Kansas Loses Late Battle To Kansas State, 57-49

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DALLAS, Texas – Even with their best three-point shooting effort since they played Iowa State on Jan. 28, the Jayhawks lost a late battle to in-state rival Kansas State, 57-49, Friday night inside the American Airlines Center.
An incredible 26-8 run in the second half gave Kansas the lead with just over seven minutes to play. A subsequent 13-3 Wildcat run weakened the Jayhawks’ momentum and ultimately opened the door for Kansas State to steal back the win. KU outscored KSU in the final frame, 37-34, but 18 turnovers and a 2-for-8 shooting effort to end the game proved to be costly for the Jayhawks.
Leading the way for Kansas (15-17, 6-12), behind her 28th-career double-double, senior forward Chelsea Gardner posted 14 points and 12 rebounds. With a 6-for-14 mark from the field tonight, she tallied her 49th time attempting 10 or more shots in a single game. Three Jayhawks in all reached the 10-plus plateau with freshmen guards Lauren Aldridge and Terriell Bradley adding 12 and 13 points, respectively. As a squad, Kansas finished 33 percent from field goal range with a 16-for-49 mark.
Kansas State (19-12, 8-11) finished with a 35 percent shooting effort and a 20-for-58 tally from the field. Three Wildcats were in double digits with sophomore forward Breanna Lewis at the helm, posting 18 points and 10 rebounds, good for a double-double performance. Sophomore guard Kindred Wesemann followed, chalking up 17 points. Freshman guard Shaelyn Martin rounded out the double-figure club with 13 points.
By the first media timeout, both Kansas State and Kansas were at a 1-for-5 mark from the field, yet with the help of free throws, the Wildcats had a one-point lead. Coming out of the timeout, KSU gained momentum sparking a 12-0 run over Kansas. The K-State defense held the Jayhawks quiet for almost eight minutes. The Wildcats faced a lag within their own run, too, staying silent for over two minutes.

Bradley came to Kansas’ rescue with a traditional three-point play to push the Jayhawks past their scoring slump and end the Wildcat run. KU posted five unanswered points, but the momentum was stopped by K-State before KU could go on a significant run. The Jayhawks suffered yet another silence, this time lasting almost four and a half minutes and attempted 13 field goals before sinking a pair of free throws to end the drought. The Wildcats were in a scoring slump with a 0-for-6 mark throughout 4:30 minutes.

The same story continued in the waning minutes of the first half as Kansas fell victim to an effective K-State defense for three minutes. Kansas State struggled on offense to end the frame, making only one of 10 attempts, but still took a 23-12 lead into the break.

Crippled by a season-low 14 percent shooting, Kansas ended the first half with a 3-for-22 mark. Gardner, who averages 16.8 points per game led the Jayhawks with just five points. She was on her way to a double-double performance with eight rebounds.  Senior guard Haley Texada led the floor with nine points and three rebounds at the end of the first 20 minutes. She helped Kansas State to 28 percent shooting behind an 8-for-29 effort.

Kansas came out of the halftime break hot sinking three shots in a row from long range, which helped Kansas to an 11-0 run and brought them within six of the Wildcat lead. Kansas’ defense, in the meantime, held KSU quiet for over three minutes.

KU continued to chip away at K-State’s advantage as it drained yet another three-point shot and was now within four points. A three-minute Wildcat scoring drought and another shot behind the arc put Kansas within one, 37-36. The two teams entered a back-and-forth spell, but Kansas stayed close on the Wildcats’ heels.

An impressive 26-8 run overall gave Kansas the lead for the first time since 18:27 of the first half. After KU clinched the advantage, there were five lead changes in the following minutes. With just under 45 seconds left in the game, the scoreboard read 53-49 with Kansas State on top. As time ticked, KSU entered a 6-0 run over Kansas to all but seal the game. The Wildcats advanced to the second round of the Big 12 Championship with a 57-49 win.

  • Dating back to 1983, the Jayhawks have a 32-30 record in conference postseason action. Since the inception of the Big 12 in 1997, Kansas has 13-19 mark in league postseason play.
  • Senior forward Chelsea Gardner grabbed 12 boards against K-State in the first game of the 2015 Big 12 Championship. Her double-digit rebound effort marks the 10th this season and 30th of her career.
  • Gardner recorded her ninth-straight game scoring double figures with 14 points tonight. She has netted double figures a total of 28 games this season and 80 times in her four-year career.
  • The Desoto, Texas native logged her 10th double-double of the season, 28th of her career, and second-straight.
  • Freshman guard Terriell Bradley posted her sixth double-figure scoring efforts with 13 points against K-State.
  • Freshman guard Lauren Aldridge added 12 points for her 14th 10-plus point performance.
  • Kansas’ 12 points and 14 percent shooting from the field are the lowest marks in each category for the Jayhawks in a first half since netting 15 points and shooting 24 percent at West Virginia (2/10).

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