Texas Runs Past Jayhawks, 80-55
LAWRENCE, Kan. - Junior guard Natalie Knight filled as many spaces in the final box score as she could, but Texas caught on fire from the field in the second half to top the Jayhawks, 80-55, Wednesday evening inside Allen Fieldhouse.
Knight finished the evening second on the team with 11 points and secured a team-leading five assists to go along with five rebounds. On a night four Jayhawks scored in double figures and Kansas (10-11, 3-6) found itself playing well and trailing Texas (14-6, 5-3) by only four points at the end of the first half. An early second half surge, ignited by the Longhorns recovering multiple 50-50 ball opportunities and translating them into made shots from behind the three-point line, sparked a 15-4 Texas run to take control of the game.
Junior guard Asia Boyd led the Jayhawks with 13 points, senior guard CeCe Harper added 10, while junior forward Chelsea Gardner became the fourth Jayhawk to turn in a double-digit scoring effort. Gardner's 10 points marked the 18th time this year the DeSoto, Texas, native has registered 10 or more points.
Texas also had four players score in double figures and was led on the night by senior guard Chassidy Fussell, who recorded a game-high four made shots from downtown while also leading the floor with 18 points. Junior forward Nneka Enemkpali came up big for Texas by notching the only double-double of the game with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
The beginning of the game saw both teams battling back-and-forth, the Jayhawks and Longhorns exchanged leads six times in the first seven minutes of play. Texas was snaring nearly every loose ball early on, helping the Longhorns take an early four point lead, 17-13, until Knight snatched a defensive rebound and quickly found Boyd who drove the length of the floor, knocked in a layup and was fouled on the play. Boyd cashed in the free throw and cut the Longhorn lead down to one, 17-16 with 10:20 left in the first half.
A couple of possessions later, Boyd knocked in a three to give her six-straight points off of the Kansas bench, while also giving the Jayhawks the lead, 19-17. The Longhorns and their array of three-point shooting, led by Fussell who contributed 11 first half points on three made shots from behind the arc, found themselves fending off the Jayhawk surge and took the lead, 30-25 with 4:21 left in the half. Kansas, down by five, reeled off five-straight points in less than a minute tying the game, 30-30, with just over three minutes remaining in the half. After a total of 10 first half lead changes, the Longhorns were able to take a four point lead, 38-34 lead into the half.
Texas made adjustments to begin the second half and scored nine-straight points, while holding the Jayhawks to make one of their first six shot attempts in the first five minutes of play to take an 11 point lead, 47-36, with 15:22 remaining in the contest.
Texas' leads grew to 22 points, 64-42, halfway through the second half and the Jayhawks couldn't find an answer as multiple Longhorn possessions resulted in made baskets. The Jayhawks couldn't find the spark needed to overcome the deficit as Texas won by a final score of 80-55.
Kansas will be in action again on Feb. 1 when the Jayhawks take a trip down south to Lubbock, Texas to take on the Red Raiders. The game is slated to start 4 p.m.
KANSAS STARTERS (SEASON/CAREER): Fr. Jada Brown (7/7), Sr. CeCe Harper (16/37), Sr. Markisha Hawkins (4/10), Jr. Chelsea Gardner (20/48) and Jr. Natalie Knight (21/74)
Makes Kansas' all-time record 767-544.
Makes the Jayhawks' all-time conference record 234-242.
Makes KU's all-time Big 12 record 111-174 and 54-103 in conference play under head coach Bonnie Henrickson.
Gives Texas its third-straight win in the series against Kansas and extends its all-time lead to 17-10.
Makes the Jayhawks record 395-157 when playing in Allen Fieldhouse and 123-55 when playing at home under Henrickson.
Makes Henrickson's record 168-146 at KU and 326-208 overall.
Makes the Jayhawks 0-1 during the 2013-14 season when playing on Tuesday and makes KU 17-11 when playing on Tuesday under Henrickson.
After Texas scored the first four points of the game, the Jayhawks answered with the next five points to take their first lead of the game, 5-4, with 18:09 left in the first half.
With Kansas down by four, 17-13, junior Asia Boyd scored six-straight points as the Jayhawks went on a 7-0 run to take a, 20-17, lead with 8:18 remaining in the first half.
Trailing by five, 30-25, with 4:21 left in the first half, KU scored five-straight points in less than a minute to tie the game at 30 with 3:35 left in the half.
The Jayhawks turned the ball over a season-low 11 times against the Longhorns, besting their previous low of 12 at Minnesota (11/20/13).
Junior Asia Boyd converted a three-point play with 10:43 left in the first half. The bucket jump-started six-straight points for the Detroit, Mich., native, who finished the game with a team-high 13 points. Boyd's 13 points is her highest scoring output since Yale (12/29/13), when she scored 17.
Junior Chelsea Gardner finished the game with 10 points. The DeSoto, Texas, native has finished in double figures for the 18th time this season.