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Archive for Saturday, January 7, 2006

NU, not ranking, on KU’s mind

January 7, 2006

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Bonnie Henrickson isn't worried about little numbers next to her team's name.

She said her Kansas University women's basketball players shouldn't be, either.

But after a 12-0 start and a victory Tuesday over No. 23 Texas, a victory today over Nebraska likely would earn KU its first national ranking in more than five seasons.

The Jayhawks, in their first road test of the season, will meet the Huskers at 7 tonight in the Devaney Center.

"We can't get caught up in that, because none of that matters," Henrickson said of the rankings.

In only her second season, Henrickson has produced results, setting a school record with 12 straight victories.

Henrickson said her squad - led by seniors Crystal Kemp, Erica Hallman and Kaylee Brown - was prepared for a road challenge.

"The crowd isn't going to hurt us at Lincoln," Henrickson said. "Now, will it help Nebraska? Sure it will. We've got to make sure that we're solid and better than we've been all year. I'm anxious to see how our kids do."

The Texas victory added to the buzz surrounding the Jayhawks after their undefeated start. A victory over Nebraska would also be a huge reward in the standings. In the preseason poll, Nebraska was the highest-ranked team in the Big 12 North, with Kansas right behind.

"It has a lot of ramifications if you look at it that way," Henrickson said, "but the most important thing is that it's a chance at a quality win."

Nebraska has won seven straight games, beginning conference play with a convincing 80-62 victory at Colorado.

The Huskers are led by 5-foot-6 guard Kiera Hardy, who is the leading returning scorer in the conference. The junior averages 17.6 points per game and was a preseason first-team Big 12 selection.

Kansas freshman point guard Ivana Catic said she was looking forward to her first road contest.

"It will definitely be something different," Catic said. "The game is not the same as when you play at home."

Meanwhile, Henrickson said her team would focus on future outcomes, not past successes.

"I told the kids, 'If what you did yesterday still looks good, you haven't done much today,'" Henrickson said. "We've still got to get better."

KU's next game also is on the road - Tuesday at Colorado.

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