It's been a season of cycles for Kansas' women's basketball team. The Jayhawks want the current one to last the rest of the season.
After a season-opening loss, KU won six in a row, only to follow that streak with four straight losses.
But the Jayhawks' 92-33 thrashing of Iowa State on Sunday afternoon in Allen Fieldhouse was their third straight victory, boosting their record to 9-5 overall, 2-2 in the Big Eight.
``I think we've built some confidence,'' KU coach Marian Washington said. ``They're beginning to realize what they're capable of doing. They're growing up. It takes a lot of patience to work through that, and maybe a few gray hairs, but we're going to have a good club in the future.''
Iowa State might argue that the Jayhawks have a good club in the present. But believe it or not, this one was no more lopsided than last year's KU-ISU meeting in Allen Fieldhouse. In fact, both were 59-point KU wins (the Jayhawks won last year, 88-29).
IOWA STATE, which suited only eight players because of injuries, is 2-14 overall and 1-3 in league play. But the Cyclones surprised Kansas State, 67-61, on Friday night, and that caught KU's attention.
``We knew we couldn't take them lightly,'' said KU junior Lisa Tate, who tied her school record for blocked shots with nine. ``Any given team can beat you.''
``They beat K-State,'' added freshman Charisse Sampson, the game's top scorer with 19 points. ``Maybe they had the same thing planned for us.''
If so, the plan fell apart early. Kansas raced to leads of 8-0 and 14-1. By halftime, it was 47-16. The Cyclones didn't score their first field goal until nearly six minutes had elapsed.
Sophomore Alana Slatter admitted that owning such a big lead made concentration lapses easy.
``SOMETIMES IT'S difficult,'' Slatter said, ``because you might have a tendency to slack off.''
Instead, the Jayhawks never let up. And 10 different KU players saw at least 10 minutes of playing time. Kansas' bench accounted for 35 points, including 14 from both Slatter and Shannon Kite.
Tate also scored 14 points, and Angela Aycock totaled 10 points and a team-leading eight rebounds. Sampson made six steals to go along with her 19 points.
``I think game by game, we're getting better and better,'' Sampson said. ``We're improving every game.''
The Jayhawks will play their next three games on the road, beginning Friday night at Oklahoma. They'll play at Oklahoma State on Jan. 24 and at Kansas State on Jan. 31. They won't be home again until a Feb. 5 meeting with Colorado.
Kansas scored 50 points off 37 Iowa State turnovers. The Cyclones scored just two points from KU's 15 turnovers.
Sophomore walk-on Elizabeth Luna scored her first point of the season, a free throw in the final minute.
Freshman Amelia Holmes missed her fifth straight game. She hurt her back in an auto accident earlier this month and also has a strained hamstring muscle.
Iowa State shot just 22.2 percent while KU hit 50.7 percent. The Jayhawks have shot 50 percent or better seven times this season, and not coincidentally, they've won all seven of those games.