But thank goodness, KU still has senior forward Danielle McCray. The All-American candidate stepped up with 20 first-half points and a game-high 26 to carry the Jayhawks to a 72-59 victory over Border Showdown rival Missouri at Allen Fieldhouse Sunday afternoon. The win snapped KU's three-game losing streak and earned the Jayhawks' first victory in Big 12 play.
Kansas (11-5, 1-2 Big 12) raced to a 46-18 halftime lead behind 15
points off turnovers and McCray's 8-of-10 field goal shooting. It
looked like a blowout in the making as KU led by 31 points (57-26) with
14:20 remaining in the game, but turnovers, poor shooting, sloppy
defense, and second-chance Tigers' points enabled MU to make a run and
cut the lead to 12 (65-53) with 4:14 left.
McCray then hit a three-pointer (just her second basket of the second
half) as Missouri got no closer the rest of the way.
Despite the poor second half, Henrickson was pleased with the victory.
"Obviously we created enough cushion at the half to be able to survive
and get out with a ‘W,'" Henrickson said. "I am proud of the
kids considering the week we had (losing to Oklahoma State in overtime
and seeing Goodrich's season end), how aggressive and how much we
attacked (in the first half).
"I thought the crowd played a big part of it (because) they brought us
great energy. (But) give Missouri credit. They came out and put us on
our heels (in the second half)."
Senior LaChelda Jacobs (two points, two assists, seven rebounds and
five turnovers in 23 minutes) started at point guard in
replace of Goodrich, while junior Rhea Codio (zero points, one assist,
one rebound and one steal in nine minutes) and senior Sade Morris (15
points and three assists in 34 minutes) also played the point.
Morris gave Kansas a huge lift after being moved to point guard with
under nine minutes remaining, scoring 10 of her 15 points in the final
8:48, including six straight, while breaking a nearly six-minute KU
scoring drought as Missouri rallied from its 57-26 deficit.
"We felt Sade Morris handled the ball well and I was pleasantly
surprised that she was that aggressive," Henrickson said.
The Jayhawks also got a big spark from freshman forward/center Carolyn Davis, who made her first career start in place of junior Krysten Boogaard. She posted career highs with 13 points and six boards in 28
"She's just been more productive," Henrickson said. "I've never had a
kid from the first day of practice to now improve as much as she's
Boogaard was solid off the bench with eight points (3-3 FG) in 10
Of course, McCray was the most productive with her huge first half to
put this game away. While she's capable of putting KU on her back,
McCray is counting on a team effort to help replace Goodrich.
"We all got to step up and we all got to fill those roles that she
brought," McCray said.
The Jayhawks are indeed rallying around their injured teammate.
"We've lost her and it tears all of our hearts out, but we got a
shopping list of things we can be better at," Henrickson said. "We can
do that overnight with a change of mindset. At times we did that today.
We didn't do it consistently.
"But they've been tough with her."
Kansas now goes on the road to play Iowa State on Wednesday and at
Oklahoma next Saturday.
"We'll get better every day because I like what our bench is doing. I
like how we're playing more aggressively," Henrickson said. "There were
a lot of things we struggled with today, but there were a lot of bright
spots, some production off the bench and some plays we made with some
kids in the starting lineup."
*Kansas entered Sunday's game unranked for the first week this season.
The Jayhawks spent the previous nine weeks, including the preseason
poll, ranked by the Associated Press.
*The Border Showdown served as both the Kansas women's basketball
Alumni Game and the National Girls and Women in Sports Day. Former Lady
Jayhawks returned for the game, while KU offered $1 tickets for females
of all ages.
*McCray set a season-high in three-pointers made with five. She was
5-of-8 from downtown.
*Junior forward Marisha Brown set a career high in assists with three
in just seven minutes.
*Missouri's 18 first-half points are an opponent low in first-half
scoring against KU this season. The Tigers shot just 30 percent the
first 20 minutes and were 0-of-5 from three-point range. MU rebounded
in the second half and shot 50 percent, finishing with 40 percent for
*KU made 13-of-16 free throws for 81.3 percent. The Jayhawks shot 50
percent from the field, including 59.4 percent in the pivotal first
*Kansas scored 36 of its 72 points in the paint.
KU Women Send Mizzou Home With Loss
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