Thursday, March 8, 2007

Baylor finishes off Jayhawks


So Bonnie Henrickson was a little grumpy.

After two back-to-back late nights on the basketball court, the Kansas University women's coach had a team on the wrong side of the scoreboard and a foul on sophomore Ivana Catic she felt was ridiculous.

The official gestured for Henrickson to calm down. Henrickson mocked the gesture and was whistled for a technical foul.

Nothing brings out the sour side of a coach quite like a team with nothing inside to carry it. The overwhelmed Jayhawks fell to Baylor, 71-54, in the Big 12 tournament quarterfinals Wednesday in Cox Convention Center.

The loss ended KU's season with an 11-20 record. Baylor improved to 25-6 and will play Oklahoma in the tournament semifinals tonight.

"We looked like deer caught in headlights right away," Henrickson said. "It was 8-6 in the first media (timeout), and it looked like we were down 20. Just head and body posture.

"That was a puzzling look to me, and we just never got through that."

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2006-07 March 7 KU-BU WHOOPS

Henrickson's technical was her first while coach at KU. Her last was while at Virginia Tech, when she called a timeout when her team didn't have one.

"My staff clearly told me I didn't have any left," Henrickson recalled. "My mother still swears it's their fault."

As for Wednesday's game, blame Baylor's fresh legs, stifling defense and noticeable talent advantage.

The Bears had stretches where everything seemed to go in. Two first-half runs by Baylor - a 12-0 surge early in the half and a 9-0 run late - crippled the Jayhawks' chances before they ever really got going. Kansas shot just 27 percent from the field before halftime, while Baylor finished the first half hitting seven of its last eight shots.

An 11-0 Baylor run midway through the second half helped make it a rout, while KU continued to run out of gas. The Bears led by as many as 26.

"We didn't match their intensity," senior Shaquina Mosley said. "We came out lethargic, for lack of a better word."

Looking for some fire, Henrickson emptied her bench throughout the night. Catic, Porscha Weddington, Jamie Boyd and LaChelda Jacobs all had meaningful minutes Wednesday, after none of them played in Tuesday's first-round victory over Oklahoma State.

"We went to the bench early just to see if we could get somebody to respond," Henrickson said. "We just didn't."

Mosley led Kansas with 16 points, while Danielle McCray had 14 points and six rebounds. The Jayhawks shot just 36 percent from the field, compared to a 52-percent clip by the Bears.

Baylor, in fact, had no player score more than 12, but had eight score at least seven points. But the offense clearly was set up by Baylor's intense defensive effort, which psyched out the Jayhawks even more than they psyched themselves out.

"We didn't respond to the pressure on the ball, pressure in the passing lanes and it really got us out of rhythm," Henrickson said.

A young team, Kansas loses just two players to graduation - Mosley and Sharita Smith, who had six points.

Baylor moves on to play Oklahoma in the semifinals tonight. The Jayhawks will fly back to Lawrence this morning, lick their wounds and look ahead to 2007-08. After winning five of their final nine after starting out 0-9 in league play, Henrickson feels there's something to build off of.

"It's disappointing to struggle tonight," Henrickson said. "But in time, we'll be able to walk away from this and still have great pride for the progress that we did make."


KWufan 11 years, 2 months ago

No other comments. Sad. Congratulations to the KU women's team for the improvement at the end of the year. I know the season didn't turn out the way they wanted but you have to appreciate effort and the resolve this team showed. They could have just packed it in and they didn't, great job ladies in representing what is great about KU sports and good luck next year.

beebe1 11 years, 2 months ago

I like the fact that we got a lot of players in the game! Can't hurt for next year. I think it was a tough row to hoe, you did well. Keep your grades up, and start getting in condition for next year!

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