Monday, March 30, 2009

Surging KU women hope to end road woes


Danielle McCray has been sensational. Sade Morris has been superb. And Aishah Sutherland has been a sparkplug.

All three women have played pivotal roles in Kansas University’s march into the WNIT Elite Eight.

Although she doesn’t start, Sutherland has been the Jayhawks’ most effective inside player over the last couple of weeks. The 6-foot-2 freshman has averaged 10.3 points and 7.8 rebounds in the last four games.

“When she plays well,” KU coach Bonnie Henrickson said of Sutherland, “we have a great chance to be successful. “The problem is she hasn’t been very good on the road.”

Neither have the Jayhawks. KU has just one victory in an unfriendly arena since Christmas and will be facing a surging New Mexico team inside a raucous facility tonight.

Tipoff will be at 8 p.m. in the Santa Ana Star Center. The game will not be televised.

No doubt the Jayhawks have momentum, however. They’ve won seven of their last nine behind the scoring of McCray, who is averaging 27.7 points a game in March, and Morris, who is averaging nearly 21 points the last two weeks. Just as important, senior Ivana Catic has supplied stability at point guard.

“Our chemistry is as good as it has ever been,” Henrickson said. “It’s never been bad, but it’s never been better than it is now.”

New Mexico is on a roll, too. The Lobos (25-10) have won three straight WNIT games after finishing with a 9-7 record in the Mountain West Conference.

Amy Beggin is NMU’s most important player. The 5-6 junior scored 13 points — 11 down the stretch — in the Lobos’ 61-56 victory over Oregon State on Friday night. Beggin has made 77 three-point goals and shoots a deadly 86.9 percent from the free-throw line.

“She’s a great little point guard,” Henrickson said. “She has a great motor and plays hard. They pretty much go as she goes.”

New Mexico also boasts a freshman much like KU’s Sutherland. Sara Halasz came off the bench to score a career-high 17 points against Oregon State. Angela Hartill, a 6-3 senior, gives the Lobos a presence inside.

New Mexico is 3-1 against Big 12 teams this season, with two victories over Nebraska and one over Texas Tech. The lone loss was to Texas A&M.; Curiously, over the years, UMN has played every Big 12 school except Kansas.

Tonight’s winner will advance to a Wednesday night game in the WNIT semifinals at a site to be determined.


KUPROUD 12 years ago

Rock Chalk, ladies. You are carrying the banner, so hold it high.

Lisa Braun 12 years ago

Let's go ladies! We want to see you play at home again!!

sevenyearhawk 12 years ago

Come on ladies ... bring it back to Allen Fieldhouse!

MinnesotaJay 12 years ago

The ladies' 'A' game will put them into the Final Four. LET'S go, JAYhawks!!!

swish525 12 years ago

Is the game going to be on TV or radio?

James Horton 12 years ago

The game is not televised. I don't know about radio, but I am going to be there supporting the Hawks. What a great achievement this will be for Coach Bonnie and the ladies. I have loved the improvements that she has brought to the team in her tenure.

Code_2008 12 years ago

Just tune into the game thread on the message boards. We'll provide a link to the local radio station here (AM station).

And let's win this Elite Eight Game Ladies!

Code_2008 12 years ago

Come and listen to the game and chat with the other board members on the Women's Board.

Half-time at the moment with KANSAS ahead by 5!


MinnesotaJay 12 years ago

I've been listening, but for some reason, have been unable to log in. Our Jayhawks have shown grit and composure in overcoming an early deficit on the road in a clearly hostile environment.

kucourtsider 12 years ago

KU WINS! FINAL FOUR of the WNIT! Rock Chalk Jayhawk!!!!! Way to go ladies! Fantastic and TOUGH win. Way to keep it under control and maintain composure with a tough Lobo team and a tough crowd!

Nate Bukaty just announced that the game will be at home on Wednesday! Come on people!! Bring your friends!!!!!

MinnesotaJay 12 years ago

Great game, ladies. That was one well-deserved win. The environment couldn't have been much more hostile. You're in the FINAL FOUR!!!

cosima 12 years ago

Congratulations to the Lady 'Hawks for a great win. Our 5,600+ did our best to carry the Lobos home, but it wasn't to be. Given my true loyalty to the Lady Lobos, I won't go into post-game mode other that to say that your team deserves lots of fans in the seats. Take it all the way, ladies!

MinnesotaJay 12 years ago

Thanks, cosima. The Lady Lobos were tough. The Jayhawls had to bring their best effort to get the win.

cosima 12 years ago

You're welcome, MinnesotaJay. By my count it's about 220 days until Lobo preseason tipoff, but you have a lot more cheering ahead. It was such a pleasure to be in the stands and watch two teams who know how to compete at tournament level and play a hard, tough and clean game. So take it to the Redbirds--I hope you have a friendly venue, but that doesn't seem to matter. Just keep it going!

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