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Archive for Sunday, February 17, 2008

KU women counting on home help

February 17, 2008

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Put Kansas University's women's basketball players in white and they're all right. Put them in blue, however, and : whew.

KU has won all but two of its 13 games wearing home whites and dropped all but two games while donning road blues.

"Certainly, we've shown more poise and composure at home," coach Bonnie Henrickson said. "We're all at a loss why we're so different home and away."

The Jayhawks will be home today against Nebraska, but they won't be in their customary whites. They'll don pink togs with blue trim as part of a "Think Pink" initiative to raise breast cancer awareness. Meanwhile, NU will be wearing white with pink trim.

Tipoff will be at 2 p.m. in Allen Fieldhouse. Sunflower Broadband channel 6 will carry a live telecast.

Typical of the Jayhawks' home-road disparity this season was their series against Colorado. Late last month in Boulder, Colo., the Buffaloes romped to a 59-41 victory. Yet on Wednesday night in Allen Fieldhouse, KU posted a 70-59 triumph.

Looking at it another way, KU allowed the Buffs 59 points in each meeting, but scored 29 more points here than it did in the Flatirons.

Now the question is: Can Kansas pull off a similar flip-flop against the Cornhuskers today?

Back on Jan. 12 at the Devaney Center in Lincoln, Neb., the Huskers were never in trouble in racing to a 71-51 victory. NU forced 24 Kansas turnovers and converted KU 21 fouls into 32 trips to the free-throw line.

Of those 32 charity attempts, the Huskers cashed an eye-popping 30. That's right. NU missed just two free throws, and they're a middle-of-the-pack team in Big 12 free-throw-shooting stats.

"That was pretty amazing," Henrickson said.

Amazing may be too strong an adjective to describe the Jayhawks' last three outings, but there's no doubt the Jayhawks are in a mini-surge, winning two of their last three and playing nationally ranked Kansas State close to the wire in Manhattan.

No doubt the improvement of Krysten Boogaard has been a contributing factor. During those three games, Boogaard has averaged 18.7 points and 11.3 rebounds. Five weeks ago in Lincoln, Boogaard was in early foul trouble, played 20 minutes, didn't score and gathered only four boards.

"I'm proud of her," Henrickson said of the rangy Canadian's improvement. "She's committed to doing the little things so important to avoiding foul trouble."

Boogaard logged a season-high 36 minutes on the floor against Colorado.

KU's next two games will be on the road - Wednesday at Texas Tech and a week from today at Missouri.

Notes: The first 5,000 fans will receive a pink T-shirt courtesy of Lawrence Memorial Hospital, and Henrickson is urging they be worn during the game. : In Big 12 games, KU is averaging 58.8 points at home and 47.2 on the road. :Nebraska is unbeaten on the road against the Big 12 North, with victories at Iowa State, Missouri and Colorado. : Nebraska has won 17 of the last 21 meetings with Kansas, including the last five.

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