Women Exit Early In Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, MO. — Bonnie Henrickson's Jayhawks are one and done at the Big 12 tournament in historic Municipal Auditorium.

No. 10-seeded KU fell to No. 7-seeded and 20th ranked Oklahoma State Thursday, 76-69, in the first round and dropped to 15-15 this season. It marked the first time since 2005 that Kansas bowed out of the Big 12 Championship after one game.

The Jayhawks will now prepare for the WNIT, where they will likely host a home game at Allen Fieldhouse next week.

"I don't plan on losing out," senior guard Sade Morris said. "We plan on making it to the championship game and winning it."

Last year, KU lost to South Florida in the WNIT title game.

With a player like freshman center Carolyn Davis, KU might cut down the WNIT nets this year. Davis, who was cleared to play on Wednesday after suffering a concussion last Friday in practice, scored a career-high 31 points. She made her first 10 shots and went 12 of 13 from the field.

"I came out excited to play (since) I didn't get to play in the last game," Davis said of KU's 78-54 Senior Night loss to Texas A&M last Saturday. "It was frustrating, so I came out and gave my all. I knew every time I got the ball I had to score or try to hit a teammate to score."

While Davis was superb, she didn't get help. The rest of the team shot just 24 percent on 12 of 50 shooting. Monica Engelman, Sade Morris and Aishah Sutherland went a combined 4 of 33 from the field.

"You've got to be prepared to take a shot to give yourselves a chance to make one and when we go back and look at it tonight, of the (33), I bet they shot six or eight probably the way they're supposed to," KU coach Bonnie Henrickson said.

OSU senior guard Andrea Riley, meanwhile, was too much for Kansas. She scored a game-high 37 points (10-30 FG, 5-10 from three-point range, 12-17 FT), the top scoring performance ever in the first round of the Big 12 tournament. Riley tied former Oklahoma standout Courtney Paris for first place on the Big 12 all-time career scoring list with 2,729 points.

"To us, she is the MVP of the conference," Oklahoma State coach Kurt Budke said. "There is nobody more valuable to a team."

Budke was also quite impressed with Davis.

"She is an incredible player, and obviously after she scored 20 of ‘em, we knew she was in the house," Budke said. "We tried four different looks and we switched up zones. I don't know if it confused them, but it stalled 'em for a little while. Once we went down 49-47, we switched up to a half-court trap and showed a different look."

The Jayhawks rallied from a 42-34 halftime deficit and took that 49-47 lead on a goal by Davis in the paint with 12:22 remaining. But that would be KU's only lead of the second half. OSU stretched the lead to 10 (69-59) with 5:04 left before the Jayhawks rallied one last time, cutting the Cowboys' lead to three (72-69) with 1:02 remaining. However, Riley responded by making four free throws as KU missed its last four three-pointers to close the game, including three on one possession.

Henrickson bemoaned KU's rebounding effort the first half, as OSU whipped the Jayhawks on the boards, 29 to 19, including 13 to two on the offensive glass. The Jayhawks fought back the second half and ended up tying Oklahoma State in the rebounding battle, 47-all.

"Andrea Riley goes three for 10 in the last 10 minutes (of the first half), and they get all seven of those misses," Henrickson said. "We were going to need to get a rebound and we don't clean it up like we should. We were better in the second half, but you shouldn't dig yourselves such a big hole in the first place."

The Jayhawks will now start anew in the WNIT, where they hope to make a magical run like last year's team.

"We can go back and draw on the pride that we played with last year in the (WNIT)," Henrickson said. 

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