MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Senior guard CeCe Harper led Kansas with season-high 17 points as they fell to Minnesota, 70-59, Wednesday night, inside the Williams Arena.
The San Antonio, Texas native, also added season-best marks in rebounds (five) and assists (four), but it wasn't enough as Kansas (3-1) fell to Minnesota (3-1) in its first road game of the 2013-14 season.
Junior forward Chelsea Gardner finished the game with 10 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks to record her second double-double of the season and eighth of her career. Junior guard Asia Boyd also finished in double-digits for Kansas, recording 13 points and two rebounds in the loss.
Minnesota was led by redshirt freshman center Amanda Zahui, who recorded a triple-double with 11 points, 11 rebounds and 10 blocks to halt the Kansas offense. The Golden Gophers also had two players finish the game with at least 20 points as junior guard Rachel Banham and senior forward Micaella Riche finished the game with 26 and 20, respectively. The duo also combined for 10 rebounds to lead Minnesota to its third win of the 2013-14 season.
After surrendering their first bucket of the game, the Jayhawks opened up a 7-0 run that started with a three-pointer from junior guard Natalie Knight, lasted nearly four minutes and gave the Jayhawks a 9-2 lead. Seven-straight points from Harper helped the Jayhawks maintain the lead as both team's battled back-and-forth throughout the half. A three-point jumper from Banham as the clock was expiring in the first half brought the Golden Gophers within two, 32-30, and gave them the momentum going into the break.
Knight and Harper led the Kansas offense in the first half, scoring nine and seven points, respectively. Knight scored all her points from beyond the arc, going 3-for-5 from three and Harper added three assists to lead the Jayhawks.
After a Minnesota bucket on the first possession of the second half tied the game at 32, Gardner answered with a run of her own to regain the lead for Kansas. The Golden Gophers responded with a quick 4-0 run to take their second lead of the game, 38-35 and force a Kansas timeout. A 5-0 Minnesota run, extended its lead to six, 46-40, until a steal and a bucket from Harper sparked five straight from the Jayhawks to bring them within one, 46-45 with 9:50 left in the game. The Golden Gophers answered with 12-straight, stifling the Kansas offense with their zone defense, to give them a, 58-45, lead with just under five minutes to play.
Trailing by nine coming out of the final media timeout, 58-49, the Jayhawks responded with five-straight points to cut the Golden Gophers lead to four, 58-54. After a Minnesota bucket, Harper answered with a trey to bring Kansas within three with, 60-57, with 1:41 left to play, but the deficit would be too much to overcome in the final minutes as the Golden Gophers held off the Jayhawks for the victory.
The Jayhawks will have a week off from competition to prepare for their trip to the 2013 Ezybonds Global Payments U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam over the Thanksgiving holiday. The three-game tournament begins on Nov. 28 at 3 p.m., when they take on Central Michigan.
Minnesota 70, Kansas 59
Nov. 20, 2013
KANSAS STARTERS (SEASON/CAREER): Jr. Asia Boyd (4-4), So. Lamaria Cole (4-4), Jr. Bunny Williams (4-9), Jr. Chelsea Gardner (4-33) and Jr. Natalie Knight (4-57)
Makes KU's all-time non-conference record to 326-149 and 90-23 in non-conference play under head coach Bonnie Henrickson.
Makes Kansas 14-4 against Minnestoa and Henrickson 1-2 against Minnesota.
Improves Henrickson's record to 161-136 at KU and 319-198 overall.
Improves Kansas' all-time record to 760-534.
Makes the Jayhawks 367-384 all-time away from Allen Fieldhouse and 44-86 under Henrickson while playing on the road.
Makes KU 44-41 (1-1 in 2013-14) when playing on Wednesday and 42-26 during the month of November under Henrickson.
Kansas held Minnesota scoreless until the 17:23 mark and opened the game with a 9-2 run.
Kansas trailed for the first time in the game after Minnesota sophomore guard Shayne Mullaney made a layup giving them a two-point lead at the 17:25 mark.
Junior guard CeCe Harper scored seven-straight points for the Jayhawks during a stretch in the first half.
Coming out of the media timeout, Kansas scored five-straight points to cut the Minnesota lead to four, 58-54, with 1:41 left in the game.
Freshman forward Jada Brown recorded her first field goal of her career with a layup at the 14:11 mark in the first half. Brown finished the game with a season-high four rebounds and tied her season-best 16 minutes played, eclipsing the marks she set against SIU-Edwardsville (11/13).
Junior guard Natalie Knight sank a season-high three shots from beyond the arc. .
Senior guard CeCe Harper led the team with season-highs in points (17), including a season-high three treys, rebounds (five) and assists (four).