Strong Defense Not Enough For Kansas In Tournament Finale
ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands — Freshman guard Keyla Morgan finished the game with a season-high 11 points, but it wasn’t enough as the Jayhawks fell to No. 2 Duke, 73-40, Saturday afternoon, inside the UVI Sports and Fitness Center in its final game of the 2013 Ezybonds Global Payments U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam.
Morgan, playing in just her third game of the season, poured in all 11 of her points in the second half and added a season-best two steals in a season-high 16 minutes as Kansas (4-3) was defeated by Duke (8-0).
The Kansas defense was also strong against a Blue Devil team that came into Saturday’s match up averaging 89.9 points per game. The Jayhawks held Duke to just 29 points in the first half, which was its lowest total in a half this season and came just three points away from holding the Blue Devils to their lowest point total of the season for a game.
Senior guard CeCe Harper added five points, three rebounds and two steals for the Jayhawks and was named to the All-Tournament Team for the Island Division.
Duke was led by senior guard Tricia Liston who led the Blue Devils with 19 points, eight rebounds and two steals. Junior center Elizabeth Williams and senior guard Chelsea Gray also scored in double figures for Duke, finishing with 17 and 10, respectively. Williams also added eight rebounds and four points, while Gray dished out five assists and recorded three steals to keep the Blue Devils undefeated.
With the Island Division title on the line, Kansas struck first with a put back from junior forward Bunny Williams, but the Blue Devils responded with five straight to take an early, 5-2 advantage. At the first media break, the Jayhawks trailed, 5-4.
The Duke lead grew to nine, 18-9, with eight minutes left in the first half as both teams struggled offensively. The Jayhawks defense kept the game in reach until senior Markisha Hawkins drained her first three-point shot of the year to bring KU within eight, 26-18, with 3:29 left in the first half.
The Kansas defense allowed just three points for the remainder of the half and trailed by just nine heading into the break, 29-20. The Kansas defense was the story of the first half, allowing just 29 points to the No. 2 Blue Devils, which is the fewest in a half this season for Duke. Junior guard CeCe Harper led the Kansas offense with five points in the first half.
The Blue Devils scored the first seven points of the second half to extend their lead, 36-22, with 18:15 left in the game. Duke’s lead continued to grow as the second half went on and led, 44-24, with 14:09 left in the game.
The Jayhawk offense received a spark when Morgan entered the game and delivered 11 points and a spark off the bench. With the game out of reach, Kansas emptied its bench and put all five freshman on the floor for the second time this season, as the Blue Devils pulled away to take the Island Division Title, 73-40.
UP NEXT The Jayhawks will return home and welcome the Arkansas Razorbacks on Wednesday, Dec. 4, at 7 p.m., inside historic Allen Fieldhouse.
KANSAS STARTERS (SEASON/CAREER): Sr. Markisha Hawkins (2-8), Sr. CeCe Harper (2-23), Jr. Bunny Williams (7-12), Jr. Chelsea Gardner (7-36) and Jr. Natalie Knight (7-60)
- Drops the Jayhawks’ all-time record to 761-536
- Drops KU’s all-time non-conference record to 328-151 and 91-25 in non-conference play under head coach Bonnie Henrickson.
- Gives Duke a 1-0 record against the Jayhawks after the first meeting.
- Gives the Jayhawks their first loss of the season to a Top 25 team and 12-57 against the Top 25 under Henrickson.
- Also makes Kansas 0-1 this season against teams ranked in the Top 10 and makes the Jayhawks 2-23 against such teams under Henrickson.
- Makes Henrickson’s record to 162-138 at KU and 320-199 overall.
- Drops the Jayhawks record away from Allen Fieldhouse to 368-386 all-time and 45-89 on the road all-time under Henrickson.
- Drops Kansas to 113-29 all-time and 42-27 under Henrickson during the month of November.
- Gives KU its first loss of the season on a Saturday. The Jayhawks are 24-47 when playing on Saturday under Henrickson.
- Kansas was held scoreless from the 16:04 mark in the first half until freshman guard Lamaria Cole knocked in a free throw with 10:57 left in the first half. During that span Duke went on a 7-0 run.
- With 3:58 left in the first half, the Jayhawks put together five-straight points, including senior Markisha Hawkins’ first three pointer of the season to bring the Blue Devil lead to eight, 26-18, with 3:29 left in the first half.
- The Jayhawks held the Duke offense to just 29 points in the first half. This is the lowest point total for the No. 2 Blue Devils in any half this year.
- Kansas scored just 40 points for the game. This is the lowest total for the Jayhawks all season and is 19 points lower than their previous low of 59 against Minnesota (11/20) and Xavier (11/30).
- The Jayhawks also set season lows in field goals made (11), rebounds (28) and assists (eight).
- Junior forward Bunny Williams scored the first four points for the Jayhawks. Williams also added four rebounds in 22 minutes.
- Senior guard Markisha Hawkins blocked her first shot of the season with 5:46 left in the first half. Hawkins also drilled her first three pointer of the 2013-14 campaign with 3:29 left in the first half.
- With the shot clock expiring and 13:33 left in the game freshman guard Keyla Morgan banked in her first three-point basket of the year and second field goal of the year. The Rancho Dominguez, Calif. native, finished the game with season-highs in points (11) and minutes played (16), besting her previous marks of seven and five set against Oral Roberts (11/10), respectively.