LAWRENCE, Kan. – Senior guard CeCe Harper and the Jayhawks downed Emporia State, 61-53, with an all-around team effort, during their final exhibition game of the 2013-14 season, Sunday afternoon, inside historic Allen Fieldhouse.
Harper, the San Antonio, Texas native, led the charge with 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting, while grabbing six rebounds, and adding two assists during 21 minutes of play to lead Kansas over Emporia State.
Junior guard Natalie Knight, contributed to the Jayhawk's all-around effort as she poured in 13 points of her own while grabbing four rebounds. Junior forward Chelsea Gardner recorded 11 points in just 19 minutes, despite being limited due to foul trouble. Senior guard Markisha Hawkins brought the Jayhawks a nice spark off the bench for the Jayhawks and added 10 of the Jayhawks 25 bench points. Junior forward Bunny Williams led the team on the glass, grabbing nine boards, including six on the offensive end.
Emporia State was led by junior forward Merissa Quick, as she recorded a double-double, scoring 14 points to go along with 14 rebounds. Quick was also able to record three steals and block in 31 minutes of play.
The Lady Hornets got the upper hand on the Jayhawks early on as they opened up the game on a 9-2 run during the first three minutes. After a Kansas timeout, KU went on a 15-3 run sparked by a three-point play from Gardner for the second consecutive game, to give the Jayhawks a, 17-12, lead with 9:27 left in the first half. The Jayhawks took a 33-31 lead into halftime, behind Hawkins team-leading eight points, off 3-of-5 shooting. Harper added to first half effort adding seven points, two rebounds, and two assists.
The Jayhawks opened up the second half on a 7-0 run, as they connected on three of their first four shots, extending their lead to 42-33, at the 16:28 mark. As the game continued the two teams traded baskets deep into the second half, but with 1:02 left in the game, Knight converted a fast-break lay-up to put the Jayhawks up by 10 and silence any chance of a comeback by the Lady Hornets. Kansas held Emporia State to just 14 percent (5-of-35) shooting in the second half, much of that was due to the aggressive inside defense of Gardner, Williams, and Boyd.
The Kansas victory gives the Jayhawks their eighth straight win over Emporia State bringing their all-time record to 8-0 and 4-0 in exhibition play.
The Jayhawks will open up the 2013-14 regular season on Sunday, November 10, at 2 p.m. against Oral Roberts inside historic Allen Fieldhouse.
Kansas 61, Emporia State 53
Nov. 3, 2013
KANSAS STARTERS: Jr. Asia Boyd, So. Lamaria Cole, Jr. Bunny Williams, Jr. Chelsea Gardner and Jr. Natalie Knight
… Makes KU's all-time record in exhibition games 44-9 overall and 38-9 in Allen Fieldhouse.
… Marks the Jayhawks' 18th straight exhibition win.
… Improved head coach Bonnie Henrickson's record to 19-1 in home exhibition games at Kansas.
… Makes Kansas a perfect 4-0 against Emporia State in exhibition contests.
-- Knight and Williams were named the team's captains for the 2013-14 season prior to Sunday's game.
-- The Jayhawk defense kept Emporia State scoreless from the 15:04 mark to the 9:17 mark in the first half. KU went on a 13-0 run during the time span.
-- KU opened the second half with a 7-0 run and held Emporia State scoreless until the 16:40 mark.
-- The Kansas defense forced a shot clock violation with 11:36 left in the second half. The Jayhawks forced the violation in each of their exhibition contests.
-- The Jayhawk defense held Emporia State to just 14 percent shooting in the second half and 23 percent for the game.
-- Cole recorded a blocked shot with 16:02 left in the first half. This would have been the first blocked shot of her Kansas career.
-- Gardner converted a three-point play with 14:46 left in the first half; making that back-to-back games the junior forward has recorded three the old-fashion way.
-- CeCe Harper harped also converted a three-point play with 9:55 left in the second half. The senior guard finished the game with a game-high 15 points, six rebounds and two assists.