2005-06 KU Women's Basketball Season Review

June 6, 2006

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Kansas (17-13 overall, 5-11 Big 12)

Kansas finished the season 17-13 overall and 5-11 in the Big 12 to finish 10th in the league standings.

Kansas was never ranked in the top 25 but did receive votes in 11 Associated Press polls and two WBCA/USA Today/ESPN Coaches polls. The Jayhawks played three games against teams ranked in the top 25 including two against top-10 opponents.

Kansas coach Bonnie Henrickson moved her two-year record at KU to 29-29 and her overall record to 187-91 in nine seasons as a head coach overall.

Jayhawk Season Highlights
– KU picked up its first postseason win since 1999 when it defeated Northern Iowa, 59-49, in the WNIT preliminary round.
– Kansas advanced to the postseason for the first time since 2000 when KU fell 71-69 in double overtime to Vanderbilt in the NCAA first round in Ruston, La. The 2005-06 WNIT appearance marked the third time KU played in a postseason Women’s NIT tournament and the 17th all-time postseason appearance for the Jayhawks.
– In the regular season, Kansas played 14 games against teams which made the postseason including seven Big 12 teams, Florida International and Pepperdine. The Jayhawks went 5-9 in those games including a 3-5 record against teams participating in the WNIT.
– KU hosted postseason play for the first time since 1997 when it hosted the NCAA first and second rounds. It marked the seventh time KU hosted a postseason event.
– The season opened with a school-record 12-game winning streak capped by a win over No. 23 Texas.
– The Jan. 3 win over Texas snapped a 36-game drought against ranked opponents that dated back to Feb. 17, 2001 when the Jayhawks toppled No. 6 Iowa State.
– KU scored 100 points against New Orleans, marking the 33rd time in school history the Jayhawks hit the century mark. It was the first 100-point game since KU ran up 116 on Mississippi Valley State on Dec. 21, 2000.
– A school-record average regular season attendance of 3,041 represented an increase of over 900 fans per game from 2004-05.
– Crystal Kemp was named All-Big 12 First Team — the first selection for Kansas since 2000.
– Kemp, Taylor McIntosh and Jamie Boyd were each named Academic All-Big 12 First Team.

2005-06 Season In Review
The Jayhawks’ first winning campaign in six years, a school-record 12-game winning streak, an upset win over nationally-ranked Texas and an appearance in the postseason WNIT were all signs that the rebuilding process of second-year University of Kansas head coach Bonnie Henrickson took a great leap forward in 2005-06.

After changing the culture of the program in her first year and then signing her first full recruiting class, Big 12 coaches showed their respect by selecting Henrickson’s Jayhawks to finish sixth — two spots higher than they had finished in 2004-05. Henrickson made it clear in the preseason that she expected to return to postseason play. Whether or not the expectations were fair or not, the team rolled through non-conference play with an 11-0 record for the first time in school history.

Kansas opened the year with an easy 77-53 win over Binghamton on Nov. 20 before narrowly edging Detroit (70-68) and Northeastern (70-65) on Nov. 22 and 27.

Up next on the slate was a pair of games against Birmingham-Southern and New Orleans on Dec. 2-3, which were originally scheduled to be part of the UNO Privateer Classic. When Hurricane Katrina ripped through New Orleans, the contests were moved to Lawrence causing KU to play all 11 of its non-conference games at home. Kansas dispatched Birmingham-Southern, 72-50, before defeating UNO 100-50. KU followed with a 73-51 victory over neighbor UMKC on Dec. 7.

On Dec. 11, Kansas got its biggest test of the non-conference portion of the schedule when it hosted the Wisconsin Badgers of the Big Ten Conference. After trailing by as many as 18 in the first half and by 14 at halftime, KU roared back to win the contest 90-87 in double overtime.

Kansas rolled through its next four games, defeating Florida International (73-65), Creighton (63-52), Pepperdine (63-52) and La Salle (75-72).

With a perfect record on the line, KU opened Big 12 Conference action on Jan. 3 by hosting No. 23/24 Texas. Seniors Crystal Kemp, Kaylee Brown and Erica Hallman — who had never defeated a ranked opponent — combined for 50 points as KU dropped the Longhorns 70-61. The win snapped a 36-game drought against ranked foes and gave Kansas a school-record 12-game winning streak. Although Kansas had been receiving votes in the Associated Press poll for most of the season, the win over a quality opponent opened the eyes of the voters in the coaches poll and the Jayhawks appeared to be heading towards their first national ranking since 2000.

