Lawrence, Kan. – Kansas’ game plan to feed the ball to the post and stop Oklahoma State sophomore forward Liz Donohoe was evident early in the contest versus the Cowgirls on Saturday night in Allen Fieldhouse. However, the Jayhawks’ strong post play and defense was not enough as KU fell to the No. 12/11 Oklahoma State 65-52.
Kansas opened the scoring on the first possession of the game when senior guard Monica Engleman fed the ball to sophomore forward Chelsea Gardner who converted a three-point play after being fouled on a made basket.
Gardner led Kansas with 14 points and nine rebounds. Senior forward Carolyn Davis and sophomore guard Natalie Knight added 12 while senior guard Angel Goodrich’s 10 points rounded out the four Jayhawks in double figures.
The first half was a back and forth affair featuring three ties and nine lead changes. OSU built an eight-point lead with 1:45 remaining in the half following a 7-0 Cowgirl run. KU responded with a 5-0 run to narrow the Cowgirl lead to 30-27 at the half.
Knight guarded Donohoe for most of the first half holding her to zero points and allowing her just one shot in the half. Donohoe entered the game fifth in the Big 12 in scoring averaging 16.5 points per game. Donohoe scored 24 points in the first meeting of the year between the two squads.
OSU senior center Lindsay Keller led all scorers with 9 points in the half. The Jayhawks were led by Gardner and Knight with seven points each.
Oklahoma State hit the offensive glass hard to start the second half grabbing six offensive rebounds in the early going helping the Cowgirls to a 41-34 lead with 13:34 remaining in the game.
The Jayhawks suffered through a field goal drought lasting almost six minutes ending with a Gardner jumper that closed the OSU lead to 43-36 with 9:22 remaining. The Cowgirls responded with a quick 5-0 run, punctuated by a Keller 3-pointer, to extend their lead to 12 with 7:21 remaining. KU continued to battle, but could only cut the Cowgirls lead to as low as seven the rest of the way. OSU secured a total of 12 offensive rebounds in the second half.
OSU scored 76 points in the first meeting this year, but the Jayhawks were able to hold the Cowgirls well below their season average of 80.1 points per game. Donohoe finished the game with just four points for the Cowgirls. This is the first Cowgirl sweep of the Jayhawks since the 1990-91 season.
UP NEXT: The Jayhawks wrap-up their three-game home stand on Wednesday when Iowa State visits Allen Fieldhouse. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.