Friday, November 25, 2011

KU women to host own tourney


So much for a Thanksgiving break.

Kansas University’s women’s basketball team won’t have much time to relax with three straight days of home hoops. The Basketball Travelers Classic, which begins for the Jayhawks at 7 tonight against Lamar, will feature games at Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday and Sunday, as well.

KU (3-0) is coming off a road victory at Wake Forest on Sunday, but coach Bonnie Henrickson said that shouldn’t have the Jayhawks feeling good about the outcome.

“They probably did until we just watched film,” Henrickson said.

The eighth-year Kansas coach said her team shouldn’t be happy with its play because the Demon Deacons only lost by a point, 74-73, despite missing a boatload of point-blank shots.

“Who in our league’s gonna miss 20 layups? Nobody,” Henrickson said.

Lamar (4-1) is no stranger to the Big 12. The Cardinals’ one loss this year came at Texas A&M;, 83-58, on Nov. 12, and senior forward Monique Whittaker is a transfer from former Big 12 program Nebraska.

Junior guard Kalis Loyd leads Lamar with a 19.8 scoring average, and Whittaker has put up 14.2 points an outing, but the Southland Conference program’s biggest strength might be on defense. Cardinals opponents have made just 37.5 percent of their shots.

KU’s top three scorers play in the frontcourt. Junior Carolyn Davis (17.5 points), senior forward Aishah Sutherland (13.7) and sophomore forward Tania Jackson (12.3) have led the Jayhawks through three games.

By the end of the weekend, Kansas will have three more games of experience. Henrickson said playing so much in a short amount of time (KU plays IUPUI on Saturday and Florida Atlantic on Sunday), a schedule which the team went through last year, can get repetitive.

“It kind of felt like ‘Groundhog Day,’” she said. “Wake up, play again. Wake up, play again.”

Not that the players mind.

“They would rather play three games than practice three days, I promise you,” Henrickson added.

At least one Jayhawk might not have that luxury. Henrickson said Davis, who is recovering from a foot injury, might sit out a game, if necessary.

“If she does a lot on Friday and it’s bad on Saturday, she won’t play,” the coach said.


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