LAWRENCE, Kan. - Senior guard Monica Engelman scored a team-high 10 points as the No. 25 Kansas women's basketball team won its 2012-13 regular-season opener by defeating Idaho State, 52-36, Sunday afternoon in Allen Fieldhouse.
Engelman was also active on the glass, recording four offensive rebounds and tallying two assists in 23 minutes to round out her offensive effort for Kansas (1-0) in the win over Idaho State (0-2).
Senior forward Carolyn Davis also finished the game with 10 points and added eight rebounds for the Jayhawks in 18 minutes to help lead the Kansas offense. Defensively, KU was led by sophomore Natalie Knight, who had a team-high three steals, and fellow sophomore guard Asia Boyd, who blocked a career-high two shots to lead the Jayhawks.
Idaho State, who returned four starters from last year's NCAA Tournament team, was led by senior forward Ashleigh Vella who scored 10 points, grabbed eight rebounds, tallied two blocks and recorded two steals in 28 minutes for the Bengals.
With senior guard Angel Goodrich leaving the game with an early hand injury the Jayhawks started slow offensively, scoring just three points in the first four minutes of the game. Goodrich would return with just over 16 minutes left in the half and the Jayhawks were able to put in consecutive baskets and hold the Bengals scoreless for just over three minutes to lead, 7-4, with 13 minutes left in the half. Kansas would continue to struggle offensively, shooting just 19 percent (5-27) for the half. Defense would be the Jayhawks' calling card, holding the Bengals scoreless for the last eight minutes of the first half to take a commanding 23-11 lead into the break. Davis and junior forward Tania Jackson led the Jayhawk offense in the first 20 minutes, totaling six points each and adding seven and four rebounds, respectively.
After four-straight points from the Jayhawks to open up the second half, Idaho State would score its first basket in almost 10 minutes of game time when Vella connected on a three-pointer with 18:25 to play and the Jayhawks leading, 27-14. During their offensive drought the Bengals were 0-9 from the field and committed eight turnovers. KU would continue its strong defensive effort for the rest of the game, holding the Bengals to just 25 percent shooting (7-28) in the half and 22 percent (12-55) for the game. In addition to their defense, timely offense from Engelman, who had eight of her 10 points in the second half helped the Jayhawks pull away from the Bengals, leading by as many as 26 in the half before sealing the deal, 52-36.
Idaho State's 11 first half points are the third lowest total allowed in a half by the Jayhawks in program history and the fewest points allowed in a half under head coach Bonnie Henrickson.
Kansas is now 35-9 in season-opening games, including 39-5 when opening its season at home. Under Henrickson, KU is 8-1 in its first regular season game (all at home). Kansas has won 12 of its last 14 season-openers, including seven straight, and has been victorious in 15 of its last 16 opening games played in Allen Fieldhouse.
The Jayhawks take the court again on Wednesday, Nov. 14, when they play host to Southeastern Missouri State at 8 p.m. in Allen Fieldhouse.