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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

KU women to tackle No. 7 WVU

Kansas coach Bonnie Henrickson shouts out instructions during Kansas' game against Iowa State, Saturday evening at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas coach Bonnie Henrickson shouts out instructions during Kansas' game against Iowa State, Saturday evening at Allen Fieldhouse.

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After four straight losses dropped the Kansas University women’s basketball team’s record to five games below .500 with one date remaining in the regular season, one might think the outlook couldn’t get much worse for the Jayhawks.

Already in need of a miracle run through the Big 12 Tournament to reach the NCAAs for a third straight season, KU now has to play at No. 7 West Virginia tonight.

The antithesis to the Jayhawks (12-17 overall, 5-12 Big 12), the Mountaineers (26-3, 15-2) are coming off a win at Baylor entering today’s 6 p.m. contest at WVU Coliseum. Coach Mike Carey’s team has won nine straight and beat KU, 65-55, in the Big 12 opener for both teams, on Jan. 2 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Surprisingly enough, junior KU guard Natalie Knight said bouncing back from disappointing losses hasn’t been the team’s issue this season.

“We’ve really just got to look ahead and can’t focus on what happened,” she said of the past four defeats.

Kansas coach Bonnie Henrickson said her players must remain positive, despite the team’s plight.

“We all are competitive and all want to compete,” Henrickson said, adding the Jayhawks know they need to upset WVU on its Senior Night, when the Mountaineers aim to earn at least a share of the Big 12 championship with Baylor by winning.

“You can’t be soft in this league,” Henrickson said. “You can’t be soft at Kansas.”

Coming off back-to-back 18-point performances, KU junior guard Asia Boyd said the Jayhawks need to embrace a simple mind-set to fight off their frustrations.

“Win the next one, win the next one, win the next one,” Boyd said. “You’ve gotta stay positive. Also, we have to learn from our mistakes, from the four losses, but we can’t dwell on them. The next game, we’ve got to do better.”

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