MIAMI, FLA. Host Florida International jumped out to an early 13-0 lead in the first 4:23, but 17th-ranked Kansas didn't stay down long. KU's women's basketball team improved to 11-1 with an 81-69 win and placed third in the FIU Sun & Fun Classic.
Junior Shannon Kite broke the ice for Kansas with a three-point basket at the 15-minute mark. Kite finished with 14 points, including four of seven treys.
Kansas was led in scoring by senior Tanya Bonham who had a season-high 18 points, followed by junior Lisa Tate with 16. Tate also had four steals, two assists and five rebounds. Senior point guard Kay Kay Hart led the team in rebounding with seven and also had 12 points. Senior Danielle Shareef was also in double figures, scoring 11 points.
KU head coach Marian Washington gave her team credit for pulling out the win.
"I WASN'T really worried. I felt with patience we could peck away at the score and we did," Washington said. "I think the team needs to be commended. It's hard to lose a game by one point last night and then have to come back and play for third place against the home team.
``It takes a lot of heart and determination,'' Washington added, ``and Kansas showed all of that and more."
FIU was led by Tidra Hardy and Albena Branzova with 19 and 17 points, respectively. Hardy also grabbed a team-high 12 rebounds. FIU outrebounded Kansas 46-35.
FIU shot 41.4 percent from the field, which was the highest shooting percentage Kansas had allowed an opponent since the season-opener against Illinois-Chicago. The Jayhawks made 54.1 percent of their shots from the field and 50 percent from three-point range.
KU freshman Angela Aycock sat out the game after suffering a concussion during Friday night's loss to Arizona State.
Kansas is set to play its fourth consecutive road game Thursday at Creighton. Tip-off is slated for 7:30 p.m.