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Archive for Monday, December 8, 1997

KANSAS WOMEN WIN DIAL SOAP CLASSIC CHAMPIONSHIP

December 8, 1997

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Suzi Raymant scored 20 points and Nakia Sanford added 12 points and 14 rebounds in Kansas' 68-51 win over Grambling State.

It was a good weekend to be a member of the Kansas women's basketball team.

The Jayhawks defeated Grambling State, 68-51, on Sunday to capture the Dial Soap Classic championship led by the outside shooting of guard Suzi Raymant and the rebounding of Nakia Sanford.

Kansas, despite shooting only 40 percent from the field and committing 21 turnovers, continued its magic from behind the three-point line and sank 6-of-11 tries. Raymant, after scoring 20 points against Coppin State, sank 4-of-4 from three-point range and finished again with 20 points.

"Our outside players had a lot of open looks," Kansas coach Marian Washington said. "We're working on being more disciplined on our offensive game and be more effective."

After a loss to Washington on Nov. 29 in the Hawkeye Classic, the Jayhawks looked to find some answers to their shooting woes.

"We just weren't as patient with our shooting," Washington said. "This weekend we played more conservative and had a lot of open shots."

Rebounding was also a concern for the Jayhawks after being outrebounded by Coppin State in a 100-57 win on Saturday. This time, Kansas pulled down a season-high 53 rebounds including 19 on the offensive side.

"I'm still not pleased with our rebounding, but we did a better job today," Washington said. "We're not boxing out enough and we need to make that a team commitment to get those rebounds."

Stepping up for Kansas against the Tigers was forward Sanford.

Sanford played her most productive game of the season for the Jayhawks. She scored 12 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in 26 minutes.

"I just have been working to try to help this team out," Sanford said. "I'm trying to make the transition to be more effective on offense and it's maybe not going as fast as I want it to be."

Washington was also impressed with Sanford's play and hopes the forward will learn a lot from this weekend.

"Nakia is a very emotional player and plays with a lot of enthusiam," Washington said. "I've just told her to not worry about scoring as much and try to remain consistent on defense and rebounding. She had a great weekend and hopefully this will boost her confidence."

Sanford and with teammate Lynn Pride were named to the Dial Soap all-tournament team. Joining Sanford and Pride were Grambling State's Shiakiea Carter, Southern California's Kristin Clark and Coppin State's Liesha Mitchell. Raymant was chosen as the tournament's MVP for her 40 points in the two-game effort.

The Jayhawks are hoping their hot streak from the outside isn't just a fluke and will carry over to their next contest against Arkansas State on Sunday.

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