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Archive for Thursday, March 17, 1994

KANSAS WOMEN FIRST ROUND OF NCAA TOURNAMENT

March 17, 1994

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— The polls were right and the NCAA selection committee was wrong.

Kansas' women's basketball team made that abundantly clear Wednesday night with a 72-63 victory over Stephen F. Austin in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

The Jayhawks earned a second-round trip to Penn State. KU and Penn State, the Midwest Regional's top seed, will play at noon Saturday, CST, in State College, Pa.

Kansas will make the trip thanks largely to sophomore guard Charisse Sampson, who had career highs of 34 points and 15 rebounds.

"I just wanted to play. I just wanted to win," Sampson said. "If I didn't have any points, it wouldn't have mattered, as long as we won."

The Jayhawks' victory also authenticated their claim that they should have been playing a first-round game at home. Kansas, rated as high as sixth in the Associated Press poll, was ranked 15th in the final poll. Stephen F. Austin was unranked and received only four votes in the final balloting.

But Kansas received a No. 9 seed while Stephen F. Austin was seeded eighth, giving the Ladyjacks the home court for the first round.

One of the reasons Kansas won on SFA's home court, in front of a crowd of 3,426, was a 57-32 rebound advantage.

"Everyone I talked to focused on the fact that SFA went to the glass so hard," KU coach Marian Washington said. "Blocking out was the key tonight."

Three KU players were in double figures in rebounds -- Sampson with 15, Lisa Tate with 12 and Angela Aycock with 10 -- and freshman Angie Halbleib added seven boards.

Stephen F. Austin coach Joe Curl was impressed.

"That was what we call smash-mouth basketball," Curl said. "We just couldn't hold them off the boards."

Stephen F. Austin never led, but the Ladyjacks made it interesting at the end.

Kansas, which bolted to a 14-4 lead early, built its advantage to 18 points, 36-18, late in the first half. Stephen F. Austin cut it to 12 points, 38-26, at halftime.

Two free throws by Alana Slatter gave KU a 48-38 lead with 13:15 remaining, but SFA reeled off the next 10 points for a 48-48 deadlock with 9the Ladyjacks the home court for the first round.

One of the reasons Kansas won on SFA's home court, in front of a crowd of 3,426, was a 57-32 rebound advantage.

"Everyone I talked to focused on the fact that SFA went to the glass so hard," KU coach Marian Washington said. "Blocking out was the key tonight."

Three KU players were in double figures in rebounds -- Sampson with 15, Lisa Tate with 12 and Angela Aycock with 10 -- and freshman Angie Halbleib added seven boards.

Stephen F. Austin coach Joe Curl was impressed.

"That was what we call smash-mouth basketball," Curl said. "We just couldn't hold them off the boards."

Stephen F. Austin never led, but the Ladyjacks made it interesting at the end.

Kansas, which bolted to a 14-4 lead early, built its advantage to 1Tillis, a 6-foot senior forward, missed her first seven attempts.

Sampson, meanwhile, scored her 34 points on 12-of-21 shooting. She also hit eight of 10 free throws.

In addition, the Jayhawks received 12 points from Tate, 11 from Aycock and nine from Trapp. Aycock also made five steals, and Tate blocked three shots.

Kansas held SFA to 35 percent shooting, although the Ladyjacks kept the game close by hitting 18 of 20 free throws. Kansas was 18 of 25 from the line. The Jayhawks shot 37.7 percent from the field and committed 26 turnovers, while SFA made 21 turnovers.

It was the 107th consecutive game in which Kansas held an opponent under 50 percent shooting.

The loss ended an 11-game winning streak for Stephen F. Austin, which finished 23-7.

Kansas improved to 22-5 and earned the right to face the nation's No. 2-ranked team, Penn State, in the second round.

Penn State was a 94-41 winner over Fordham on Wednesday night.

The KU-Penn State winner will face the winner of a game between Texas and Seton Hall in the Midwest Regional semifinals a week from tonight in Austin, Texas.

The regional finals are March 26, and the Final Four is April 2-3 in Richmond, Va.

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