Jayhawks Suffer First Loss of the Season at Alabama, 80-76

Dec. 4, 2011

Box Score | Notes

TUSCALOOSA, Ala.–Junior Carolyn Davis and sophomore Keena Mays scored 21 points apiece but a first-half deficit was too much for the Jayhawks to overcome in the end as the University of Kansas women’s basketball team fell at Alabama, 80-76 Sunday in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Mays’ 21 points marked a career high, as the Arlington, Texas, native went 8-for-12 from the field, including a career-best 4-for-6 from behind the arc.

The loss was KU’s first defeat of the season as the Jayhawks dropped to 7-1 on the year. Alabama improved to 7-2 with the help of a game-high 24 points from Jasmine Robinson.

Coming out of the lockerroom with a 43-33 deficit, Kansas stormed back to out-score the Crimson Tide, 43-37, in the second fame, but UA’s first half runs proved too much for Kansas to overcome. After the break, the two teams went back-and-forth, leading to a 64-51 Alabama lead with 11:16 to play. Shortly after, KU came out of a timeout and ran a catch-and-shoot play for Davis from Mays, in the first two of eight KU unanswered points, cutting UA’s lead to five, 64-59, with 7:44 remaining in the contest.

Eventually Alabama’s sharp-shooting worked up another eight point lead less than a minute to play, but a three-pointer by junior Angel Goodrich cut the Jayhawks’ deficit to five, 76-71, with 25.5 seconds to go. Mays then cut the lead to just two on a trey with eight seconds left but it was as close as Kansas would come as free throws from UA’s Meghan Perkins sealed the Jayhawks’ fate. Kansas struggled from foul line hitting just 8-of-17 attempts at the charity stripe.

Senior Aishah Sutherland was the third Jayhawk with double-digit points in the contest, as she added 15 in the effort and pulled down six boards. Goodrich and Davis led the team on the boards, pulling down nine each. Goodrich’s nine rebounds were a career high.

In the first half, the Jayhawks relied on Sutherland early. By the first media timeout at 14:41, the Perris, Calif., native had all six of KU’s points as the Jayhawks trailed 9-6.

The Crimson Tide was red hot from the field during the first half, shooting over 50 percent for a majority of the period and ended the frame with a 48.7 field goal percentage, the highest shooting percentage by a KU opponent this season. After falling behind by as many as eight during the next seven minutes, junior Monica Engelman lobbed a pass under the basket for Sutherland, as Kansas was able to cut Alabama’s lead down to two, 26-24, with 7:22 left in the first period.

However, UA used a 10-2 run to expand its lead once again and took a 43-33 score into the break. It was Kansas’ first halftime deficit of the season. Sutherland, Mays and Davis all had eight points during the first twenty minutes.

The Jayhawks return home to face Wisconson Thursday, Dec. 8 in Allen Fieldhouse with tip-off set at 7 p.m. The contest will be broadcast on Metro Sports.