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Archive for Sunday, March 20, 1994

KU WOMEN FALL IN NCAA TOURNEY

March 20, 1994

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— Winning one road game in the NCAA women's basketball tournament is not an easy task. Winning two -- especially if the second is on the home floor of the No. 2-ranked team in the country -- might be considered nearly impossible.

Kansas couldn't quite complete mission impossible here Saturday. The Jayhawks were eliminated by Penn State, 85-68, in the second round.

But the final score was deceiving. KU held the lead early in the second half, and Penn State coach Rene Portland admitted she was concerned.

"Kansas was a super opponent," Portland said. "They gave us all that we could handle there in the beginning."

Penn State, ranked No. 2 in the final Associated Press poll and the top seed in the Midwest Regional, improved to 27-2. Kansas, ranked 15th in the poll and the region's ninth seed, finished 22-6. The Jayhawks had opened NCAA play with a 72-63 victory at Stephen F. Austin on Wednesday night.

"I am so proud of this team," KU coach Marian Washington said. "I can't tell you how proud I am of Kansas basketball. We had our backs against the wall from the very beginning and these kids took on the challenges one step at a time. I am very proud of my team."

After trailing 37-29, Kansas scored the final 11 points of the first half for a 40-37 lead at intermission.

Four minutes into the second half, the Jayhawks were maintaining their three-point margin, at 49-46.

But that's when Penn State turned it around. The Nittany Lions outscored the Jayhawks 19-5 over the next 8 Portland admitted she was concerned.

"Kansas was a super opponent," Portland said. "They gave us all that we could handle there in the beginning."

Penn State, ranked No. 2 in the final Associated Press poll and the top seed in the Midwest Regional, improved to 27-2. Kansas, ranked 15th in the poll and the region's ninth seed, finished 22-6.ore. Aycock led Kansas with 27 points, tying her career high.

"I think whenever your team is out of snyc, you need someone to try and step up whether their shots are going in or not," said Aycock, who was 8-of-24 from the field. "They played really good defense, I thought. I rushed a lot of shots, but that happens."

After Penn State's Tina Nicholson canned a three-pointer with 7 Kansas scored the final 11 points of the first half for a 40-37 lead at intermission.

Four minutes into the second half, the Jayhawks were maintaining their three-point margin, at 49-46.

But that's when Penn State turned it around. The Nittany Lions outscored the Jayhawks 19-5 over the next 8 Portland admitted she was concerned.

"Kansas was a super opponent," Portland said. "They gave us all that we could handle there in the beginning."

Penn State, ranked No. 2 in the final Associated Press poll and the top seed in the Midwest Regional, improved to 27-2. Kansas, ranked 15th in the poll and the region's ninth seed, finished 22-6.on.

And the Jayhawks' shooting cooled in the second half. Kansas hit 53.1 percent from the field in the first half but just 21.6 percent in the second.

"We ran, we got breakaway layups, our pressure defense in the second half was good," Portland said. "I think (Charisse) Sampson and Aycock had to throw up some tough shots in the second half because of our defense. And then, the bottom line is, we rebounded like we wanted to and then we stayed ahead. We played the game to win."

The Jayhawks, who had outrebounded Stephen F. Austin 57-32, were outrebounded by Penn State 51-46.

"It was really close in the second half," Holloway said, "but I told everybody, 'We gotta get everybody together and let's go.'"

Holloway, in addition to her 27 points, pulled down 16 rebounds for the Lions.

"I thought she did a great job for them," Washington said. "She was definitely their go-to player in the second half."

KU's Lisa Tate also snared 16 rebounds and blocked seven shots.

And senior guard Muncy scored 12 points for KU, one short of her career high. But she and Aycock were the only Jayhawks to score in double figures. Sampson, who poured in a career-high 34 points against Stephen F. Austin, was limited to nine points.

Nicholson, a 5-3 sophomore guard, added 20 points for Penn State, and Katina Mack, a 5-8 junior guard, contributed 18 points.

The Jayhawks held Penn State to 34.3 percent shooting, marking the 108th consecutive game a KU opponent had shot less than 50 percent. Kansas shot 36.2 percent.

Penn State will meet Seton Hall in the Midwest Regional semifinals Thursday night in Austin, Texas. Seton Hall was a 71-66 winner over Texas on Saturday.

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