Saturday, February 25, 2006

Henrickson: KU defense can’t let Mizzou duo feast


Bond and N'Garsanet. A tony Fifth Avenue boutique? Or perhaps an expensive wine?

Not quite. LaToya Bond and Christelle N'Garsanet are Missouri University basketball players - a duo that combined for 51 points in a 64-57 victory over Kansas University two weeks ago in Columbia, Mo.

"We have to guard Bond and N'Garsanet better," KU coach Bonnie Henrickson said about today's rematch. "We can't get a 'W' if we don't defend better than we did at their place."

Tipoff for "Brunch with Bonnie" will be at 11:05 a.m. in Allen Fieldhouse. Fox Sports Midwest (Sunflower Broadband channel 36) dictated the early start for its live telecast.

Bond, a 5-foot-7 senior guard, wheeled for 31 points - the most KU has surrendered to an individual foe this season - while N'Garsanet, a 6-3 senior from the Ivory Coast, produced a 20-point, 12-rebound double-double Feb. 11 in Mizzou Arena.

Missouri (20-6 overall, 10-4 Big 12 Conference), like most Big 12 teams, has a size advantage over the Jayhawks.

By necessity, KU uses a two-post, three-guard offense. Missouri has four regulars who stand 5-foot-11 or taller; Kansas has just two.

One is Crystal Kemp, a 6-2 senior who will be playing her penultimate game in Allen Fieldhouse. Kemp has led the Jayhawks in scoring and rebounding all season.

This other is Taylor McIntosh, a 5-11 sophomore who experienced an offensive awakening in Wednesday's 62-50 loss at Texas Tech by scoring a career-high 14 points.

"She did a great job," Henrickson said of McIntosh. "She made two great moves down the middle, and Crystal made a couple of great passes to her."

McIntosh, Kemp and reserve Marija Zinic will take turns trying to slow N'Garsanet, while Sharita Smith likely will do a lot of Bond shadowing.

Smith didn't play until the last 30 seconds of the first KU-MU game, but the 5-8 junior's minutes have increased since she helped hold Iowa State's high-scoring Lyndsey Medders to just seven points in KU's 57-56 victory Saturday over the Cyclones in Ames, Iowa.

Smith will not start, however.

"We contemplated that," Henrickson said, "but at the first horn I'd anticipate seeing her."

After beginning the season with a school-record 12 consecutive wins, the Jayhawks have dropped 10 of their last 13 games. However, beating Missouri and/or Kansas State in the regular-season finale Thursday night might push the Jayhawks into the WNIT picture.

Regardless, it will be difficult for Kansas (15-10, 4-10) to improve on its current 10th-place conference standing. The Big 12 tournament is approaching in Dallas and, if KU remains 10th, the Jayhawks will play the No. 7 seed at 6 p.m. March 7 in Reunion Arena.


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