A player blamed the mind and the coach blamed the body count as the Kansas University women's basketball team examined how it could be beaten so badly at home.
Jaclyn Johnson's hypothesis after Kansas' 76-54 loss to Creighton on Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse was that the younger players have not shown the mental commitment to winning. Coach Marian Washington has been frustrated by the injuries that have ravaged her team. More than the ailments, however, Washington was frustrated that the Jayhawks never made a late run.
"We've got to get some people who understand how to play with intensity," Washington said. "I'm very upset about that."
Kansas had plenty to be upset about Saturday. The Jayhawks dropped to 5-3 after committing 21 turnovers and suffering their worst loss at home since dropping an 81-59 decision to Cal-State Fullerton on Dec. 29, 1982.
"It was embarrassing," Johnson said. "I don't think people are putting forth the effort to make it happen. We're not realizing that it doesn't just happen that a team makes a comeback. You make your own luck."
Johnson was extra-perturbed that Kansas could never assimilate a run that got the crowd or team motivated. Kansas trailed 31-25 at halftime, but never cut the deficit to fewer than six points. Creighton's dagger was stuck firmly in the Jayhawks with 11 minutes left when Bluejays guard Dayna Finch nailed her second consecutive three-pointer that extended CU's lead to 53-35.
Besides the turnovers, Creighton dominated the guard battle. Washington was frustrated at how easily the Bluejays guards were able to penetrate and make plays.
"We could not stop them off the dribble," Johnson said. "We were letting them do what they wanted to."
Afterward, Washington and the Jayhawks held another long post-game chat. Johnson said she told her team last week that she was disappointed in its work ethic.
Washington, besides blaming the problems of late on injuries, is worried about intensity.
"It's tough," Washington said. "But we have to spend some time bringing these things out, and addressing them while they're fresh."
Brooke Reves, who led all scorers with 16 points, said she would not make any excuses even because of finals week. Anymore, the senior guard can sense the sand of her hourglass career reaching the end.
"Some people are buying into (the concept that) we're a young team and all," Reves said. "But for me this is it. I don't have time for that."