Archive for Saturday, January 24, 2004

Jayhawks, Tigers to tangle today

Washington not worried about fallout from fracas

January 24, 2004

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Instead of celebrating its biggest victory of the season Jan. 10 in Columbia, Mo., Kansas University's women's basketball team spent the ensuing moments after the game scuffling with Missouri players at midcourt.

The results of the fracas that followed KU's 55-52 victory were that five players -- KU starters Larisha Graves, Tamara Ransburg and reserve Kandis Bonner; and MU reserves MyEsha Perkins and Christelle N'Garsanet -- were suspended for one game each for "engaging in flagrant misconduct and not showing proper restraint."

The rivals will meet again at 3:05 p.m. today in Allen Fieldhouse. The game will be broadcast on Sunflower Broadband Channel 51.

While Kansas coach Marian Washington said the Border War should be as intense as always, she didn't expect any extra emotions because of what transpired after the teams' first meeting.

"Whether you read about something that happened or whatever, I think you want to keep reminding everybody -- yourself as well -- that you just have to turn a deaf ear to it," Washington said. "We haven't focused on it after the incident. Our players are mature, they understand. I don't have any concerns whatsoever."

Well maybe just one.

Kansas (8-8 overall, 1-4 Big 12) hasn't won since it knocked off Missouri (9-6, 0-4). The Jayhawks have endured a tough start in the league, facing four nationally ranked opponents in its first five games.

"Our schedule ... wow," Washington said. "When you have to face four out of your first five games nationally ranked teams, you don't really have a chance to get any steam going.

"We'd like to try to get back on the winning side (today), but we're going to have to earn it because they are a fine ball club."

Kansas has played relatively well in two of its last four halves, however, the Jayhawks easily were blown out by both 10th-ranked Kansas State and No. 19 Baylor.

The Jayhawks only were outscored 27-24 by a Wildcat team that struggled to score late in a 79-50 win against KU last weekend, and Kansas led Baylor 40-37 at halftime before a late Bear stretch sealed an 85-66 win.

While neither team will be without players today because of the incident between the two schools, Big 12 conference officials announced Friday a public reprimand of Missouri senior forward Evan Unrau, who leads the Tigers with 17.5 points per game.

In its initial consideration of the case, the conference decided to publicly reprimand Unrau for her failure to show appropriate verbal restraint in the postgame altercation.

Missouri appealed the decision, however, and the Conference Appeal Board voted Friday during a hearing on the matter to deny Missouri's appeal.

Kansas forward Blair Waltz, a high school teammate of Missouri's Tracy Lozier, said the only thing she expects from the Tigers this time around is a hard fought battle.

"It is unfortunate, but you know what? We're athletes," Waltz said. "We're competitive athletes and we're going to go every game and play hard. We're just going to bring it tomorrow."

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