Sutherland Has Career-Tying Night on the Boards

Nov. 17, 2011

LAWRENCE, Kan.- With uncertainty of how much Carolyn Davis would play in her first game after returning from a stress fracture in her foot, Aishah Sutherland needed to have a strong performance in the post. She did just that, amassing a team-leading 16 points and tying a career high in rebounds with 14, while helping the Jayhawks to a 73-59 win against Creighton Wednesday night.

Sutherland’s performance marked the 12th double-double of her career. By controlling the paint early, Sutherland helped take the focus off Davis in her return.

“It made it a lot easier on me. I didn’t feel as though I needed to do as much to put any more pressure on myself,” said Davis. “It was great. I’m glad she came out and played great.”

While Sutherland’s final numbers were impressive, she recognized she still has room for improvement.

“I came out strong, then I kind of went down a little then I came back into the game,” recalled Sutherland. “I really need to work on my consistency, but I was really focused on getting rebounds tonight.”

Her strong focus on rebounding throughout the game really showed.

“I do jump higher than most people so it wasn’t as hard to get rebounds, but that’s what the coaches told me to focus on tonight and that’s what I did,” the Perris, Calif., senior explained.

Sutherland’s ability to jump higher than most people wasn’t the only reason she was able to record so many rebounds. She fought hard and was aggressive after rebounds against Creighton.

“I thought she had better rhythm in the second half with her effort,” said Kansas head coach Bonnie Henrickson of the 6-foot-2 forward. “She got some tough rebounds. It’s easy when she’s all by herself, but in traffic, she got fouled a couple times. I think that’s who she can be, and we need for her to be.”

With Sutherland performing at a high level and the return of Davis, the Jayhawks could have a very potent frontcourt. The duo combined for 30 points and 17 rebounds.

“I think we were playing really hard. We were both going to the basket hard and rebounding,” said Davis. “Getting offensive rebounds was what helped us a lot, too. I think we were posting up a lot. She can score on the block. She just doesn’t utilize that as often. I think we were both just playing really hard and really aggressive.”

If the starting posts for Kansas can continue their dominance down low, they could lead the Jayhawks to a very successful season.

The Jayhawks will look to improve to win their third-straight game when they play at Wake Forest Sunday, Nov. 20, in Winsten-Salem, N.C. The game will tip-off at 1 p.m. Central.