Kansas Unable to Overcome Notre Dame, 89-47
Box Score (PDF)
UNCASVILLE, Conn. – Kansas women’s basketball concluded the Basketball Hall of Fame Tournament with nationally-ranked Notre Dame and the No. 1 Fighting Irish proved to be too much for the Jayhawks. Kansas dropped the tournament finale, 89-47, on Sunday afternoon at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
Seniors Chelsea Gardner and Natalie Knight both netted double-digit points in the seventh game of the season. Gardner, who has scored 10 or more points in every contest of the 2014-15 season, finished the afternoon with a team-high 15 points and six rebounds. Knight contributed 13 points behind a 3-for-4 performance from behind the three-point arc. Kansas shot 38 percent from the field and was just behind Notre Dame’s 33 rebounds with 29 boards.
Gardner was recognized as the most outstanding player for Kansas in 2014 Naismith Hall of Fame Women’s Basketball Challenge Most Valuable Player. A member for each team was given this award.
Notre Dame had three reach double digits and helped led the No. 1 scoring offense in the country to a 55 percent shooting percentage from field goal range. Junior guard Jewell Loyd, who chalked up 23 points, led the way for the Irish. She was followed by junior guard Michaela Mabrey and sophomore guard Lindsay Allen, who had 17 and 11 points, respectively.
Kansas outrebounded Notre Dame in the first few minutes of the game, but the Jayhawks were unable to convert at the other end, keeping the Fighting Irish in the game. Kansas saw a 0-for-4 scoring drought, which allowed ND to start the game with a 9-2 run.
KU kept battling against the Notre Dame defense. Despite the starting run, it took the Irish seven minutes and another 6-0 run to build a lead of just six over Kansas. Freshman guard Lauren Aldridge silenced this lead by connecting a layup that the Fighting Irish were unable to answer at the other end. Gardner built off of Aldridge’s success with a layup, tallying back-to-back Jayhawk baskets.
Keeping the Jayhawk momentum alive for a while longer, freshman guard Terriell Bradley took a charge and then hit a last second three-pointer. The Jayhawks refused to let the Fighting Irish develop a double-figure lead by answering most of ND’s baskets until the six-minute mark of the first half.
This was when the Fighting Irish found a hot-shooting groove. Notre Dame completed 65 percent of its shots from field goal range. This resulted in a 15-0 run that lasted the remainder of the half, which was led by the duo of Mabrey and Loyd. Notre Dame took a comfortable lead into halftime, 42-21.
A traditional three-point play by Gardner started the half. The two teams then began to trade baskets as Notre Dame was unable to widen its lead for about seven minutes. A layup by Loyd ended the back-and-forth trend and sparked a 16-0 Irish run. This widened the ND lead, 68-31.
After hitting back-to-back shots for Kansas, Boyd blocked a breakaway layup from senior guard Madison Cable. This added spark to the Jayhawk offense that helped Knight drain a shot from beyond the arc a couple of possessions later, her third of the night. Collectively, Gardner, Boyd and Bradley put up seven points for the Jayhawks in less than three minutes following Knight’s efforts.
At the end of it all, Kansas wasn’t able to overcome the speed and quickness of Notre Dame and fell, 89-47.
- With thirteen points against Notre Dame, senior forward Chelsea Gardner has a perfect 7-for-7 record of games in double figures this season.
- Tonight’s game against the Fighting Irish marked the third time the Jayhawks went up against a 2014 postseason contestant. Kansas is now 2-1 against these opponents.
- Notre Dame was the first nationally-ranked opponent for Kansas in 2014-15.
Kansas will return home to host Incarnate Word on Thursday, December 4. Tip off is set for 7 p.m.
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