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Originally published April 4, 2009 at 12:48p.m., updated April 4, 2009 at 04:28p.m.

FINAL: South Florida takes down KU women in WNIT championship, 75-71

KU's Krysten Boogaard goes for a rebound against South Florida's Jazmine Sepulveda in the second half of the WNIT championship game at Allen Fieldhouse. USF won the game, 75-71.

KU's Krysten Boogaard goes for a rebound against South Florida's Jazmine Sepulveda in the second half of the WNIT championship game at Allen Fieldhouse. USF won the game, 75-71.

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South Florida defeats KU in WNIT championship

The Kansas women fell to South Florida on Saturday, 75-71. Danielle McCray scored 24 points against South Florida and 147 points in this year's WNIT tournament.

Audio clips

2009 WNIT championship

Reader poll

Following KU's run to the WNIT championship game this season, do you plan on attending a KU women's game next season?

  • Yes 34% 236 votes
  • No 26% 178 votes
  • No, I live too far away 32% 220 votes
  • Undecided 6% 42 votes

676 total votes.

4:28 p.m.

Some final postgame notes:

• KU's Danielle McCray and Sade Morris both were named to the six-person WNIT All-Tournament team. USF's Shantia Grace was named the tournament's MVP.

• KU ended the year 22-14, its best finish since the 1998-99 season.

• The attendance of 16,113 was the largest home crowd in KU women's basketball history and also the largest single-game crowd in Big 12 women's history. The game had the second-highest attendance in WNIT history, trailing only the 2001 championship game between Ohio State and New Mexico at New Mexico.

• Danielle McCray set the WNIT single-tournament scoring record with 147 points. The previous record-holder was Wisconsin's Jolene Anderson, who had 129 points in last year's WNIT.

• KU set a WNIT record with 31 blocks in its five games.

• The Jayhawks went 9-3 in their final 12 games.

• KU's 21 offensive rebounds against USF were a season-high.

• The Bulls' 75 points were the second-most given up by the Jayhawks this season. Oklahoma scored 76 against KU on March 13.

• McCray scored at least 20 points for the 23rd time this season. She is now ninth on the KU scoring list with 1,539 points.

• McCray ended the season with 81 three-pointers made, a new school record.

• Ivana Catic ended her career fourth on KU's all-time assists list with 406. She had 43 assists and just seven turnovers in her final seven games.

KU scoring

McCray 24 (7-for-25 shooting), Morris 19 (7-for-13 shooting), Sutherland 12, Boogaard 10, Jacobs 4, Catic 2.

KU was 25-for-66 from the floor (37.9 percent), 4-for-12 from three (33.3 percent) and 17-for-21 from the free-throw line (81 percent).

USF was 26-for-58 from the floor (44.8 percent), 5-for-10 from three (50 percent), and 18-for-27 from the free-throw line (66.7 percent).

USF had 12 turnovers to KU’s 11. KU outrebounded USF, 41-39.

FINAL: USF defeats KU, 75-71

Sepulveda once again comes through for USF. With the shot clock winding down, she swishes a 12-footer from the side to push USF’s lead back to five. She’s up to a team-high 18 points.

Morris is fouled on her way to the rim on the other end, but she misses her first free throw. She makes the second.

Lawson makes one of two free throws, and McCray misses a guarded three-pointer. KU’s rally will come up short.

Grace puts in two more free throws, and McCray hits a meaningless three before the buzzer. The Bulls come away with a 75-71 victory.

USF 70/KU 67 — 51.4 seconds left in game

Sutherland hits her free throw, and the crowd seems to have gotten to USF. Stokes travels for an unforced turnover. On the other end, with the shot clock running down, Morris hits a huge two from the deep corner.

After a USF miss, McCray drives and drops it to Boogaard, who cuts the USF lead to one with a layup. This atmosphere right now is electric and every bit of what a men’s crowd sounds like.

Following a timeout, Lawson puts in a guarded layup to put USF back up three.

Sutherland misses a jumper, and after a USF rebound, Lawson makes one free throw.

Sutherland answers with one free throw on the other end.

Lawson is fouled but misses both free throws. KU turns it over on the other end when trying to kick it out to Morris. She would have had an open three to tie it.

USF 67/KU 61 — 3:48 left in game

Sutherland rattles in another 15-footer, and she’s hit some big shots lately for KU.

Boogaard is whistled for a questionable call underneath, as she was given a blocking foul when she was the one with inside position on a rebound. That’s her fourth foul.

