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Friday, February 1, 2008

Center steps up in loss

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Six losses in seven Big 12 Conference games have Kansas University scraping the bottom of the women's basketball standings.

Still, there has been at least one bright spot for the struggling Jayhawks - Krysten Boogaard.

A 6-foot-5 freshman from Regina, Saskatchewan, Boogaard may have staged her best all-around performance during Wednesday's 67-51 loss to No. 10-ranked Oklahoma in Norman, Okla.

"I thought she played good, big around the rim," KU coach Bonnie Henrickson said. "And I like her confidence to try to get a piece of the ball."

Boogaard scored 11 points, grabbed eight rebounds and had a career-high four blocks during a 26-minute stint. In the last five games, she has blocked 13 shots. In the Jayhawks' first 15 games, she was credited with just eight blocks.

"She is getting better about when she should try and get a piece of the shots," Henrickson said.

Boogaard has the size to become an intimidating presence inside, but she remains a work in progress.

"She is playing with some confidence," Henrickson said, "but she has got to get stronger. When she does that, I think she has a chance."

Boogaard also needs to work on her free-throw shooting. She has converted just 40 of 85 charity attempts (47.5 percent).

Kansas will reach the mid-point of the conference schedule on Saturday when the Jayhawks entertain Iowa State. Game time will be 7 p.m. in Allen Fieldhouse.

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