Dallas Don’t be surprised if the Kansas University women’s basketball team was in a foul mood after losing to SMU, 73-64, in the final of the SMU Thanksgiving Classic.
Because it was fouls, more than anything, that led to the Jayhawks’ second loss of the season.
Kansas committed 31 personal fouls — both Aisia Robertson and Chayla Cheadle were disqualified — and five Jayhawks ended up with at least four fouls. Kansas fouls led to 35 trips to the free-throw line for the host Mustangs.
SMU converted 30 of those charity attempts, outscoring Kansas by 16 points at the line.
Cheadle came off the bench to lead the Jayhawks offensively, posting a season-high 17 points on 50 percent shooting and a team-high seven rebounds. Junior forward Caelynn Manning-Allen recorded a career-high 14 points on 4-of-6 shooting from the field to earn all-tournament honors.
It took the Jayhawks nearly three minutes to make their first field goal, after turning the ball over on their first four possessions.
A layup from Cheadle at the 7:11 mark put Kansas on the board, but in the meantime SMU ran out to a 9-0 lead behind McKenzie Adams.
Kansas had the answer, as Cheadle’s layup sparked an identical run, capped by a three-point basket from fourth-year junior Timeka O’Neal to tie the game at nine before the first media timeout of the quarter.
But SMU went back to work in the final five minutes of the quarter as the Jayhawks went cold. The Mustangs scored 13 points after the media timeout while Kansas shot 0-for-8 from the field.
Kansas dug itself into a 19-point hole at halftime, trailing 43-24. Five Jayhawks headed into halftime with three fouls, and head coach Brandon Schneider was forced to scramble his lineup.
With Manning-Allen and freshman forward Tyler Johnson both in foul trouble, freshman forward Chelsea Lott was awarded her first game minutes in a Kansas uniform.
The Jayhawks trimmed the lead to 10 by the end of the third quarter, thanks to a dominant game in the paint.
Kansas finished with a 38-18 advantage inside the lane.
Layups from Aldridge and freshman guard Robertson left the Jayhawks trailing by only four points. After a timeout, a three from Kylee Kopatich concluded a 7-0 run.
Kansas couldn’t cut into the lead further, and SMU held on.
The Jayhawks (3-2) return to Lawrence for a six-game homestand, beginning at 7 p.m. Wednesday against Creighton (3-2).