Then KU went on the road for the first time, traveling to Lincoln, Neb., to face the Nebraska Cornhuskers. After leading at the break, the Jayhawks were unable to put away the Huskers and fell 73-61. The loss was the first of three straight as KU fell at Colorado (74-65) and at home to upstart Texas A&M (78-64).

A 66-46 victory over Oklahoma State on Jan. 22 in Allen Fieldhouse got the Jayhawks back in the winning column and gave KU faithful hope heading into the Sunflower Showdown game against Kansas State on Jan. 25 at Manhattan. Against KSU, the first half was a close affair with four ties and six lead changes. In the second half, the Wildcats came out on all cylinders and took a commanding 17-point lead with six minutes left. Behind Kemp and Hallman, the Jayhawks charged back, cutting the KSU lead to two, but the Wildcats sealed the game at the free throw line down the stretch and won the game 69-63.

With the disappointment of the K-State game fresh in their minds, the Jayhawks traveled to Waco, Texas, three days later for a date with defending national champion Baylor on Jan. 28 and were overwhelmed by the Lady Bears 90-40.

After being deflated by Baylor, Kansas dropped its third straight on Feb. 1 in Lawrence to Colorado, 77-71. Kansas stayed at home to beat Iowa State 65-64 on Feb. 4, then went on the road to face Oklahoma and Missouri. Oklahoma, which went on to finish undefeated in the conference, dropped KU 86-57. The Tigers slipped by the Jayhawks 64-57. Nebraska gave Kansas its third-straight loss by defeating the Jayhawks 65-57 in Lawrence.

Despite already securing a winning record with its 14th win against Iowa State back on Feb. 4, the preseason goal of making it to the postseason was starting to look like wishful thinking. Kansas never gave up, however, and won two of its next three — both in overtime.

The first of those two OT wins came at Iowa State, a place where Kansas had not won since 2000. Knowing every game the rest of the way could impact postseason chances, the Jayhawks fought to the end, winning the game on a last-second shot from Kemp on a pass from Hallman. Kansas scored 57 points for the fourth-straight game, but came up with the win this time by a score of 57-56.

After a 62-50 loss at Texas Tech on Feb. 22, the Jayhawks returned to Lawrence for a Border Showdown rematch against the Missouri Tigers. With nine seconds in regulation, MU’s Carlynn Savant leaned in to draw a foul on a three-point attempt and drained all three charity shots to send the game to overtime. With Hallman leading the charge, KU dominated the extra period and won going away 81-71.

March 2 marked Senior Night and promised to be an emotional game for the senior trio of Brown, Hallman and Kemp as KU hosted Kansas State. The Jayhawks opened the contest sluggish and trailed by 15 at halftime. Kansas closed to within 10 points in the second stanza but was unable to complete the comeback and fell 62-44. The Jayhawks ended the regular season 16-11 overall and 5-11 in the Big 12 to finish in 10th place.

KU was seeded 10th in the Big 12 Championship tournament and drew a first-round rematch against Kansas State. KSU scorched the nets, hitting 52 percent from the field and eliminated the Jayhawks by a score of 72-52 in Dallas’ Reunion Arena. Days later, Kansas was picked to play in the postseason Women’s National Invitation Tournament. Jayhawk fans were excited to learn KU would serve as host for the team’s opening round game.

Kansas defeated Northern Iowa 59-49 in the preliminary round of the WNIT on March 16 in Allen Fieldhouse. The postseason win was KU’s first since 1999. The victory set up a first-round matchup between KU and Ole Miss, also in Allen Fieldhouse. In a game that featured 10 ties and nine lead changes, Kansas was tripped up by the Lady Rebels, 78-76.

For the season, Kemp led the team with career highs of 18.6 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. Hallman was second in scoring with 14.2 points to go with 4.5 assists per outing. Brown chipped in 11.2 points per game to round out the double-figure scorers. The senior trio accounted for 64.0 percent of the team’s scoring output.

