 43-28.
The loss knocks Kansas out of the Big 12 Tournament, and the Jayhawks will have to wait for the NCAA Tournament selection show on Monday, March 16 to learn if KU has qualified as an at-large team. Please check back with kuathletics.com for more information on the women’s basketball team.