KU misses an opportunity on the defensive end. Twice, USF lost the ball, and twice the Bulls were able to regain possession. With one left on the shot clock, Stokes drained a scramble three-pointer to put the Bulls up 12.

McCray comes away with a steal, and she fakes a pass before putting in a layup.

KU’s starting to pick up some steam. Catic hits a jumper from the free-throw line. The Jayhawks get another steal, and after two misses underneath, Sutherland puts in a short jumper with a foul. The fans go crazy, as KU has cut the lead to six at 67-61.

The announced crowd of 16,113 is a school and Big 12 women’s basketball record.

USF 58/KU 49 — 7:57 left in game

KU starts to make a move at the free-throw line. McCray hits one of two. Boogaard, after drawing Jessica Lawson’s fourth foul, hits two. McCray is fouled on a layup try, and her two free throws cut the lead to five.

USF scores the next six. Denson drives in for a layup, and after a steal, Sepulveda is fouled and makes two free throws. Grace finishes a quick move with a layup, and the Bulls lead by 11 once again.

With four fouls, Morris will checks back in at the 9:10 mark.

Sutherland lobs a nice pass to Boogaard, who finishes with a left-handed layup.

USF 51/KU 42 — 11:03 left in game

McCray hits a tough three from the top to cut USF’s lead to six, but again the Bulls have an answer. Sepulveda picks off a lazy pass by Jacobs, and she takes it all the way to the other end for two.

The next possession, Sepulveda makes it look easy, driving quickly around Ivana Catic for a layup. USF is back up nine at 49-40, and Henrickson calls timeout.

Out of the break, Sutherland confidently hits a 16-foot baseline jumper, but USF’s Lawson answers with a mid-range shot of her own.

USF 44/KU 36 — 15:13 left in game

The Bulls pick up where they left off in the second half. Grace hits two free throws, and after an offensive rebound, Jessica Lawson goes under the basket and reverses in a layup to increase USF’s lead to 42-30.

Morris puts in a long jumper for KU, then beats USF in transition, getting fouled on her way to the basket. She hits both freebies.

Boogaard keeps getting good position inside, but she can’t get anything inside four feet to go down. She’s just 2-for-8 today.

Morris rattles in another short shot. She has all six KU points this half.

KU scoring

McCray 10 (4-for-15 shooting), Morris 10, Boogaard 4, Jacobs 4, Sutherland 2.

KU was 13-for-38 from the floor (34.2 percent), 2-for-7 from three (28.6 percent) and 2-for-2 from the free-throw line (100 percent).

USF was 14-for-28 from the floor (50 percent), 4-for-6 from three (66.7 percent) and 6-for-8 from the free-throw line (75 percent).

Both teams grabbed 20 rebounds. USF had eight turnovers to KU’s six.

Halftime thoughts

• Bad shooting half for McCray. You have to think she’ll heat up in the second 20 minutes. I would expect that she will have 30 shot attempts before this game is over.

• USF seems to be a streaky shooting team. Unfortunately for the Jayhawks, the Bulls made quite a few just before the end of the half. USF has made some tough, guarded shots, and I wouldn’t anticipate that it will shoot 50 percent again in the second half.

• On the bright side, KU has done a good job of keeping possession of the basketball. The Jayhawks have had problems with turnovers this year, but they had just six in the first half. USF, meanwhile, had forced 20 turnovers per game coming in. KU had 10 more shot attempts in the first half, but the Jayhawks are going to have to hit a few more of the looks they get.

• Once again, great crowd here today. The only empty spots are way up in each corner. I would anticipate an announced crowd of around 15,000, which might even be enough to set a WNIT record.

USF 38/KU 30 — Halftime

McCray checks back in with just more than three minutes to go in the half. We’ll see if she can make it to the break without picking up her third whistle.

Sepulveda throws in another three, and the Bulls are 4-for-5 from deep (80 percent).

Sutherland puts in a short jumper, but KU has gone cold as of late.

Meanwhile, USF has taken over the boards during this four-minute stretch. Grant gets a two after grabbing an offensive rebound, and USF has rebuilt a 34-30 lead.

USF’s Brittany Denson gets two free throws, and the Bulls score again off an offensive rebound, as Grant gets another two.

KU executes well with two-tenths of a second left, throwing an inbounds pass lob to Sutherland for an alley-oop lay-in. The shot doesn’t count, of course, because with three-tenths of a second or less, players have to tip the ball in.

USF ends the first half on a 12-2 run to take an eight-point halftime lead.

USF 28/KU 28 — 3:27 left in 1st half

McCray goes to the bench, but KU still takes the lead without her. Morris puts in two free throws before bouncing in a 15-footer, giving KU a 24-23 lead.

