No. 23 Texas Ousts Kansas, 74-63
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Senior guard Natalie Knight posted 11 points and became the 28th Jayhawk to enter the 1,000-point club, but her efforts weren’t enough as Kansas fell to No. 23 Texas for the second time this season, 74-63, Saturday night inside Allen Fieldhouse.
Texas (16-8, 5-8), on its way to a Kansas opponent season-high 50 rebounds – 18 of which were snagged on the offensive glass – rallied for 17 second chance points helping the Longhorns end their four-game losing streak while holding Kansas (13-13, 4-9) to just 27 total rebounds on the night.
The Jayhawks posted a below-average 37 percent shooting effort behind a 21-for-57 mark. Despite having a rough time converting, seniors Chelsea Gardner and Asia Boyd led the floor with 16 points apiece to join Knight in double digits. Senior guard Asia Boyd
rose over a Texas defender for a jumper. Boyd
finished with 16 points and seven rebounds.
“We had some success with the zone,” head coach Bonnie Henrickson said. “In one of the timeouts I said, ‘It’s going to come down to who’s willing to get an offensive rebound and get a second or third opportunity.’ We always say you’re not always guaranteed to get [an offensive rebound]. We stood and watched around the three-point line and we didn’t get three or four guys to the offensive glass and [Texas] did. They ran at us in transition and we had success when we ran it at them.”
Texas wasn’t far behind the Jayhawks on the offensive end of the floor posting a 23-for-59 mark from the field, which equaled a 39 percent offensive effort. Four Longhorns ended with double figures led by Brianna Taylor and Ariel Atkins, who both notched 15 points a piece. Imani McGee-Stafford followed with 12 points and a game-high 16 rebounds, while Brady Sanders rounded out the contest with 11 points.
“I didn’t think we were consistently aggressive and attacked,” Henrickson said. “We got to the free throw line, but missed a couple of opportunities to throw it to Chelsea inside. Her foul trouble didn’t help us, but when she is in we got to let go and let her have it.”
The Jayhawks kept the Longhorns silent from the field for roughly two and a half minutes to start the game. Unfortunately, Kansas followed suit and entered a scoring drought of its own, lasting five minutes. Once the Longhorns started making buckets, they tallied a 6-0 run over the Jayhawks and took over Kansas’ lead.
KU struggled offensively, shooting only 25 percent from the field in the first 10 minutes, with just three made baskets. This allowed Texas to keep the score close, never pulling away by more than four in that same time frame.
The Jayhawk offense continued to struggle, until they hit back-to-back shots from behind the arc to spark a run against Texas. Chalking up a 12-2 run, Kansas took over the lead for the first time since the 16-minute mark. The Jayhawks forced an 0-for-6 mark from the Longhorn offense throughout the run and kept them quiet for almost three minutes.
Before time could expire for the first frame, Texas managed to take over the lead once again, 29-28, with a late three-pointer from Krystle Henderson. Texas dominated the field for much of the first half, but ended with a 9-for-31 mark (29 percent), while Kansas was just behind the Longhorns and shot 8-for-29, or 28 percent. Atkins led the floor with 15 points thus far in the game, going 4-for-8 from the field and making seven charity buckets. Aldridge was the leading scorer for Kansas at this point with eight points.
Another lead change marked the beginning of the second half of action, this time in the Jayhawks’ favor and the two teams were now in a scoring battle. Texas remained close on Kansas’ heels and took over the lead again before the 15-minute mark, the eighth lead change of the game so far.
The Longhorns continued to chalk up six unanswered points and Kansas remained close, but try, as it might, couldn’t take over the lead. The Jayhawks missed six attempts in a row before they could knock down a layup and end a four-minute scoring deficiency. Texas took advantage of this and posted an 7-0 run to build a lead of seven.
After the slump, Kansas drained three buckets in a row, but Texas was there to answer with points of its own and continued to dominate the scoreboard, 58-50. Kansas was unable to reply to six Longhorn points, giving Texas the opportunity to pull ahead by as many as 11.
The Texas defense was stifling, ending every momentum spark Kansas tried to establish and continued to construct its lead. Kansas was forced to foul the Longhorns in an attempt to gain more possession time in the final seconds. The strategy proved unsuccessful, as the Jayhawks fell, 74-63.
- With 11 points and her 20th double-digit scoring effort this season, senior guard Natalie Knight became the 28th Jayhawk and the 11th under head coach Bonnie Henrickson to reach 1,000 career points. She is also the 13th guard and seventh player from Kansas to join the club.
- Senior guard Asia Boyd has scored in double digits in the past seven games with 16 points tonight against the Longhorns.
- Senior forward Chelsea Gardner logged her 22nd this season with 10 or more points, also scoring 16 against Texas.
- Texas’ 50 total rebounds were the most by a Kansas opponent this season and became the first time a team has snatched 50 or more boards since the Longhorns also grabbed 50 rebounds on Jan. 28, 2014.
The Jayhawks head south for their final meeting with TCU for the 2014-15 regular season on Tuesday, Feb. 17 at 7 p.m., in Dallas.
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