Lady Jayhawks Fall to #2 Oklahoma

Kansas didn't pick a good time to have its worst shooting game of the season against the heavyweight Oklahoma Sooners.

KU shot a dismal 26.2 percent from the field, including 19.4 percent in the first half, in falling to No. 2 Oklahoma 69-54 at Allen Fieldhouse Saturday night.

"I thought we rushed and never had very good rhythm in the first half," KU coach Bonnie Henrickson said. "We got some high percentage shots and missed some high percentage shots. We altered our shots and tough players don't alter their shot.

"As a shooter you should focus on the rim and focus on the square. We didn't do that. We missed some wide open shots by rushing. What magnified that was that we only had five offensive boards (the first half) and shot 19 percent from the field. You have to go pursue the basketball if you are only going to shoot 19 percent."
Junior forward Danielle McCray scored a game-high 23 points, but shot just 6 of 23 from the field. McCray, who came off the bench in a coaching decision, didn't get much help on offense. Junior guard Sade Morris was the only other Jayhawk in double figures with 10. Sophomore forward Nicollette Smith added eight points and a career-high 11 rebounds, while freshman forward Aishaw Sutherland scored six points with 10 boards.

Sutherland went 2 of 10 from the field, Morris shot 3 of 10, junior guard LaChelda Jacobs went 1 of 6, and sophomore center Krysten Boogaard shot 2 of 7.

The Jayhawks (13-10, 2-8 Big 12) stayed with the mighty Sooners (22-2, 10-0) early, trailing just 11-10 with 12: 58 remaining in the first half after OU started the game 9-0. However, OU burst out on a 10-2 run and held KU without a field goal for almost seven minutes (8:15 to 1:27).

The Sooners, who led 32-20 at halftime, stretched its lead to as many as 21 points in the second half after KU pulled within 10 (43-33) on a layup by Boogaard with 10:21 remaining.

But Kansas then committed two straight turnovers and four turnovers (three by senior guard Ivana Catic) in a two-plus minute stretch as the Sooners pulled away.

On a bright note, KU held senior All-American center Courtney Paris to just nine points, which tied her season low. Paris, who entered the game averaging 15.9 points, had scored in double figures 120 straight times, just five shy of the NCAA record for consecutive double-figure scoring games, before her streak ended with nine points against Tennessee on Feb. 2. This was just the fifth game of her career where Paris failed to record a double-double.

Paris played just 25 minutes and shot 3 of 7 from the field. OU was led by junior forward Amanda Thompson with 16 points, the Sooners' lone player in double figures.

"I think Sherri Coale (OU head coach) was (our) best defense tonight," Henrickson said about "holding" Paris to only nine points. "I don't know if we did that much. I think our kids battled and competed. I don't think Courtney Paris could care less if she got a double-double or not. She wants to win. I think our kids did a decent job, but Sherri probably had something to do with that."

KU also forced 19 turnovers and outscored OU 16 to eight off turnovers. The Jayhawks had the advantage at the free-throw line as well, shooting 17 of 23 from the charity stripe, compared to just 7 of 13 for Oklahoma.

Coale praised McCray after the game.

"She is really good," Coale said. "I think she is the best player in the league that nobody has ever heard of. Nobody ever talks about her. She is really hard to guard and she creates a lot of different scenarios for teams. We did a good job of contesting and that always lowers the shooting percentage a little bit."

Henrickson wasn't pleased with McCray's defense, though. McCray and the Jayhawks hope to get back on track now with a matchup at Colorado on Wednesday. KU defeated the Buffaloes, 65-54, at Allen Fieldhouse on Feb. 4.

Despite losing eight of 10 games in Big 12 play, Henrickson's bunch is still optimistic about the season.

"We got to play consistently from half to half and everybody's got to show up," Henrickson said. "(We'll) keep clawing and fighting away. These kids aren't down. You wouldn't walk in our practices and think that everybody's trying to jump off the ship. It's not that. We just keep fighting and competing every day trying to get better."


*Some of the KU men's basketball players attended part of the game after returning from their victory earlier that day at K-State, including Tyrel Reed and Travis Releford. They walked into Allen Fieldhouse midway through the first half and sat behind the north goal. Former Jayhawk star and current Miami Heat rookie Mario Chalmers received a warm ovation after being introduced by the public address announcer.

*Abi Olajuown, OU's 6-4 junior center, is the daughter of NBA Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon. She scored five points, entering the game averaging 1.2 points and 2.9 rebounds per game.

*The attendance was 4,332, including a large and noisy contingent of OU boosters. Top Stories