“I think we have things moving in the right direction,” Henrickson said after the Ole Miss game. “I don’t think we had the year we were capable of. If we had played all season like we did the first 30 minutes against Ole Miss, I think we could have made the NCAA Tournament. We just couldn’t maintain consistency. We have made progress, but still have a ways to go.”

KU played in the WNIT first the first time under its current format. KU had previously played in the NWIT twice — in 1978 and 1991 — when it was an eight-team tournament. The NWIT later went to 16 teams until its final year of 1996. There was no NWIT tournament in 1997. In 1998, the tournament was brought back under the new name, WNIT, and in 1999 the field expanded to 32 teams. In 2005-06, the tournament expanded to 40 teams.

Kemp, Hallman Earn All-Big 12
Senior Crystal Kemp was named All-Big 12 First Team and senior Erica Hallman was named Honorable Mention. The all-conference teams, voted on by the league’s coaches, were comprised of 10 first team members, six second team members and 12 honorable mention selections.

Kemp and Hallman earned their honors after both being named Honorable Mention as juniors in 2004-05. Kemp became the third player in KU history to win first team honors. Former Jayhawk Tamecka Dixon was named first team in the inaugural Big 12 season in 1997, while Lynn Pride was a three-time first team selection from 1998-2000.

Kemp, McIntosh and Boyd Named Academic All-Big 12
Senior Crystal Kemp, sophomore Taylor McIntosh and sophomore Jamie Boyd were named to the 2006 Women’s Basketball Academic All-Big 12 First Team. Kemp, a Topeka, Kan., native majoring in Speech Language and Hearing earned the honor for the third straight year. McIntosh, a Prepharmacy major, and Boyd, a Communication Studies major, both earned the award in their first year of eligibility. Nominated by each institution’s director of student-athlete support services and the media relations offices, the academic all-league women’s basketball squad consisted of 31 first team members combined and seven second-team picks. First team members consisted of those who maintained a 3.20 or better GPA, and the second team are those who had a 3.00 to 3.19 GPA.

Hallman Reaches 1,000
Senior Erica Hallman cemented her name in the KU record books when she hit a jumper from the right elbow with 19:07 in the first half at Baylor for her 1,000th career point. The Covington, Ky., native was the 19th player in KU history to reach the scoring plateau. She ended her career with 1,185 points to rank 14th place on the all-time scoring list.

Kemp Among KU’s All-Time Elite
Crystal Kemp ended her career among the top players to ever don the Crimson and Blue as she became just the sixth Jayhawk to accumulate over 1,600 career points and 800 career rebounds, which she did in the Big 12 Championship against Kansas State. She finished with 1,637 career points and 826 career boards. As a junior, she became the 18th player in KU history to reach 1,000 career points when she hit a jumper from the right wing with 18:13 on the clock in the first half against Texas Tech.

Team Miscellaneous Notes
– Kansas won 17 games for the 20th time in school history.
– KU’s 66.4 points per game were the most since Kansas averaged 68.4 during the 2000-01 season.
– Kansas’ 11 made 3-pointers at Colorado on Jan. 10 tied for the third-most in school history. It was the most since KU made 12 against Coppin State on Dec. 6, 1997.
– The Jayhawks’ 28 assists ranked in a tie for fifth on the all-time KU single game list.
– KU trailed by as many as 18 points in the first half of the team’s win against Wisconsin. The 14-point halftime comeback for the victory tied for the third-largest halftime rally in program history.
– Kansas scored 1,991 points which was the most since the 1999-2000 team scored 2,113.
– The Jayhawks’ 193 steals and 47 blocked shots were each the fewest in school history. The previous lows were 217 steals, done in 2004-05, and 68 blocks, done in 1983-84.
– Kansas’ 419 turnovers were the second fewest in school history behind the 1986-87 team which had just 383 miscues.
– KU’s 30-game total of 457 total assists were the most since 2000-01 when the Jayhawks dished 504 assists in 29 games.
– Kansas recorded just six foul outs to set a new season low.
– KU grabbed 1,062 rebounds to mark the most since the 1999-2000 team recorded 1,204 boards.
– The Jayhawks drained 147 3-pointers which was the second most behind the 1994-95 team’s 150.
– KU shot 35.7 percent from beyond the arc which was the most since the club shot 35.8 percent in 1999-2000.
– Kansas foes blocked 119 Jayhawk shots to mark a KU opponent season high.
– KU opponents turned the ball over 454 times – the second fewest in Kansas history.
– KU drew 42 charges while being called for 15 all season. Senior Erica Hallman drew 12 charges to lead the team.
– Kansas went 6-1 in games decided by five or fewer points.
– KU’s 50-point loss at Baylor was the largest margin of defeat in school history.
– KU wore red uniforms for the first time at K-State on Jan. 25, and again at Missouri on Feb. 11.
– KU players recorded 20+ point scoring games 17 times as Crystal Kemp had 12, Erica Hallman had three and Kaylee Brown had two.

