Archive for Thursday, February 7, 2002

Kansas women lose 11th straight Big 12 Conference basketball game

February 7, 2002


Sooner or later, Marian Washington knows her gang that can't shoot straight will show up.

On Wednesday night, Washington's Kansas University women's basketball team went into its brick mode in the second half and bowed to No. 12-ranked Iowa State, 75-50, in Allen Fieldhouse.

"You saw first-hand why we've been struggling," Washington said following the Jayhawks' 11th straight defeat and 16th in the last 18 outings. "We play 20 minutes and we can't find the other 20."

Last Saturday at Oklahoma, the Jayhawks shot dreadfully in the first half (5 of 26). On Wednesday, the doldrums didn't hit until after halftime.

Iowa State led by just a basket, 30-28, at the break. Then the Cyclones, who didn't arrive at the fieldhouse until an hour and 45 minutes before tipoff because of travel problems, exploded in the second half.

At the same time, Kansas imploded, making only 7 of 36 shots after intermission. That's a paltry 19.4 percent.

"We had opportunities in the paint," Washington said. "We had them  and we just couldn't put them down."

Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly had the Cyclones in a box-and-one defense with the chaser following KC Hilgenkamp, KU's leading season scorer (12.3).

"I didn't think the box-and-one bothered us," Washington said. "We still got the ball down low."

Indeed, time after time, the Jayhawks were able to push the ball inside the ISU zone to either 6-foot-6 Kristin Geoffroy or 6-3 Nikki White. But Geoffroy and White missed 13 of 18 shots, most from close range.

"It's just tough when you can't knock those things down," Washington said.

In the meantime, Hilgenkamp managed to take only four shots in her 34 minutes on the floor and Selena Scott, the only other KU player averaging in double figures (11.7), was in chains. Scott missed 10 of 11 shots from the field and three of four free throws.

"I just couldn't buy a bucket today," Scott said.

Washington, as she has during most of her worst season in 29 years at Kansas, hoped one of her seniors  she started four of them  would make something happen during the second-half tailspin.

"We just don't have that seasoned gamer," Washington said. "When things aren't so easy  and it happens  you have to be patient. We just didn't have anyone to keep us in a rhythm. I told the seniors I'm looking for someone to take charge when we need to get going."

Kansas, 5-19 overall and 0-11 in the Big 12, has five regular season games remaining, starting with a trip to Missouri on Saturday.

"We keep thinking we're going to get an upset," Scott said. "We're going to get one."

Echoed White: "If we can make sure everybody believes, I know we'll win."

Notes: Wednesday's announced crowd of 748 was the second lowest of the season. The Jayhawks are averaging 1,004 fans for 10 home dates  Forward Sharonne Spencer suffered a leg injury just before halftime and didn't play in the second half.  KU shot 28.6 percent for the game (18 of 63)  Iowa State improved to 18-5 overall, 6-5 in the league.  During the 11-game skid, KU's team shooting percentage is 34.2. From three-point range, it's 27.8 percent.

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