Jacobs drives down the lane and throws in another quick layup off the glass. Other players like Jacobs are going to have to step up in McCray’s absence.

Morris drives in before hitting a tough, stepback, 15-foot jumper. USF seems to have an answer every time, as the quick-release shot of Shantia Grace swishes through to tie the score back up at 28.

USF 21/KU 20 — 7:32 left in 1st half

Following a nicely run inbounds play, Krysten Boogaard banks a five-footer off the glass and in. The made shot breaks a long KU drought.

Boogaard bounces in another shot on the next possession, and she seems to have jumpstarted KU’s offense. McCray follows with a three, and she screams out in satisfaction. On the other end, Boogaard draws a charge, and the crowd has come back to life.

KU continues to miss a lot of chippies. Sutherland and Boogaard play keep away on the offensive boards, but neither can get a three-footer to go in. Sutherland misses three short ones and Boogaard misses a fourth. On KU’s fifth offensive rebound of the possession, McCray bounces in a shot from the baseline.

McCray follows with an open three, and LaChelda Jacobs drives all the way to the basket to spin in a layup.

Bad news for KU, though, as McCray picked up her second personal foul. We’ll see how long Henrickson sits her.

USF 16/KU 6 — 11:43 left in 1st half

South Florida plays a lot like Missouri’s men’s team, using a full-court press to speed teams up and force them out of their comfort zones. It’s worked well so far. Though the Jayhawks have been able to beat the press, they have rushed themselves into turnovers on offense.

Jessica Lawson gets a layup, and after a USF steal, Janae Stokes puts in a short jumper to give the Bulls an 11-0 run. KU coach Bonnie Henrickson calls timeout.

KU isn’t hitting any open jumpers. Aishah Sutherland clanks a 16-footer. McCray has started 1-for-9. The Jayhawks haven’t scored in the last four minutes, 41 seconds.

USF 8/KU 6 — 15:48 left in 1st half

The decibel meter goes above 102 before the tip. There are easily 13,000 fans here and probably more.

Danielle McCray puts in the first points, hitting an unguarded jumper in the lane. South Florida’s going to have to do a better job defending the honorable mention All-America selection if it wants to stay close.

McCray goes into a mini shooting slump after that, missing her next four shots. She’s getting open looks but hasn’t been hitting them. Lately, though, she’s played better in the second half than the first.

USF’s Jazmine Sepulveda has already drained both of her three-point attempts. She came into the game shooting 32 percent from beyond the arc.

12:49 p.m.

Welcome back to the Newell Post Live, coming to you from Allen Fieldhouse where the Kansas women's basketball team is getting set to take on the South Florida Bulls in the WNIT championship game.

I think this goes without saying: This is a big day for the future of the KU women's basketball program.

The Jayhawks will play in front of their biggest crowd of the season. As of now, two sides are full to the top here at the Fieldhouse. The corner sections are about three-fourths full, and there's still 20 minutes until gametime. I think it's safe to say there will most likely be a new attendance record set today.

I would guess this will be the first KU women's basketball game for about half the fans here.

Whether they come back next year has a lot to do with the Jayhawks.

With a victory, KU not only would take tons of momentum into next year, it also would add to its fanbase with an exciting postseason run.

Looking back, being held out of the NCAA Tournament and accepting a spot in the WNIT might be the best thing that could have happened for the Jayhawks.

It definitely will be if they can pull out a win today.

Comments

cwag 10 years, 9 months ago

Build another shelf - we got more hardware comin' -

KU 66 USF 61

cwag 10 years, 9 months ago

Thanks for the updates, Jesse. I guess everyone else went to the game.

Jesse Newell 10 years, 9 months ago

Probably so. I bet they announce the attendance at more than 15,000.

Michael Bratisax 10 years, 9 months ago

This is a bunch of BS.. I can't find the game anywhere, radio or TV. CBS sports isn't even showing the scoreboard. Go Jayhawks..I guess I'll read about it later.

kranny 10 years, 9 months ago

jhawk7728, I agree. Does anyone know where a fan can access this game on radio or otherwise? Don't have CBSCS(my cable comp SU@KS.

frompekka2sasha 10 years, 9 months ago

Wow. That Jessica Lawson is a big whiner every time a foul is called. Her fouls were all "no doubt" calls yet she is overly dramatic like an NBA player.

Let's go Lady Hawks! Only down by 5 now!

Jonathan Kealing 10 years, 9 months ago

Attendance announced at 16,113 for the game.

