Originally published March 16, 2011 at 10:41p.m., updated March 17, 2011 at 12:00a.m.
Despite not making the NCAA Tournament, Kansas University women’s basketball coach Bonnie Henrickson stresses that her team isn’t trying to prove itself in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament.
“What good’s that gonna do us?” Henrickson said.
Instead, the Jayhawks just want to keep winning games like they did Wednesday night, when they cruised to a 79-58 victory against Wichita State in Allen Fieldhouse.
Sophomore Carolyn Davis led the way with 33 points on 14-of-15 shooting, 7-of-7 in the first half. It was the fourth time Davis has scored 30 or more points in a game this season.
The Jayhawks shot 70.8 percent in the first half, opening a 15-point lead at halftime. The final buzzer was the only thing left from there.
“We shoot 70 percent, but we probably take shots that you might shoot 70 percent on,” Henrickson said.
She wasn’t kidding. Davis and her teammates often found themselves unguarded in the paint in the first half.
Davis wasn’t able to finish a perfect night from the field, but has a true scorer’s mentality: She said she didn’t remember the lone miss.
Henrickson said she thought that Wichita State’s unfamiliarity with Kansas’ offense after just one day of preparation helped. The Jayhawks (21-12) were able to get primary looks that were taken away a lot during Big 12 play.
Henrickson also said her players shouldn’t worry about missing the NCAA Tournament and should focus on winning the next game.
“I don’t care which one you’re playing,” Henrickson said. “If you’re still playing this time of the year, you’re a good basketball team. And I think our kids have embraced that.”
Kansas sophomore Monica Engelman said the team is certainly taking the tournament seriously.
“It’s really important to us,” Engelman said. “Regardless of whatever you’re playing for, it’s a big deal and something special to win a championship.”
Kansas will play next on Saturday at home against the winner of the Duquesne-Kent State game today at Duquesne. The game will take place at 7 p.m. The Jayhawks are into round two of the tournament, but still need to win four more to make it to the championship.
“You can’t get in this thing not wanting to play, because you’ll be out early,” Henrickson said. “There are a lot of teams that are really excited to play in this thing. And there are a lot of talented teams in it.”