Kansas Bounces Back With Win Over Texas Tech, 71-67

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LAWRENCE, Kan. – An even-matched first half didn’t stop the Jayhawks from pulling ahead of the Lady Raiders in the second frame to claim their second win over Texas Tech this season, 71-67, Wednesday night inside Allen Fieldhouse.
After having no Jayhawks in double figures in the first half, a 20-2 run in the final frame, along with five players reaching double figures helped Kansas (13-10, 4-6) over Texas Tech (13-9, 3-7). Senior forward Chelsea Gardner led Kansas with 19 points and eight rebounds. Freshman guard Lauren Aldridge was next up with 13 points. Behind her was senior guard Natalie Knight, who brought home 12, while senior guard Asia Boyd and freshman guard Chayla Cheadle each posted 10 points.

“Once we finally forced more tough two’s, and got some tough rebounds in front of the rim, we had an opportunity to go in transition,” head coach Bonnie Henrickson said. “Chelsea then was able to get loose because there is no scouting report on transition defense. Everybody is trying to run and sprint and trying to make a good pass and we threw a couple of really good balls to her. A couple of and-ones and then we hit those free throws down the stretch.” 

Kansas shot a well-above average after connecting on 49 percent of its shots from the field, making 23-of-47 shots. The Jayhawks got the job done at the free throw line as well, making 18-of-23 attempts from the charity stripe. KU dished out 15 assists and as a squad and pulled down 33 rebounds. Freshman guard Lauren Aldridge roars after 
an and-one in the second half.
Aldridge finished with 10 points. 
Redshirt sophomore guard Ivonne CookTaylor was a strong force for Texas Tech (13-9, 3-7), with 23 total points and five rebounds. Junior guard Rayven Brooks was the only other Lady Raider in double figures with 15 points and five rebounds. TTU was held to 44 percent shooting from the field after going 28-for-64.
After battling back-and-forth with the Lady Raiders to start the game, the Jayhawks claimed the lead due to hot shooting and effective defense. Before the halfway point of the first frame, there was a time when Texas Tech only made two shots in a span of 13 minutes. On the other end, Kansas was knocking 55 percent of its shots. But KU was unable to spark a run, which kept TTU knocking at its heels. 

Kansas led by as much as six in the opening minutes, but Texas Tech put up five unanswered points to come back. In fact, Texas Tech was the first squad to establish a significant run, putting up six-unanswered points against Kansas. The Lady Raiders hit four field goals in a row, but still trailed the Jayhawks despite the effective offense.

Every time TTU tried to pull away, KU was there to distinguish the flame. Texas Tech would come within one of Kansas’ lead, but back-to-back layups from the Jayhawks put KU up, 36-33, by the break. It was the first time KU reached the 30-point mark by halftime since the first meeting against Baylor on Jan. 17.

Texas Tech’s CookTaylor was already in double digits with 10 points for the Lady Raiders. Aldridge led Kansas with eight points after recording an impressive 3-for-4 mark from the field. Kansas’ offense was strong in the first half, shooting well-above average at 54 percent from field goal range. TTU was held to 47 percent behind a 14-for-30 shooting effort.

The second 20 minutes of action started by Texas Tech silencing Kansas just long enough to take over the lead since the beginning of the first half. But the Jayhawks struck back and connected a three-point shot to tie the game. 

“They came in and got into us. (Ryann) Bowser got them all fired up by denying everything and fighting with Lauren (Aldridge) and we finally answered by the 10 and a half minute mark to go on our run (in the second half),” Henrickson said. “It starts with the defensive intensity because there is so much drive-and-kick. They do a really good job and have some perimeter guards that can rise up and shoot a couple of tough two’s. But give them credit.”

The two teams began to trade baskets and kept the score close. Then, after having difficulty establishing a run, the Lady Raiders were able to pull ahead, 53-46, with a 12-2 run over the Jayhawks. Looking to steal TTU’s mometum, Cheadle drained a three on a pass from senior forward Bunny Williams and put the Jayhawks right back in the game.

Building off of the freshman’s three, Kansas finally found the momentum it was looking for and ignited its first significant run of the game. The Jayhawks forced Texas Tech into an incredible seven-minute silence from the field, while putting up 20 points in the process. During the run, Gardner chalked up eight points and became the third Jayhawk to reach double figures, but she wasn’t the only one. Knight and Cheadle also hit the double-digit mark during the run. The Kansas defense forced nine missed shots from the Lady Raiders. By the time the run was over, the Jayhawks were ahead, 66-55.

A Lady Raider layup broke the Kansas domination and forced the two teams back into the same battle from earlier in the game; trading baskets again. As the final seconds ticked off the clock, TTU fought back but it wasn’t enough to overcome the cushioned lead Kansas formed during its run. The Lady Raiders took home their second loss to the Jayhawks this season, 71-67. 

  • Five Jayhawks posted double figures against Texas Tech, marking the first this season and the first time since Jan. 25, 2014 to accomplish the feat.
  • Seniors Chelsea Gardner and Natalie both accomplished their 19th game this season with double figures scoring 19 and 12, respectively.
  • Senior guard Asia Boyd tallied her 10th game in double digits this season with 13 points, while freshmen guards Chayla Cheadle and Lauren Aldridge rounded out the double digit scorers for Kansas with 10 points a piece.  
  • With a 36-33 advantage at halftime, Kansas reached the 30-point mark by halftime for the first time since it played Baylor on Jan. 17.

The Jayhawks continue their two-game home stretch in Allen Fieldhouse with the first meeting of the season against Oklahoma State on Saturday, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m., on the Jayhawk Television Network/ESPN 3 and the Jayhawk Radio Network. Saturday’s matchup with the Cowgirls is also KU’s annual ‘Jayhawk for a Cure’ game.
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