Saturday, February 18, 2006

Struggling KU women headed to Iowa State


— Weariness won't cut it as a reason for Kansas University's late-season women's basketball woes.

"I think it's effort," KU senior forward Crystal Kemp said. "I don't think fatigue has anything to do with it."

Neither does coach Bonnie Henrickson.

"Missouri has four girls playing over 35 minutes a game," Henrickson said. "And Iowa State has four playing more than 33 minutes."

Iowa State has been hot, too. The Cyclones have won three in a row since dropping a 65-64 decision to Kansas two weeks ago in Lawrence. Kansas, meanwhile, has dropped three in a row since squeezing ISU in Allen Fieldhouse and now has to play the Cyclones on their home floor.

Tipoff will be at 1:05 today in Hilton Coliseum. Fox Sports Midwest (Sunflower Broadband channel 36) will have a live telecast.

Kansas has won only twice since early January - over Oklahoma State and Iowa State. O-State is the only school without a league victory, and ISU didn't have Lyndsey Medders, who was out because of a foot sprain.

Medders is back. The 5-foot-9 junior is among the Big 12's top scorers with a 17.8 points-per-game average. At the same time, Medders leads the nation in assists at 8.3 per game.

"That's going to make them more explosive in transition," Henrickson said of Medders' return, "so our defensive transition has to be good."

KU's three-point defense will have to be good, too, because ISU ranks No. 3 nationally with 8.0 three-pointers a game. Two of ISU's every five shots are three-point attempts.

Defense hasn't been a KU strong suit, however. The Jayhawks rank last in the league in field-goal-percentage defense, three-point-FG-percentage defense and blocked shots.

Shaky defense and a thin bench are the obvious reasons the Jayhawks have dropped nine of their last 10 outings after winning 12 in a row, all at home.

"Our energy is good," Henrickson said. "We understand we have some limitations. The frustrating thing is we have so much we can correct."

Kansas will travel to Texas Tech on Wednesday.

Probable Starters

KANSAS (14-9, 3-9)

F - Taylor McIntosh, 5-11, Soph., 4.4 ppg

F - Crystal Kemp, 6-2, Sr., 19.1 ppg

G - Kaylee Brown, 5-8, Sr., 12.7 ppg

G - Erica Hallman, 5-8, Sr., 13.8 ppg

G - Ivana Catic, 5-8, Fr., 9.1 ppg

IOWA STATE (15-8, 6-6)

F - Nicky Wieben, 6-4, Fr., 8.5 ppg

F - Megan Ronhovde, 6-1, Jr., 9.9 ppg

C - Brittany Wilkins, 6-3, Sr., 14.8 ppg

G - Heather Ezell, 5-9, Fr., 11.0 ppg

G - Lyndsey Medders, 5-9, Jr., 17.8 ppg

Tipoff: 1:05 p.m. today, Hilton Coliseum, Ames, Iowa

Radio: Jayhawk Network, including 1320 KLWN

Television: Fox Sports Midwest (Sunflower Broadband channel 36).


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