Saturday, December 14, 2002
Allen Fieldhouse should look good to Kansas University's "new-look" women's basketball team today.
The freshman- and sophomore-laden Jayhawks, coming off their most embarrassing loss of the season, will try to bounce back against Creighton.
Tipoff will be at 2:05 p.m. in Allen Fieldhouse.
KU went to Wichita State last Wednesday night and absorbed an 84-58 shellacking. Still, Kansas is off to a 4-2 start and a victory over the Bluejays today would equal the Jayhawks' win total for all of the 2001-2002 season.
Coach Marian Washington has been starting a lineup of two freshmen (Tamara Ransburg and Crystal Kemp), two sophomores (Aquanita Burras and Blair Waltz) and junior point guard Leila MengÃ¼Ã§. Freshman guard Erica Hallman has been the first player off the bench. In fact, Hallman played 30 minutes in a reserve role in Wichita and scored 13 points.
Burras, a sophomore who spent last season at an Arizona junior college, has been a solid addition. The 5-foot-9 guard leads the Jayhawks in scoring (13.5) and in steals (19). She also has been KU's most dependable three-point shooter, making seven of 17 (41.5 percent). As a team, the Jayhawks are shooting under 30 percent from beyond the arc.
The 6-2 Kemp is the only other KU player in double-figure scoring with an 11.2 average. Waltz and the 6-4 Ransburg, who has an impressive 24 blocked shots, both are averaging nine points per game.
Creighton (3-2) operates with a less balanced attack, relying heavily on 5-10 junior Christy Neneman, the reigning Missouri Valley Conference player of the year. Neneman, a hometown product from Omaha, Neb., North High, is averaging 17.8 points and 8.2 rebounds a game.
Neneman had 32 points last Sunday when the Jays stunned Iowa, 89-82. Creighton's only two losses were on the road to Michigan (75-66) and to No. 10-ranked Texas Tech (98-70).
First-year coach Jim Flanery is hoping to have junior Dayna Finch back today. Finch, who scored a career-high 27 points in the Michigan loss, has missed the last three games with a fracture in one of the fingers of her right hand. The cast was removed on Thursday.
Creighton has won three straight from Kansas, including a 72-58 decision last year in Omaha. Neneman scored 18 points in that one. KU and Creighton have met every season since 1984-85. Kansas leads the series, 14-10.¢
Notes: KU's Alicia Rhymes, a 6-0 freshman, has a knee injury and is being red-shirted. : Hallman is playing with a partially torn ACL suffered in preseason. : Stacey Becker, a transfer from Wichita State, will become eligible the next time the Jayhawks play :quot; a week from today at UMKC.