Tuesday, February 26, 2013

KU women hope to repeat men’s magic at Hilton

Kansas forward Bunny Williams picks up teammate Angel Goodrich while Lamaria Cole lets out a scream as Kansas players celebrate their overtime victory against Iowa State Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse. Goodrich hit a three-pointer to send the game into overtime.

Kansas forward Bunny Williams picks up teammate Angel Goodrich while Lamaria Cole lets out a scream as Kansas players celebrate their overtime victory against Iowa State Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse. Goodrich hit a three-pointer to send the game into overtime.


Count KU women’s basketball coach Bonnie Henrickson among those who hope what KU senior Elijah Johnson did to Iowa State during Monday night’s 108-96 overtime victory will have a lingering effect on Hilton Coliseum.

At 7 p.m. Wednesday, just two days after Johnson torched Iowa State for 39 points to keep the KU men atop the Big 12 standings, Henrickson’s club will step into the same venue looking for a much-needed victory of its own.

Although comparisons between the men’s and women’s game are not made often, Henrickson said this week’s back-to-back battles with the Cyclones could be unique.

“I think you look at that parallel of, ‘OK, how did they do it?’ They made plays. And a senior made plays,” Henrickson said. “And it’s more magnified because it’s guys that are friends of ours and the relationship we have with the program.”

Although Henrickson spent most of Monday night watching film of the 23rd-ranked Iowa State team her Jayhawks knocked off, 78-75, in overtime on Jan. 30 at Allen Fieldhouse, she tuned in to the men’s game when it mattered most.

“I was watching film and following it on my phone and once I saw about three minutes left I turned it on and said, ‘I don’t want to miss this,’” Henrickson said.

What she witnessed was an explosion from Johnson, who outscored Iowa State 8-3 in the final 29 seconds of regulation and 12-6 in overtime.

“I was happy for him,” Henrickson said. “As much as he’s been such a great player here during his career, it was exciting to see him play with that kind of confidence.”

That’s another area she’s hoping will rub off on her senior-laden squad, especially given that the two games are being played so closely together and the impressive support Iowa State’s men’s crowd routinely gives its women’s program, as well.

After falling behind by 18 points with just under nine minutes to play in the first meeting, Henrickson’s Jayhawks turned up the tempo and roared back to force overtime. During that stretch, the Jayhawks shot in 10 seconds or less on 85 percent of their possessions. Henrickson is hoping to see a similar style prevail tonight.

“We’re gonna have to hit some jump shots and turn up the defensive pressure to get out in transition,” she said. “We need to push after a miss and a make. That’s what we had success with toward the end of the second half and overtime down here.”

The Jayhawks (16-10 overall, 7-8 Big 12) have lost four of their last six games and two straight. They have also been plagued by slow starts that left them just short at the end.

“It’s in there, we have it in us,” Henrickson said. “But when are we gonna learn the lesson to start with it and go ahead and play like that for 40 minutes? It’s more nightmarish than cool, I’ll tell you that.”

As for how to fix it, Henrickson said the responsibility fell on everyone involved.

“We played ourselves into this hole,” she said. “And now we gotta play ourselves out of it. Everyone has to do more and that starts with me.”


Waylon Cook 7 years, 8 months ago

ISU will kill us in Hilton. They are still mad that Self and the boys rolled in.

WisconsinJayhawk 7 years, 8 months ago

I hope that "Hilton Magic"-- angry fans charging the coaching staff, debris being rained down on the players as they leave the court, racial epithets and threats--yes, magical, isn't it?-- are not visited on the women's team. Any fanbase dumb and awful enough to do that in the first place is dumb and rotten enough to take it out on these players, who had nothing to do with that game, too.

rockwall 7 years, 8 months ago

Different crowd at the women's games. No drunk students. No little old retired men trying to prove how tough they are. There may be soom muffled boos but it will be minimal.

wakeupcall 7 years, 8 months ago

First of all, terrible coaching to begin with. Why in the world would you put the one player on the bench that was creating turnovers for your team and creating looks for everyone else (Harper)? Harper was all over the court in the first half, and saw hardly any action after the half...why, no reason she should not have been back in as she was getting steals, rebounds,scoring, etc. Bad coaching....Bonnie just seems to take this team right out of games. The same as I always believed that if certain players, even if they are not a starter is playing well, then leave them in and sit your starter. Boyd has a way of wanting to shoot 3 pointers like that is the last shot on earth and it is not working. Engelman may score 20+, but how many does she give up on the defensive end to her man? Davis, well let me just say that she should be sat down until she gets healthy and can move about the court. Gardner has to play two players at a time, as she has to play her man and Davis' man, often leading to her untimely fouls. Poor Angel has to shoot a ton of shots because Bonnie still does not know what comibination to put on the court in order to make this team successful. We all had high hopes for this team and this season, but it has all dwindled away game by game. Dr Z needs to get a new coach in here and get one in fast. Lastly ,why in the world would you not play either Cole or Hawkins, especially since the bench is shorter than it has ever been...Don't understand, won't understand! Well it all adds up to the need for change in the coaching staff. Frustraing, just frustrating watching this talented team fall day in and day out.

Jayhawks1228 7 years, 8 months ago

Did the change in their coaching staff have anything to do with the results that they are getting this year?

wakeupcall 7 years, 8 months ago

Sure does....Coaching changes have a lot to do with a program's success or failure. Problem is, the right coach did not depart. Secondly, why would you bring back a coach that you were never successful with in the first place?

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