Brunch with Bonnie I worked out nicely. But Brunch with Bonnie II looms as more difficult.
Back in mid-November, Kansas University’s women’s basketball team thumped Iowa, 76-55, in a game that started at 11 a.m. in Allen Fieldhouse.
Now the Jayhawks have another late-morning tipoff at home, but No. 15-ranked Kansas State looms as a much tougher opponent than the Hawkeyes.
“They shoot it really well,” KU coach Bonnie Henrickson said of the Wildcats. “They have kids who can make shots.”
Today’s 11 a.m. start was dictated by Fox Sports because the same network crew is scheduled to work tonight’s game between Iowa State and Nebraska in Lincoln, Neb. Both games will be available on Sunflower Broadband 36.
Not only is Kansas State nationally ranked, the Wildcats have dominated the Jayhawks over the last eight seasons. K-State has won 15 of the last 16 Sunflower Showdowns, including a 72-39 romp two weeks ago in Manhattan.
Kansas State (16-1) is coming off a 60-48 win over Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas. Senior guard Shalee Lehning posted her 18th career double-double with 16 points and 11 boards. She just missed her fifth career triple-double by being credited with nine assists.
“Lehning is fantastic,” Henrickson said. “She’s the consummate point guard.”
Lehning, incidentally, is the NCAA assists leader with an average of 8.8 per game.
Kansas, meanwhile, is off to a 1-3 start in the Big 12 Conference race after falling to Nebraska, 67-58, on Wednesday night in Lincoln, Neb.
In that game, Danielle McCray scored a career-high 30 points and Krysten Boogaard added 18. But their teammates managed only 10 points combined, emphasizing how much KU missed Sade Morris.
Morris’ string of 49 consecutive starts ended when she was held out of the NU game because of the lingering effects of the concussion she suffered in last Saturday’s home loss to Texas Tech.
Morris, a 5-foot-11 junior, is the Jayhawks’ second-leading scorer, but her absence leaves a hole in the defense, too. For instance, Morris was the player Henrickson assigned to guard Lehning two weeks ago.
“Sade did a decent job on her in Manhattan,” Henrickson said, “so that is an issue if Sade isn’t able to go.”
Morris remains listed as day-to-day. Her availability, Henrickson said, will be a game-time decision.
Even with Morris last Wednesday night, KU would have had difficulty overcoming a season-long bugaboo. The Jayhawks were charged with 22 turnovers and remain last in the Big 12 in that category with an average of 17.8 giveaways a game.
Kansas (12-5) has a schedule break next week. After today, the Jayhawks won’t play again until next Saturday at Texas A&M.;