Jayhawks Fall to Mississippi in WNIT Thriller

March 19, 2006

Final Stats | Quotes | Notes | Photo Gallery

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Mississippi’s Ashley Awkward nailed a jumper from the right wing with 18 seconds remaining, and KU’s Erica Hallman was long on a game-winning three-point attempt, as the University of Kansas women’s basketball team fell 78-76 to Mississippi in the first round of the WNIT.<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

In a game that featured 10 ties and nine lead changes, KU’s Maria Zinic and Shaquina Mosley each set career highs, pouring in 17 and 11 points, respectively. A total of five Jayhawks scored in double figures.

Three days after notching its first postseason victory since 1999, Kansas came out of the gates strong, shooting 52-percent in the first half to take a 39-34 lead into the break.

The Jayhawks then began the second period on a 13-2 run and saw their lead swell to 16 with 14:06 remaining in the contest. Ole’ Miss responded, however, with a 29-11 run of its own, taking a 65-63 lead with just under seven minutes to play.

After both teams traded baskets for a stretch equaling nearly five minutes, senior Kaylee Brown, playing in her final game as a Jayhawk, drained a three from the corner to put KU ahead 74-72 with 2:05 left in the game.

The Rebels answered back, scoring four straight points — including two of Armintie Price’s 31 — to regain the edge, and after All-Big 12 selection Crystal Kemp again knotted the game at 76, Awkward hit the eventual game-winning shot.

After being held scoreless in the first half, Kemp finished with 14 points in her final appearance in a Kansas uniform, marking the 31st straight game in which the senior recorded at least 10 points. KU’s third senior, All-Big 12 Honorable Mention selection Erica Hallman, also had a solid game, netting 13 points to go along with five assists.

KU finished the year — one in which it recorded its first winning season and first postseason bid since 2000 — with a mark of 17-13. The impressive win total was the program’s most since the 1999-2000 campaign.