Kansas Bounces Back With Win Over Incarnate Word, 68-46

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LAWRENCE, Kan. – For the fourth time this season, a quartet of Jayhawks scored in double figures, this time leading Kansas to victory over Incarnate Word, 68-46, Thursday evening inside Allen Fieldhouse.
Senior forward Chelsea Gardner led the scoring effort with 17 points while playing just 21 minutes – keeping alive the DeSoto, Texas native’s streak of 10 or more points in each contest this season. Aside from leading the scoring output, Gardner also made her presence felt on the other side of the ball tallying a game-high three blocks. With 13 total points, senior guard Asia Boyd followed her fellow captain. Senior guard Natalie Knight and freshman guard Chayla Cheadle were just behind with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
For the first time in nearly 14 years, the Jayhawks shot 67 percent from three-point range on a minimum of 10 attempts, connecting on 8-of-12 shots from beyond the arc. Marking the highest completion rate from three since Dec. 2, 2000, when Kansas went 8-for-11 (72.7 percent) against St. Joseph in Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas also shot better than average overall from the field with a 57 percent field goal average, which is the highest percentage since Dec. 29, 2013, against Yale. 
“In spurts, I thought we were good, but those spurts have to be longer offensively and defensively,” Kansas head coach Bonnie Henrickson said. “I thought we were disruptive enough that we got them out of some sets. We had better stretches of half court defense in the second half. We have to embrace times where we can be good at half court then be able to finish the possession.”
Two Cardinals led Incarnate Word as freshman guard Haley Frias and junior guard Aricka Adams each put up 10 total points. Freshman forward Yvonne Maosa led the floor with 13 rebounds. The Cardinals were held to 33 percent shooting from field goal range.
Although the Jayhawks struggled to make shots early in the first half, they took control of the game early with an 11-2 run. Knight contributed by chalking up two three’s in the first two minutes of action. She leads Kansas on the season with an average 44.7 percent from the three-point line. Gardner had no trouble putting up shots either, she made back-to-back shots for Kansas that were both contested in the paint within the first five minutes.

Incarnate Word fought back and lessened the Kansas lead to just four, until sophomore forward Caelynn Manning-Allen pulled down an offensive rebound and made a bucket. Sophomore forward Jada Brown answered with two more points on the next possession. However, the Cardinals wouldn’t give up and the traded baskets with the Jayhawks for several minutes.
Kansas kept the Cardinals from getting organized and forced two shot-clock violations within the first 16 minutes of the game. It didn’t help that the Cardinals were struggling to knock in shots and were silent for four minutes.

KU hit back-to-back shots to end the half and freshman guard Terriell Bradley hit a jumper just outside the lane to give Kansas its biggest lead of the nigh. The Jayhawks had a 33-22 advantage at the end of the first frame.

Kansas shot better than average in the first twenty minutes converting 52 percent from field goal range. The Jayhawks also took advantage of extra possessions, scoring 11 points off of Cardinal turnovers. KU kept Incarnate Word to shooting 31 percent from field goal range in the first half. Gardner was already in double figures with 13 points. Knight was close to double figures with eight points and led the Jayhawks in rebounds with four.

In the second half, the Jayhawks opened with a 10-2 run to gain momentum and sprint ahead of the Cardinals. Knight went almost coast-to-coast chasing a lose ball, which she recovered and passed it to Gardner, who completed a layup. The Jayhawks continued to be strong on offense. Despite a Cardinal bucket, Kansas kept its run alive with the help of a three-point basket by Boyd. With that completion, Kansas posted eight points in three minutes, while Incarnate Word had only managed to put up two on the board.

Two Jayhawks connected shots behind the arc in just over one minute, one of them being Knight who chalked up her third three pointer of the night and now had 10-plus points. Freshman guard Lauren Aldridge followed quickly after and Kansas had established a 20-point lead over Incarnate Word, 55-35.

With just over four minutes to play Cheadle grabbed an offensive rebound and hit a shot in the paint. She was fouled in the act of shooting and tallied a traditional three-point play at the free-throw line. She added two more points to the board on the next Kansas possession and started yet another run for the Jayhawks.

Despite answering most of Kansas’ shots in the final minutes, Incarnate Word fell to Kansas, 68-46, and made only one out of seven field goal attempts in the last four minutes of the game.

  • Incarnate Word struggled to get organized on offense, as Kansas forced two shot-clock violations in the first 20 minutes of play.
  • Senior forward Chelsea Gardner continued her streak of scoring in double figures with her eighth of the season. She chalked up a team-high 17 during tonight’s game in just 21 minutes.
  • Kansas is now 4-0 during the 2014-15 season when it holds opponents to under 50 points.
  • It is the Jayhawks’ fourth game of the season with four players in double figures. Seven of Kansas’ eight games had double-digit performances from three or more players.

The Jayhawks will be back in action on Sunday, December 7, when they face the Golden Bears of California. It marks the second nationally-ranked opponent for Ku in three games. Tip off is slated for 5 p.m. inside Allen Fieldhouse.
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