Late Rally Lifts TCU Past Kansas, 52-50
FORT WORTH, Texas — Junior guard Natalie Knight delivered a season-high 20 points as the Jayhawks fell in the final seconds against TCU, 52-50, Wednesday evening, inside Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.
Knight, an Olathe, Kan., native scored her season-high point total behind a career-best six three-pointers and added two steals for the Jayhawks, as Kansas (7-8, 0-3 Big 12) was defeated by TCU (11-4, 2-1 Big 12). Knight shot 85.7 (6-of-7) percent from beyond the arc on the night.
Senior guard Markisha Hawkins was the only other Kansas player in double figures, scoring 12 points and grabbing six rebounds in 25 minutes off the bench for the Jayhawks. Junior forward Chelsea Gardner blocked two shots to give her 91 for her career and place her 10th on Kansas’ all-time blocks list.
TCU was led by junior guard Donielle Breaux, who delivered 10-straight points late in the second half and was the only Horned Frog player in double figure points with 14. Breaux also added two steals and a block to help the TCU defense along with senior center Latricia Lovings, who grabbed eight rebounds, blocked three shots and recorded three steals.
Defense was the story early on in the game, as both teams held each other under double-digit points through the first two media timeouts. With the score deadlocked at nine, Knight knocked down her second three of the game to give the Jayhawks the lead, 12-9, with 9:48 remaining in the half.
After a TCU bucket, another three-pointer from Knight grew the Jayhawk lead to four, 15-11, and sparked seven-straight points to force a TCU timeout with 3:51 remaining in the half and the Jayhawks up eight, 19-11. With the Kansas lead at six, 21-15, TCU got a bucket from junior forward Chelsea Prince as the clock expired to bring the margin to four, 21-17, heading into the break. The 17 points allowed by the Kansas defense was the least they have surrendered in a half since last season, when they held Texas to 12 in the first half of a game in Allen Fieldhouse.
After shooting just 27.6 percent in the first half, the Horned Frogs came out strong in the second half, connecting on the first-five points of the half to take their first lead of the game, 22-21, with 18:16 remaining. Knight answered once again for the Jayhawks, knocking down back-to-back threes, her fourth and fifth of the game, to put the Jayhawks back in front, 27-22, with 17:18 remaining.
Gardner returned to the Kansas lineup after sitting most of the first half with foul trouble and delivered back-to-back buckets to help maintain the Jayhawks’ lead, 31-24, with 14 minutes remaining.
After a 6-0 run from the Horned Frogs to bring the Jayhawk lead down to one, 35-34, the Jayhawks went back to Knight, who knocked down her sixth three of the game and sparked eight-straight from the Jayhawks to build their lead to nine, 43-34, with just over seven minutes to play. Breaux answered with 10-straight points for TCU to bring the Horned Frogs within one, 47-46, and force a Kansas timeout with 2:42 left in the game.
After several empty possessions, TCU junior guard Natalie Ventress delivered from beyond the arc to extend the Horned Frogs run to 13 and give them a two-point lead, 49-47, with just over a minute to play. TCU drained another shot with 22 seconds to play and a missed free throw by the Jayhawks put the game out of reach for Kansas, who fell, 52-50.
The Jayhawks will return home on Jan. 11, to take on Texas Tech at 7 p.m., in the second-part of a double-header with the men’s team, inside Allen Fieldhouse.
KANSAS STARTERS (SEASON/CAREER): Jr. Asia Boyd (11/11), Sr. CeCe Harper (10/31), Fr. Jada Brown (2/2), Jr. Chelsea Gardner (14/43) and Jr. Natalie Knight (15/68)
• Makes Kansas’ all-time record to 764-541.
• Moves the Jayhawks’ all-time conference record to 231-239.
• Makes KU’s all-time Big 12 record 108-171 and 51-100 in conference play under head coach Bonnie Henrickson.
• Brings TCU within one, 3-2, in the all-time series. The previous Horned Frogs victory came on Nov. 28, 2009, when they defeated the Jayhawks, 74-69, in the Bahamas.
• Makes the Jayhawks all-time road record 368-388 and 45-91 on the road all-time under Henrickson.
• Makes Henrickson’s record to 165-143 at KU and 323-205 overall.
• Makes KU to 23-51 under Henrickson during the month of January.
• Makes the Jayhawks 1-3 during the 2013-14 season when playing on Wednesday and 44-43 on Wednesday under Henrickson.
• Leading by one, 12-11, with 6:52 left in the first half, Natalie Knight’s third three-pointer of the half sparked a 7-0 run, to extend their lead to eight, 19-11, with 3:52 remaining in the first half.
• The Kansas defense allowed just 17 points to the Horned Frogs in the first half, its lowest total surrendered in a half this season. The last time a Kansas team held an opponent to under 20 points in a half was Jan. 23, 2013, against Texas in Allen Fieldhouse, when they scored 12.
• After TCU took its first lead of the game, 22-21, with 18:16 remaining in the game, Knight answered with six-straight points, on back-to-back three pointers, to put Kansas back in front, 27-22, with 17:18 remaining.
• Leading by one, 35-34, with 8:32 left in the game, Knight knocked in her sixth three of the game to spark an 8-0 run as the lead grew to nine, 43-34, with just over seven minutes to play in the game.
• The Jayhawks allowed just 52 points to the Horned Frogs, which is their lowest point total surrendered all season.
•The Jayhawks four free throw attempts and two makes are their lowest totals in any game this season, topping their totals of four and seven against Xavier (11/29/13).
• Junior Bunny Williams blocked a new season-high two shots, eclipsing her previous mark of one, which she set twice, most recently against Purdue (12/15/13).
• Junior Chelsea Gardner blocked two shots in the second half to bring her career total to 91 and place her 10th all-time on the Kansas block list.
• Junior Natalie Knight knocked in a season-high 20 points, one shy of her career-high, with the help of a career-best six makes from beyond the arc. Knight’s 20 points bested her previous season-high of 15 against West Virginia (1/4/13) and her six triples are the most since she hit five against Iowa State (1/30/13).
• Senior guard Markisha Hawkins grabbed a career-best six rebounds, eclipsing her previous mark of four, which she set three times previously, with the most recent one coming against Notre Dame (3/31/13).
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