Late Rally Helps Xavier Stun Kansas, 64-59
ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands — Senior guard CeCe Harper led Kansas with 15 points as the Jayhawks fell to Xavier, 64-59, Friday afternoon, inside the UVI Sports and Fitness Center in its second game of the 2013 Ezybonds Global Payments U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam.
The San Antonio, Texas native, also dished out a season-high six assists and grabbed four rebounds for the Jayhawks, as Kansas (4-2) was defeated by Xavier (3-3).
Junior forward Chelsea Gardner added 12 points, six rebounds and two blocks, despite being limited to just 18 minutes with foul trouble. Junior guard Natalie Knight also finished in double-figures for Kansas, scoring 10 points, dishing out two assists and blocking two shots for the second-consecutive night.
Xavier was led by senior guard Shatyra Hawkes who finished with a game-high 17 points, four assists, four rebounds and four steals. Sophomore guard Jenna Crittendon and senior guard Ashley Wanninger also scored in double-figures for the Musketeers, finishing with 15 and 13, respectively. Crittendon also added three blocks to the Xavier defensive effort.
After trailing early, 4-2, back-to-back buckets from senior guard Markisha Hawkins and a layup from Haper put the Jayhawks in front, 8-4, for the first time in the first half. The Musketeers were able to muster six-straight points to tie the game at 14 with six minutes left in the half.
Knight delivered KU’s first three-pointer of the game to give Kansas a three-point lead, 17-14. Junior guard Asia Boyd delivered another triple and gave the Jayhawks their second 6-0 run of the half, to take a, 20-14, lead with four and a half minutes left.
With time expiring in the first half and the Musketeers trailing by three, 26-23, Hawkes banked in a deep three to tie the score at 26 going into the break. Hawkins led the Kansas offense in the first half with six points.
In the second half, Gardner checked back into the game and the Jayhawks went to her on their first play for a bucket to give Kansas the lead back. Gardner also made her presence known on the defensive end of the floor, blocking back-to-back shots in the same possession to make way for Knight to knock down a triple and extend the Kansas lead to seven, 35-28.
With three Kansas starters on the bench with three fouls, the Jayhawk bench held its own, keeping the lead at five, 49-44, until the trio of starters checked back in after the under-eight media timeout.
Xavier responded with an 11-0 run to take a five-point lead with five minutes left in the game, but the Jayhawks answered right back with six-straight to tie the game at 56. After a pair of Xavier free throws, Harper delivered with an old-fashioned three-point play with 1:04 left in the game to give the Jayhawks a one-point lead, 59-58.
Despite a strong defensive effort from Kansas, Xavier put in a layup with 33 seconds remaining to give the Musketeers a one-point advantage. After a missed shot from Hawkins, the Jayhawks fouled to stop the clock and put Xavier on the free throw line. The Musketeers sank both attempts from the line to extend the lead to three and a three-pointer from Knight fell short as Kansas suffered its second loss of the season.
The Jayhawks will return to the court tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. to take on Duke in the finale of the 2013 Ezybonds Global Payments U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam at the UVI Sports and Fitness Center.
KANSAS STARTERS (SEASON/CAREER): Sr. Markisha Hawkins (1-7), Sr. CeCe Harper (1-22), Jr. Bunny Williams (6-11), Jr. Chelsea Gardner (6-35) and Jr. Natalie Knight (6-59)
- Drops the Jayhawks’ all-time record to 761-535
- Drops KU’s all-time non-conference record to 328-150 and 91-24 in non-conference play under head coach Bonnie Henrickson.
- Gives Xavier a 3-1 series lead. Xavier won the first meeting, 72-63, in 2006 and has now won the last two contests against Kansas.
- Makes Henrickson’s record to 162-137 at KU and 320-198 overall.
- Drops the Jayhawks record away from Allen Fieldhouse to 368-385 all-time and 45-88 on the road all-time under Henrickson.
- Makes Kansas to 113-28 all-time and 42-26 under Henrickson during the month of November.
- Gives KU its first loss of the season on a Friday. The Jayhawks are 9-6 when playing on Friday under Henrickson.
- After falling behind early, 4-2, the Jayhawks responded with six-straight points and took their first lead in the process until Xavier stopped the run with 13:49 left in the first half.
- Back-to-back three-pointers from Natalie Knight and Asia Boyd gave the Jayhawks their second 6-0 run of the first half and a, 20-14, lead with 4:31 left in the half.
- The Jayhawks and the Musketeers were tied at 26 at the end of the first half. That makes back-to-back days that Kansas has entered the break with the score tied.
- A 7-0 run early in the second half gave the Jayhawks their largest lead of the game to that point, 37-28, with 17:35 left in the game.
- Trailing by six, 56-50, with 4:18 left in the game, Kansas answered with six-straight points to tie the game at 56 with 2:03 left.
- Kansas scored just 59 points in its loss against Xavier, that total matches the total the Jayhawks scored at Minnesota (11/20), their only other loss of the 2013-14 season.
- KU made just four free throws on seven attempts. Both of those numbers are the lowest for the Jayhawks in any game this season, with the previous lows of six and ten coming in the Kansas loss to Minnesota (11/20).
- The Jayhawks 29 rebounds and 10 assists are also the lowest totals in their respective categories by the Jayhawks this season, with the previous lows of 31 and 13 coming in KU’s win against Creighton (11/17).
- CeCe Harper delivered a three-point play the old fashioned way with the Jayhawks trailing by two, 58-56, with 1:04 left in the game to give Kansas the one-point advantage, 59-58. The senior guard led the Jayhawks with 15 points and added a season-high six assists to best her previous mark of four, set at Minnesota (11/20).
- Chelsea Gardner finished the game with 12 points despite playing only 18 minutes due to foul trouble. The junior forward has scored in double figures in all six games of the 2013-14 season for the Jayhawks.
- Junior guard Natalie Knight recorded two blocks for the second-consecutive night to match her season-high. The junior guard also added 10 points to the Kansas offensive effort.