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Archive for Sunday, January 26, 2003

KU women end skid - Kansas 64, Texas A&M 57

January 26, 2003

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— Aquanita Burras scored six of her 16 points in the final minute Saturday night, and Kansas University snapped a 21-game Big 12 Conference losing streak with a 64-57 victory over Texas A&M.

KU, which went 0-16 in league play last season and lost its first five Big 12 games this year, hadn't won a conference game since beating A&M in the 2001 regular-season finale.

"It feels great," KU coach Marian Washington said. "This is going to be a big lift for this young club."

In the first half it looked like the Jayhawks' streak would reach 22 games. KU trailed 38-28 at halftime before starting the second half with a 17-0 run.

Kansas (8-9 overall, 1-5 Big 12) switched to a 2-2-1 zone defense and held the Aggies (8-9, 1-5) scoreless for nearly eight minutes at the beginning of the half.

"Early in the game, we were not aggressive, and they were," Washington said. "When we extended the defense it helped a great deal."

Washington also talked to her team at halftime about rebounding, and the Jayhawks finished with a 41-33 advantage on the glass. Freshman center Crystal Kemp led the way with 19 points and 11 rebounds.

KU led 45-38 after its second-half spurt, but was clinging to a 54-50 lead with four minutes to play. A&M sliced the deficit to 56-54 with two minutes to play, and a KU turnover gave the Aggies a chance to tie or take the lead. Natasha Summerville missed a three-pointer, however, and Nichelle Roberts grabbed the defensive rebound for Kansas.

Burras then went to work. The sophomore guard scored just before the shot clock expired with one minute to play and sank two free-throw attempts on KU's next possession.

A&M pulled within 60-57 on Sabrina Mitchell's three-pointer with 35 seconds left, but Burras and Kemp both hit two free throws on KU's final possessions to seal the victory.

"Down the stretch we did a much better job than we have in a lot of other games," said Washington, whose roster is dominated by freshmen and sophomores.

Kemp was 11-of-12 at the foul line, and the Jayhawks made 18 of 20 free throws compared to 5-of-7 shooting by the Aggies.

Freshman Tamara Ransburg added 11 points for KU.

Lynn Classen led Texas A&M with 13 points. Mitchell added 11, and Toccara Williams had 10 points and eight assists.

KU will play host to Nebraska at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday at Allen Fieldhouse.

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