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Sunday, January 7, 2007

Baylor barely beats overmatched Jayhawks

No. 9 Bears' dominance in paint yields victory

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For those looking for a silver lining, Kansas University's women's basketball team lost 71-64 to No. 9-ranked Baylor University, a team that beat the Jayhawks by 60 last year.

"We've got to find mini-victories in each loss," KU coach Bonnie Henrickson said. "There are positives, but all of us hate to lose."

The major thing that prevented a moral victory from becoming an actual one was Baylor's play on the interior. KU (5-9 overall, 0-2 Big 12 Conference) used frequent double teams on Bernice Mosby, but the 6-foot-1 senior transfer from the University of Florida split them or found teammates with deft passes.

Playing all 40 minutes, Mosby notched 21 points, 11 rebounds and five assists for her sixth double-double on the year.

"Mosby's tough. She's very, very good," Henrickson said. "When we didn't double or come early, she got to the rim pretty good."

The Lady Bears (15-1, 2-0) also received post help off the bench from 6-3 freshman Danielle Wilson, who scored 13 points to go with five rebounds and three blocks.

"Danielle Wilson is one of the best freshman in the league," Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said. "She's going to vie for freshman of the year."

Kansas, which lost its fifth game in a row, also relied on freshmen. The Jayhawks started freshmen Sade Morris, Porscha Weddington, LaChelda Jacobs and Kelly Kohn. Kohn and Jacobs combined for 34 of KU's 54 field goal attempts with Jacobs scoring 18 on 7-of-17 shooting and Kohn scoring 14 points on 6-of-17 shooting.

"If LaChelda gets an open look, she feels confident about the shot she's going to take, and the same thing goes for me," Kohn said. "The more confident the players get, the more they'll be able to take it upon themselves to score."

Jacobs rebounded from a scoreless game against Iowa State to tie a career-high in points. The Mansfield, Texas native, who attend Baylor games while in high school, had extra motivation as she played against the school she hoped to attend.

"I just wanted to give the team a little bit more," Jacobs said. "I wanted go to Baylor, but I'm here at Kansas now and loving it."

KU featured a depleted roster against Baylor. Guard Ivana Catic sprained the medial collateral ligament during practice and did not dress, though Henrickson said she could return to practice Monday. Morris suffered the same injury early in the second half and did not return. Talented freshman Danielle McCray did not play; she was suspended indefinitely for violation of team rules, according to Henrickson, who did not elaborate further.

Despite a short bench, the Jayhawks still clawed and scratched.

"They've got a young group," Mulkey said. "But I'm so impressed with how hard they play."

KU hung tough throughout the first half. The Jayhawks trailed by four points with 2:10 left in the first half when Mosby hit a jumper. Kohn then committed back-to-back turnovers with the second leading to a layup by Jhasmin Player, who Kohn fouled on the play.

"That's just a debacle," Henrickson said. "That's as bad as you can get going into the locker room."

The end-of-the-half miscues typifies the exasperation experienced by the players during KU slump, which the Jayhawks will try to end when they travel to Oklahoma State Wednesday.

"It's unbelievably frustrating for the time and effort we put in," Kohn said. "We just get to the games, and we're not able to convert."

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