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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Henrickson: Kansas, Texas both ‘desperate’ for a win

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The last time they met, in early January, the Kansas University women’s basketball team knocked off then-No. 23 Texas in Austin for its first road victory against a ranked team since 2000 and moved to 12-1 overall and 1-0 in Big 12 play.

Despite owning a 30-20 halftime advantage and leading by as much as 23 points in the second half, the Jayhawks watched the Longhorns whittle their lead down to two, 69-67, with 15 seconds to play.

At the time, some believed that if the game had been just a couple of minutes longer, Texas, with all that momentum and the home floor, would have completed the comeback. Instead, the Longhorns will have to settle for a shot at revenge tonight when they face Kansas at 7 p.m. at Allen Fieldhouse.

Both teams enter tonight’s game with a handful of problems. The Jayhawks (16-6 overall, 5-5 Big 12) have lost four of their last five games and turned a 4-1 conference start into a 5-5 grind that has seen more bad than good of late. The Longhorns (13-9, 3-7) also have struggled during recent weeks, dropping three straight to Iowa State, Kansas State and Texas Tech.

“I think both teams are desperate, for lack of a better word,” KU coach Bonnie Henrickson said. “We’ve both lost and are on a skid here and are both looking to try to get it right.”

While many of the Jayhawks’ recent losses have come partly because of the opponent and partly because of KU beating itself with silly mistakes and a lack of focus, the Longhorns seem to have struggled because of injuries.

Most nights, the Jayhawks view the presence of junior forward Carolyn Davis, who averages 18 points, six rebounds and 61 percent shooting, as their biggest advantage. However, against Texas, it could be KU’s backcourt that gives Kansas a leg up. Of the eight guards on UT coach Gail Goestenkors’ roster, only three will be available against KU tonight.

“When you don’t have any subs for your guards, it leaves little room for error,” Goestenkors said. “That’s been the biggest issue off the court. On the court, it’s been a number of things, but here recently, it’s been the turnovers.”

In the last meeting between these two, KU forced 18 UT turnovers and shot 57 percent from the floor, including 50 percent from three-point land. Those numbers allowed KU to build the big lead and were particularly pleasing to Henrickson.

“We handled multiple different defenses from them,” Henrickson said. “And they were really aggressive with us.”

Don’t expect the same strategy tonight. Because of her roster limitations, Goestenkors said she would look to play at a tempo that’s slower than normal for most of her teams.

“When you are short-handed, you want to spend as much time as you can on the offensive end,” she said.

Whether that turns out to be what happens or not, Henrickson is preparing for the Longhorns she is used to seeing. That means tightening up the turnovers and focusing on transition basketball — both on offense and defense.

“Transition for both teams is really, really critical,” Henrickson said. “They may be limited depth-wise on the perimeter, but those guys are just so quick, and they’re as good as anybody in the league in transition.”

Comments

Scott Oswalt 7 years, 9 months ago

If Bonnie doesn't make the tournament this year, she's FIRED!

big12ku 7 years, 9 months ago

Okay, ladies this victory is yours for the taking. Texas has not been playing solid this year and now it seems they are short staffed. So don't muck this one up. RCJH Go KU!

no_fan 7 years, 9 months ago

The Ladies should win with Texas playing like poo poo all year! Now, Texas has injuries. Of course IF they pull out the win against "Texas" everyone will jump back on the band wagon and think HCBH is the greatest coach. Lol. Will not be impressed by tonights outcome. I will still be there to root you ladies on!

Scott Oswalt 7 years, 9 months ago

What band wagon??? Jump back on it? Huh????? Confused....

no_fan 7 years, 9 months ago

I was waiting to respond to your ?s after the game. If you look at the recent article you can see how many posts where made. When the ladies win everyone think it is GREAT when they lose you hear nothing! I guess my expectation is too high for KU athletics. The Wins they are getting are not impressive to me at all. Weak pre-season, the conference is weak this year. I guess fans are so use to them losing that any type of Win is good no matter how they come. I would be impressed if they where in 2nd and stayed in 2nd beating the teams from the past (KS, OU etc..) not beating teams that are playing like poo poo this year. Then I would be the 1st to say HCBH is turning this program around.

actorman 7 years, 9 months ago

KU desperate for a win at this point in the season??? I'm shocked, SHOCKED I tell you.

actorman 7 years, 9 months ago

The second "shocked" was supposed to be in caps.

texashawk10 7 years, 9 months ago

KU is currently sitting at 5-5 in conference. Their 5 losses have all come at the hands of the 4 teams sitting ahead of them in the Big 12 standings (Baylor, Texas A&M, OU, KSU) with their 5 wins coming over the teams that are behind them in the standings (Texas Tech, OSU, ISU, Texas, Missouri). The only game left on KU's schedule that KU doesn't have much of a chance is Baylor on the 24th. The rest of KU's games are winnable, but I think it's more likely KU goes 5-3 or 4-4 the rest of the regular season with 1 or 2 wins in the Big 12 tournament to put them some where between 21-23 wins against 10-12 losses headed into the NCAA tournament which barring a collapse to the end of the season should happen this year finally.

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