Jayhawks Fall at No. 3 Texas In Big 12 Opener, 60-46
AUSTIN, Texas – At one point, Kansas led by six early in the half and headed into the locker room trailing nationally ranked Texas by only four points, but the No. 3 Longhorns came out of the halftime break with a 13-2 run and a second-half offensive surge to power past the Jayhawks, 60-46, on Saturday night inside the Frank Erwin Center.
Leading the Jayhawks was senior forward Chelsea Gardner, who had 11 points and 8 rebounds. The DeSoto, Texas native chalked up her 12th game this season scoring double digits. Behind her was fellow classmate Natalie Knight with nine points. From the field, Kansas came into the game shooting nearly 44 percent, but at Texas was held to 37 percent and went 18-for-49 on the night.
Texas had three in the double-digit club, including senior forward Nneka Enemkpali, who registered her 28th-career double-double and sixth straight with 12 points and 14 rebounds. Junior guard Empress Davenport added 13 points, while classmate Brady Sanders put up 10 total points. The Kansas defense held Texas to a well-below average field goal shooting percentage of 40 percent. However, the Longhorns outrebounded the Jayhawks 39-31.
To start the game, the Longhorns struggled to get shots to fall, making just three field goals in the first 10 minutes of the game and completing only 23 percent of attempts from the field. Meanwhile, Knight sank a three pointer that sparked a 9-2 Kansas run and forced Texas into a four-minute scoring drought.
Texas went on an 8-2 run of its own and took the lead for just a moment. Shooting an impressive 50 percent from the field, the Jayhawks refused to relinquish control and managed to take back a 2-point lead, 18-16. In the minutes following, the two teams traded baskets and the mark remained close.
Then KU fell into a scoring rut and its once impressive shooting percentage began to dwindle as the Jayhawks went 1-for-10 in four minutes and experienced a three-minute scoring silence. This allowed Texas to go on another run, this time putting up six unanswered points.
At the end of the first 20 minutes, Kansas was behind just 4 points, 28-24. Both teams shot a total 37 percent from field goal range, but Kansas led in rebounds 20-18. The Jayhawks led for almost 11 total minutes in the first frame. At the helm of the Jayhawk offence, Gardner was nearing double digits with nine points.
To start the second half, the Longhorns and Jayhawks fought back and forth. It took six minutes before Texas was able to ignite a run over Kansas and build its lead, 42-33. But one thing was still missing from the Texas offense was sophomore center Kelsey Lang, who remained scoreless for the Longhorns until the 13-minute mark of the second half. She averages 13.5 points a game and is seventh in the Big 12 for scoring.
That didn’t stop Texas from taking control of the game. Kansas tumbled into turnover trouble and completion trouble. Despite shooting trouble of its own, Texas extended its run to 17-4 and now led, 51-35.
The Longhorns found a groove and not much changed in the remaining minutes of the game. Unable to overcome the Texas offensive surge, Kansas fell 60-46.
- The Jayhawks had control of the game for close to 11 minutes in the first 20 minutes of play, while holding Texas to a well-below shooting percentage of 37 percent from field goal range.
- On the night, Kansas held the Texas offense almost six percentage points below average, as it shot 40 percent from the field.
- Senior forward Chelsea Gardner added her 12th game this season scoring in double figures.
- The Kansas defense kept Kelsey Lang, one of Texas most effective players on offense, scoreless for 27 minutes. Normally averaging 13.5, she ended the night with only six points.
Kansas will host Oklahoma for its Big 12 home opener on Wednesday, Jan. 7 at 7 p.m., inside Allen Fieldhouse.
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