Dan Harris 10 years, 9 months ago

Unbelievable years Lady Hawks!!! Hopefully this is just a stepping stone for next year and a step towards competing with the UCONNS and TENN like you deserve!!!!

Cody Stumma 10 years, 9 months ago

Agreed. I'm going to ask the band director next year if I can just play in the band for the Women's Team. Its fun to watch the girls play. I'm not saying that the guy's isn't, but it just nice to watch a team grow like they did this year (just like the Men's Baylor team...).

I can't wait next year and watch you guys make the NCAA next year!

FlaHawk 10 years, 9 months ago

Great crowd and great run ladies. Putting this in perspective we had USF #8 team in Big East and KU #7 in Big XII. With this perspecgtive the size of the crowd is tuely stunning!

Go Hawks!

MinnesotaJay 10 years, 9 months ago

The women's team represented KU admirably today. They're a source of pride. I'm going to look forward to following them a lot more closely next year. Congratulations to Bonnie and her staff, too.

truefan 10 years, 9 months ago

That was honestly one of the best crowds I have ever had the pleasure to be a part of this afternoon. This loss is going to sting, but hopefully it stings them all offseason and makes them work hard enough to get into the Big Dance next year. Great job girls...great season.

Eurekahwk 10 years, 9 months ago

I drove two hours to attend this monumental event. Eventhough we didn't get the win, I feel like great strides were made. I'm proud of all the Jayhawk faithful who brought the Phog to this game. That was an awesome crowd, and I feel like maybe our own girls were rattled by it. Relax ladies, we're on your side!

KEITHMILES05 10 years, 9 months ago

HORRIBLE coaching by BH. The entire first half USF pressed, we broke it every time but yet never ONCE did we even attempt to drive to the basket. Absolutely dumbfounding and disgusting. Second half she went to zone for one possesion and USF missed the shot so........we go back to m2m (or in this case, w2w)????????????????????????????

USF guards way too quick for KU and we paid dearly for the non-zone coverage.

Bonnie has become a disciple of former mens coach when it comes to not calling TO's. The first half got away from her and she stood on the sideline with no emotion. Silly.

Boogard (14) missed at least 200 easy chippers. I've never in my life seen such a display of ineptness. The lack of inside play on both ends was brutal to watch. KU ran the clock down first half only to have no idea how much time was on the clock as the big center refused to shoot it only to have it go out of bounds with .2 left. No way you can score and that is what happened.

How this team managed to come back is amazing. For all the bad coaching and easy, easy missed chippers to lose by only 4 is astounding.

McCray was the only offensive threat today. She had a very hard earned high point person but was hounded all the time. Of course it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out when your other guards refuse to shoot you need to closely guard the other teams best player.

USF had quicker guards, played smarter, and better coached.

No doubt some of you hardcore women BB fans won't like what I have to say but the truth hurts. Bonnie let this one slip away. It was winnable, for sure.

Cody Stumma 10 years, 9 months ago

@Keithmiles05,

Thanks for pointing that out... I wasn't sure if they were going to pull it off when they were up early in the game, and came back from 10 point deficits multiple times in the second half. And the fact that they were within 1 with 2:12 remaining. Yeah, I knew 100% right then and there Florida was going to win.

Idiot. When you come back without the title of Captain Obvious, then you can talk.

The women's team played their heart out and the shots just weren't falling when they needed to while South Florida could hit their shots at ease.

You say that to lose by 4 is astounding. Well, will you believe Kansas will be a threat in the Big 12 next year or are you still one of those immature "fans" who can't accept that they were wrong and still call for Bonnie's head even though they are WNIT runner-ups?

Alright, I'm done bashing you. I'm sure somebody else will pick it up from here. But like I said, when you realize that Bonnie has finally broken through the barrier and that the team will be a threat next year to compete for the Big 12 standings (6th place or better for sure!) and will grab a spot to the NCAA, let me know.

MinnesotaJay 10 years, 9 months ago

Well said, Code. I was going to respond, too, but I figured anyone with a double-digit or higher IQ would have discounted the 'insights.'

By the way, I appreciated your comments over on the message board, too. Over there, I'm WellingtonJHawk.

Tim Orel 10 years, 9 months ago

I saw many parallels between this team and the men's team - when the top player wasn't on with their game, the secondary ones couldn't step up. I do hope Bonnie and the group have finally turned a corner - she's been struggling for a few years and this run has been a great way to end the year, even though it was a loss. Perhaps the loss will spur them on next year. Glad the crowd was so strong - now we need to get the players to make the team a Big Dance team year in and out. Go Big Blue Lady Jayhawks!

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