KU Women Send Mizzou Home With Loss

Bonnie Henrickson's Jayhawks suffered a major blow when redshirt freshman point guard Angel Goodrich went down with a season-ending ACL injury to her right knee against Oklahoma State on Tuesday.

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 minutes.

"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 improved."

Boogaard was solid off the bench with eight points (3-3 FG) in 10 minutes.

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 the game.

*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 half.

*Kansas scored 36 of its 72 points in the paint.

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