Kemp Named Academic All-District
Senior Crystal Kemp was named ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VII by the College Sports Information Directors of America on Thursday, Feb. 9. As a first team member, Kemp’s name was placed on the Academic All-America ballot.

The honor was the first for Kemp in her career. She became the first KU player to receive an Academic All-District award since Jennifer Jackson was named to the second team in 2001.

A student-athlete must have a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher to be eligible for the Academic All-District Team.

Kemp Wins Big 12 Player of the Week, Twice
Senior Crystal Kemp was honored twice in 2005-06 as the Phillips 66 Big 12 Player of the Week. A media voting panel selected her for games played Dec. 5-11, and Dec. 19-Jan. 2. Kemp’s first honor came after averaging 22 points and 7.5 rebounds in wins over UMKC and Wisconsin. She then was named Co-POW along with Oklahoma’s Courtney Paris for games played over the holiday period. In wins over Creighton, Pepperdine and La Salle, the Topeka, Kan., native posted 22.7 points and 8.7 rebounds while leading Kansas to a perfect 11-0 record in non-conference play for the first time in program history. Kemp joined Lynn Pride (1999), Suzi Raymant (1998) and Tamecka Dixon (1997) as the only KU players to win the award twice in a season.

Miscellaneous Player Notes
– Crystal Kemp led the Jayhawks in scoring for the fourth straight year. She joined Lynette Woodard as the only two players in school history to lead the team in scoring for four years.
– Kemp’s 18.6 points per game marked the highest average for a KU player since Tamecka Dixon posted 20.8 ppg in 1996-97.
– Ivana Catic led the team with 4.6 assists per game and became the first freshman to lead in the category since Erica Hallman in 2002-03. Catic’s total of 137 dimes tied for eighth on KU all-time single season list.
– Kemp’s 52.7 percent accuracy from the field led the team for the third-straight year.
– Catic led the team with 1.3 steals per game, which was the lowest team-leading average in school history.
– Kaylee Brown finished her career ranked third on the KU career free throw percentage at 78.9 percent (86-109). Her 78.3 percent shooting in 2005-06 ranked 10th on the single-season list.
– Kemp finished her career ranked in the all-time KU top-10 in points (7th-1,637), rebounds (8th-826), field goals made (6th-654), field goals attempted (7th-1,285), field goal percentage (10th-50.9), free throws made (T-8th-323), free throws attempted (10th-439), free throw percentage (8th-73.6), blocked shots (7th-90) and minutes (6th-3,620).
– Hallman finished her career ranked second on the all-time KU 3-pointers list with 181 made and 494 attempted. Brown wrapped up her three-year KU career ranked sixth with 108 made and fifth with 342 attempted.
– Hallman ranked third on the all-time assist list with 455 dimes.
– Hallman canned 84.0 percent (42-50) of her free throws as a senior to set a new KU single season standard (minimum 40 made).
– Hallman was the only player in the Big 12 to average at least 14 points, four assists and four rebounds.
– Kemp ended her career with a 56-game starting streak.

Record Crowds
Kansas enjoyed its highest regular season home attendance average in school history at 3,041 fans per game. In conference games, the average rose to 3,962 per game. The increase was over 900 fans per game from the 2004-05 average. The crowd of 4,025 against La Salle ranked as the third-most in school history for a non-conference game, while the Pepperdine attendance of 3,622 ranked fourth. The 5,634 fans for the Big 12 opener against Texas was the most in the Bonnie Henrickson era, and the ninth-most in school history. Counting the postseason, KU’s average home attendance was 2,874 fans per game.