Jayhawks Overcome Deficit; Defeat Central Michigan, 68-63
ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands — Senior guard Markisha Hawkins led Kansas with a career-high 16 points as the Jayhawks defeated Central Michigan, 68-63, Thursday afternoon, inside the UVI Sports and Fitness Center in its first game of the 2013 Ezybonds Global Payments U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam.
Hawkins, a Little Rock, Ark. native, also dished out a career-best four assists off the bench for the Jayhawks, as Kansas (4-1) overcame an 11-point deficit to defeat Central Michigan (2-2) on Thanksgiving Day.
Junior forward Chelsea Gardner contributed her third double-double of the season and ninth of her career with 16 points and a season-best 14 rebounds. Junior guard Natalie Knight also finished in double-figures for Kansas, adding 10 points and a season-high six rebounds.
Central Michigan was led by junior guard Crystal Bradford who knocked in 19 points, grabbed four rebounds and dished out four assists despite playing just 27 minutes because of foul trouble. Junior guard Jessica Green also finished in double-digits with 15 points, six rebounds and three assists.
The Jayhawks came out slow to start the game and Kansas trailed by 10. Hawkins delivered with an old-fashioned three-point play to spark a 5-0 run to bring KU within five with 12 minutes left in the first half. With Bradford on the bench because of two early fouls, Kansas took full advantage and went on an 8-0 run to bring the Central Michigan lead to three, 21-18.
Coming out of the under-eight media timeout, junior forward Bunny Williams delivered four-straight points to pull the Jayhawks within one, 25-24. Two free throws from Asia Boyd brought the Kansas run to six and gave the Jayhawks their first lead of the game, 26-25.
After the Jayhawks extended their run to eight, Bradford checked back in and supplied a three-point play, with 2:13 left in the half to give the Chippewa’s their first points in nearly five minutes and tied the game at 28. After a Jayhawk bucket, Chippewa senior guard Niki Diguilio nailed her third three-pointer of the half to give the lead back to CMU, 31-30, with 1:05 left to play. Freshman guard Dakota Gonzalez answered with a lay-up, but a CMU free throw tied the score at 32 headed into the break. Gardner and Hawkins led the Kansas offense with seven points each, with Gardner also grabbing 11 rebounds in the first half.
Chippewa’s opened up a three-point lead early in the second half, 36-33, but the Jayhawks responded with a 7-0 run to regain the lead, 40-36, with 17:17 left in the game. Another Hawkins three-point play kept Kansas in front and a three-pointer from Knight gave the Jayhawks their largest lead of the game, 48-43, with 11:27 left in the game. The Chippewas continued to battle for the rest of the game and narrowed the lead, 56-55, with 5:25 left, but were never able to overcome the Kansas attack as the Jayhawks close out Central Michigan, 68-63.
The Jayhawks will return to the court tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. to take on Xavier in the second round of the 2013 Ezybonds Global Payments U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam at the UVI Sports and Fitness Center.
Kansas 68, Central Michigan 63
Nov. 28, 2013
KANSAS STARTERS (SEASON/CAREER): Jr. Asia Boyd (5-5), So. Lamaria Cole (5-5), Jr. Bunny Williams (5-10), Jr. Chelsea Gardner (5-34) and Jr. Natalie Knight (5-58)
- Improves KU’s all-time non-conference record to 328-149 and 91-23 in non-conference play under head coach Bonnie Henrickson.
- Makes Kansas 2-0 all-time against Central Michigan, with its other victory coming on Dec. 4, 1993, where the Jayhawks won, 81-65, in Allen Fieldhouse.
- Improves Henrickson’s record to 162-136 at KU and 320-198 overall.
- Improves Kansas’ all-time record to 761-534.
- Makes the Jayhawks 368-384 away from Allen Fieldhouse all-time and 45-87 on the road all-time under Henrickson.
- Makes KU 113-27 all-time and 42-25 under Henrickson during the month of November.
- Gives KU its first win of the season on a Thursday. The Jayhawks are 15-11 when playing on Thursday under Henrickson.
- With 10:25 left in the first half the Jayhawks went on an 8-0 run to bring the Central Michigan lead to three, 21-18, with 9:04 left in the half.
- The Jayhawks took their first lead of the game, 26-25, with 6:28 left in the first half with the help of an 8-0 run that started at the with 7:31 left in the first half, behind four-straight points from Bunny Williams and ended with 2:13 left in the half.
- Down by three just over a minute into the second half, the Jayhawks responded with a 7-0 run that lasted until the 15:00 minute mark to give the Jayhawks the lead, 40-36.
- Senior guard Markisha Hawkins converted two old-fashioned three-point plays in the game. The first came with 12:48 remaining in the first half and the second came with 13:21 left in the second half. The Little Rock, Ark. native, finished the game with new career-bests in points (16) and assists (four) eclipsing her previous marks of 15 and two against TCU (3/5/13), respectfully. Hawkins set her career-point total behind career-highs in field goals (five) and field goal attempts (11), which she also set against the Horned Frogs.
- Junior forward Chelsea Gardner recorded 11 of her season-high 14 rebounds in the first half. The DeSoto, Texas native, also recorded 14 points for her second double-double in as many games, third of the season and ninth of her career.
- Junior guard Natalie Knight recorded five rebounds in the first half to best her previous season-best mark for a game of four against Oral Roberts (11/10/13). The Olathe, Kan. Native, finished the game with six rebounds to set a new career-high. Knight also recorded a season-high two blocks, eclipsing her previous best of one against Minnesota (11/20/12).
- Junior forward Bunny Williams finished the game with a season-high six points, besting her previous high of three against Oral Roberts (11/10/13).
- Freshman forward Caelynn Manning-Allen tied her season-high with four rebounds, which she previously set against SIU-Edwardsville (11/13/13).