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Archive for Sunday, January 15, 1995

S HOMECOMING UNHAPPY

January 15, 1995

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— It was not a happy homecoming for Raef LaFrentz here Saturday.

LaFrentz, Kansas' 6-foot-11 freshman forward from Monona, Iowa, scored a season-low five points in the Jayhawks' 69-65 loss to Iowa State at Hilton Coliseum.

He took just one shot -- and missed it -- the first half. It made some wonder whether he was a bit nervous making his collegiate debut in Iowa.

"A little bit, more than I usually get," LaFrentz said. "I was a little nervous at the beginning of the game."

He heard a mixture of boos and cheers during introductions. Some fans might have had venom in their systems after reading Saturday's Des Moines Register, which printed quotes from Iowa football coach Hayden Fry ripping LaFrentz for leaving the state.

"It was great coming home. It just didn't work out," LaFrentz said.

He finished with two baskets in five attempts. He made one of two free throws and had nine rebounds in 26 minutes.

"It wasn't anybody's fault but my own. I was not moving as well as I should have been," LaFrentz said. "And I give their defense credit also."

He spent much of the time guarding ISU senior Julius Michalik, who had 17 points on seven-of-19 shooting.

"He's a good player," LaFrentz said. "I'm just disappointed right now. It would have been a big game for our team to come to Ames and get a road win. That would have been a big accomplishment."

ISU senior Fred Hoiberg, who scored 32 points, consoled LaFrentz after the game.

"He just told me to keep my head up. There will be other games," LaFrentz said.

KU coach Roy Williams conceded LaFrentz and his teammates had sub-par offensive showings. KU hit just 41.1 percent of its shots to ISU's 37.1 mark.

"I don't know if he was tight or we didn't get the ball to him. We started getting it to him some the second half. It was one of those days, not necessarily his day," Williams said.

Second-half drought: Jerod Haase, who had 11 points the first half, did not score the final 20 minutes, missing six shots. Five of the misses were threes.

He missed a six-footer in the lane with 3:10 left and KU leading 65-59. After that, it was all ISU, as the Cyclones scored the game's final 10 points.

"Those are shots that should fall. I should be able to step up and knock them down," Haase said. "It felt real good. I felt I had a good shot."

Shooting blanks: ISU didn't click offensively, shooting just 25.9 percent the second half and 37.1 percent for the game, but the Cyclones did play defense. KU hit nine of 28 second-half shots.

"It was 'faceguard.' That's what they call it on the playgrounds. That's what they call it everywhere _ faceguard," KU point guard Jacque Vaughn said, referring to sticky defense.

Vaughn, who had eight assists, said part of the problem was he had the ball in his hands as the shot clock wound down.

"Many times, I had the ball in my hands with 10 seconds on the clock. We shouldn't be in the situation where I have the ball and have to create," he said.

Stats, facts: Seniors Fred Hoiberg, Julius Michalik and Loren Meyer combined for 59 of ISU's 69 points ... KU had just three players in double figures -- Sean Pearson (14), Vaughn (11) and Haase (11). Scot Pollard, who had four fouls, had nine points and three boards in 16 minutes ... Vaughn had eight and Haase six assists. Jacy Holloway had six assists for ISU ... Greg Ostertag had five blocked shots and 11 rebounds in 26 minutes ...

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