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Archive for Wednesday, November 12, 1997

KU WOMEN LOSE EXHIBITION

November 12, 1997

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The team from down under shot up and over Kansas University's women's basketball team on Tuesday night at Allen Fieldhouse.

McDonald's Victoria All-Stars from Australia bombarded Kansas with 11 three-pointers and never trailed in a 79-56 victory over the Jayhawks in KU's exhibition opener.

"It's a kind of exhibition team you hope to see," said KU coach Marian Washington, entering her 25th season with the Jayhawks. "Sometimes you schedule a team and they're really not very good at all, so you don't learn much. We learned a lot. It's a tough loss for us to have to swallow and we're going to gain a lot."

The All-Stars, now 3-2, bolted to a 7-0 lead before the Jayhawks called a 20-second timeout. The Jayhawks countered with a 10-3 spurt to tie but never led the contest.

Victoria reeled off 11 points -- nine on three treys -- in a row, prompting another KU timeout. With 10 minutes left in the first half, the All-Stars had connected on eight of 16 shots from the field -- five-for-10 from three-point range. Meanwhile, the Jayhawks had made just three of 10 shots from the field.

"Overall, we played very soft," Washington said. "We're going to have to get a lot tougher both mentally and physically. The intensity level was not acceptable."

Kristie Harrower, a 5-foot-5 guard, led the All-Stars' three-point barrage with her rainbow shots. She finished with 18 points, including four treys.

Harrower's 25-footer with three seconds left provided Victoria with its widest margin. Allison Cook, the All-Stars' oldest player at 25, scored a game-high 21 points and hit three treys.

"I thought No. 8 (Harrower) was exceptional," Washington said. "We played her to the three-point line and she simply stepped back."

KU junior Suzi Raymant, a native of Australia, wasn't surprised by the All-Stars' shooting prowess.

"In Australia the line's further out and they use a bigger ball," said Raymant, who finished with 13 points to lead KU. "It's no big deal for them."

The All-Stars led 43-29 at halftime. KU closed within 10 points (51-41) with 13:55 remaining before Victoria unloaded a 9-0 run to maintain control.

KU forward Jaclyn Johnson, one of four freshmen who saw action, scored 10 points and had three rebounds.

"We have the potential to be a very good team," said Johnson, a 6-foot-1 forward from Burbank, Calif. "We have to dig deep and play hard all the time. We can't depend on our coaches to fire us up. We have to fire ourselves up and rely more on each other.

Kansas sophomore Lynn Pride scored 12 points and hauled in 10 rebounds.

"I don't think I did a good job tonight," said Pride, the team's top returning scorer. "I have to show a lot of poise and leadership."

Pride shot 33 percent (five for 15) from the field as KU combined to shoot 45 percent as a team.

"She's looking to score more," Washington said of Pride. "She hurried a lot of her shots. I'd like to see Lynn be more vocal. She's going to be a key player for us."

In the final two minutes, Australia had two 15-year-olds and a 16-year-old on the court.

Kansas will open the regular season on Sunday at Creighton before playing another exhibition next Tuesday.

"I think we should be able to compete with Creighton," Washington said. "You always like to have a couple warmup games before you start the regular season."

Raymant, for one, would like more time.

"I think we need a few more weeks of practice," she said. "Our offense is not coming together yet."

-- Steve Rottinghaus's phone message number is 832-7152. His e-mail address is rott@ljworld.com.

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