Kansas Remains Undefeated with 73-65 Road Victory Over SMU
Dec. 4, 2010
DALLAS – For the second time in as many road games, the Jayhawks found themselves in a close battle. But once again it was the Jayhawks who came out on top, as Kansas women’s basketball put away SMU in the final minutes of Saturday’s contest at Dallas’ Moody Coliseum, edging the Mustangs 73-65.
KU overcame a troubling first-half shooting performance and held off a surging squad in the second half to move to 8-0 for the first time since the 2005-06 season. SMU fell to 4-3.
Texas natives Monica Engelman and Keena Mays put in stellar performances in front of a hometown crowd of 720. Engelman led the `Hawks nearly across the board with 17 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Mays, a freshman out of nearby Arlington, put in 10 points and also tallied two helpers and two steals.
Aishah Sutherland posted 12 points while grabbing seven boards and blocking a season-high three shots.
SMU’s Delish Willis led all scorers with 22 points. Haley Day turned in 15 and tied Engelman’s eight rebounds for the game-high.
While the Jayhawks struck first, the Mustangs then put together an 10-0 run over the first six minutes of play to take a 10-2 lead. But that lead would prove to be largest in the game as the two teams then engaged in a fierce battle through the remainder of the contest.
After starting off one-for-10 from the field, KU rallied to come back and tie the game at 17-17 with six minutes left in the half. The Jayhawks capitalized on their momentum to pull ahead, but the lead remained slim and ever-changing, and KU went into the locker room trailing by just one at 32-21.
The opening run in the second half, went to the Jayhawks. A free throw by Mays and back-to-back shots by Davis and Moore helped KU to an early 36-32 lead. After a free throw by SMU, the Jayhawk defense quickly took back over, forcing costly turnovers and poor shots. SMU went scoreless from the field until 13:27.
However, after the Mustangs broke their scoreless streak it wasn’t long before they caught up for the tie. While KU managed to break nearly every tied for a stretch, SMU’s balanced group of shooters was able to match nearly all of KU’s shots, staying on the heels of the `Hawks. The defense was once again able to contain the Mustangs from the field for another stretch, but could only manage a short-lived 61-53 lead.
The gap was narrowed to just three points with only two minutes left to play. An Engelman fastbreak layup put the Jayhawks up by five at 67-62 with only a minute to go. Day then went 1-for-2 at the line, but with 28 seconds on the clock, Sutherland knocked in a jumper from the key to push KU’s lead to 63-69.
Harper then made three free throws in the final minute to push the game out of reach of the Mustangs and keep the Jayhawks’ perfect record intact.
Kansas will continue their road stretch Thursday, when the Jayhawks travel to Ann Arbor, Mich., to take on Michigan. Tipoff is slated for 6 p.m.