In Bonnie Henrickson’s perfect world, the coach’s Kansas University women’s basketball team would always score at least 70 points and always win.
In the reality of the 2013-14 season, the Jayhawks have lost every time they failed to reach 70 and too often have found themselves in the 50-point range, or worse. Of KU’s 11 losses this season, they didn’t even crack 60 points 10 times, and on one such occasion they didn’t get to 50.
“Over 70, we’re pretty good,” said Henrickson, whose team is 9-0 when hitting at least that number this season.
Kansas (11-11 overall, 4-6 Big 12) lost, 64-56, to Oklahoma State at Allen Fieldhouse on Jan. 22. At 7 tonight, the Jayhawks play the No. 12-ranked Cowgirls (18-3, 7-3) again — this time at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Okla.
Senior KU guard CeCe Harper said the first matchup with OSU showed the Jayhawks a little about what it takes to beat the Cowgirls.
“First and foremost, I think we learned that we could play with them, and we just have to work hard throughout the whole game instead of just in stretches,” Harper said. “In certain stretches, we would get down, and we wouldn’t make a run when they made a run.”
One issue, she added, was getting away from something that worked.
“I think the first half we did excellent in transition, just trying to run out,” Harper said, referring to a 34-28 KU lead at the break, “and in the second half we kind of calmed that down, and that was kind of our downfall.”
KU only finished with four fast-break points in the loss.
According to Henrickson, that wasn’t the only area where the Jayhawks missed chances to attack. The coach said getting the ball inside more to junior forward Chelsea Gardner (averaging 17.0 points and 8.0 rebounds this season) would have been one source of easy offense and a way to get out of the dreaded 50-point range.
“When you think about how we’ve not been able to manufacture points, it’s not always our field-goal percentage,” Henrickson said. “We’ve not gotten to the free-throw line, we’ve not offensive-rebounded, and we’re not in transition.”
KANSAS (11-11 overall, 4-6 Big 12)
G — Markisha Hawkins, 5-9, sr.
G — CeCe Harper, 5-8, sr.
G — Natalie Knight, 5-7, jr.
F — Jada Brown, 6-0, fr.
F — Chelsea Gardner, 6-3, jr.
No. 12 OKLAHOMA STATE (18-3, 7-3)
G — Brittney Martin, 6-0, so.
G — Tiffany Bias, 5-6, sr.
G — Roshunda Johnson, 5-7, fr.
F — Liz Donohoe, 6-0, jr.
C — LaShawn Jones, 6-3, jr.