Kansas Storms Past Northern Iowa in WNIT

March 16, 2006

Box Score | Quotes | Notes | Photo Gallery

LAWRENCE, Kan. — The University of Kansas women’s basketball team (17-12) defeated Northern Iowa (19-11), 59-49, in the opening round of the WNIT Thursday night at Allen Fieldhouse. The Jayhawks outscored the Panthers 28-12 over the final 12 minutes of the second half to punch their ticket into the next round.

Senior forward Crystal Kemp led all scorers with 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, marking her 11th double-double of the season. The Topeka, Kan., native also tallied three assists, two steals and a career-high 21 field-goal attempts.

Freshman forward Marija Zinic, who finished with 13 points and five rebounds, poured in 11 points and five field goals in the second half to help seal the victory. Senior guard Erica Hallman added 13 points, five rebounds and six assists for the Jayhawks.

The Jayhawks relied on a stout defense that limited the Panthers to 31.5 percent shooting from the field, marking a new opponent season low for the Jayhawks. The defense also forced 15 Panther turnovers that it converted into 14 points and held the Panthers’ bench scoreless.

Despite being out-rebounded, 43-35, Kansas outscored Northern Iowa, 30-16, in the paint. The game featured nine lead changes and five ties and the win gives KU its first postseason victory since 1999.

After winning its preliminary game, Kansas moves on to host the University of Mississippi, Sunday, March 19, at Allen Fieldhouse in the first round of the WNIT. Tip-off is slated for 6 p.m.