Archive for Monday, March 30, 2009

KU women advance to WNIT semifinals for first time in school history

Jayhawks take road victory over New Mexico, 78-69

Kansas head coach Bonnie Henrickson hugs Katie Smith after defeating New Mexico 78-69 in the WNIT basketball game on Monday, March 30, 2009 in Rio Rancho, N.M. Henrickson signed a three-year extension with KU on Thursday.

Kansas head coach Bonnie Henrickson hugs Katie Smith after defeating New Mexico 78-69 in the WNIT basketball game on Monday, March 30, 2009 in Rio Rancho, N.M. Henrickson signed a three-year extension with KU on Thursday.

March 30, 2009


— Suddenly, the team that couldn’t win on the road is headed for the WNIT Final Four.

With only one victory in an unfriendly arena since Christmas, Kansas University went into a New Mexico snake pit on Monday night and stunned the Lobos, 78-69.

“It was a good, tough, gutsy win in a tough environment,” KU coach Bonnie Henrickson said.

An announced crowd of 5,620 — the largest to watch a WNIT game this month — often turned ugly, often booing the referees and throwing ice, small objects and trash on the floor afterward.

The heavily pro-New Mexico crowd in the Santa Ana Star Center was livid because Kansas went to the free-throw line a whopping 36 times, converting 26.

Henrickson, of course, had a different slant on the Jayhawks’ three dozen trips to the foul line.

“Credit the kids for getting there that much and being aggressive,” Henrickson said.

By winning its third straight tourney game — and for the eighth time in the last 10 games — Kansas (21-13) earned a berth in the WNIT semifinals.

KU will meet Illinois State (27-7) at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Allen Fieldhouse.

The other Wednesday semi will send South Florida (25-10) to Boston College (23-11). The championship game will be at 1 p.m. Saturday at the site of one of the two Wednesday victors.

Kansas was led, as usual, by Danielle McCray, who recorded game highs in points (32) and rebounds (9).

“McCray is in a different class,” UNM coach Don Flanagan said. “We tried everyone on her except Val (Kast), and it didn’t even slow her down much.”

McCray, a 5-foot-11 junior, said she was motivated by the large, raucous crowd.

“I like the pressure,” she said. “And I like being under pressure. I knew it was loud, and the only way to make the fans be quiet was to knock down a shot.”

Three teammates scored in double figures, too.

Freshman Aishah Sutherland matched her career high with 15 points, Sade Morris added 14 and Krysten Boogaard 11.

Sutherland and Boogaard snatched seven rebounds apiece as KU forged a 39-33 advantage on the boards.

“Krysten gave us great one-on-one stuff inside,” Henrickson said, “and Aishah did as well.”

In addition to its steady parade to the foul stripe, Kansas shot 49 percent from the floor (24 of 49).

“I think we scored or got fouled every time against their 2-3 zone,” Henrickson said.

Kansas sprinted to its largest lead (41-31) early in the second half, but the Lobos battled back, four times closing within two points — the last time (66-64) with about six minutes remaining.

New Mexico stumbled the rest of the way, however, missing six of its last eight shots and turning the ball over three times. Overall, the Lobos wound up shooting just 35 percent (22-63), but were able to hang with the Jayhawks by nailing 21 of 24 free-throw attempts.

The three-woman officiating crew whistled 45 fouls — 26 against New Mexico and 19 against the Jayhawks — that led to the 50 free-throw attempts.

When it was all over, Kansas was the team that survived and advanced.

“Everyone deserves to win this time of year,” Henrickson said, “and it comes down to who’s determined to win.”


bkreed1960 8 years, 8 months ago

Way to go, Jayhawks!!!! This is a real step up for the women's program.

kusp8 8 years, 8 months ago

LJW Staff where will the next game be?

Cathy Thrasher 8 years, 8 months ago

Way to go Women!!!. Won an away game on a hostile court. Hope this gets the team a front page mention and an article on page 1 of the sports page. This is big news for the women's program. Since game not on TV, followed it on game tracker.

bkreed1960 8 years, 8 months ago

According to, the next game is here against Illinois State on Wed., April 1st at 7 pm.

BallHawk 8 years, 8 months ago

Way to play Lady Jayhawks! So proud of your effort! Can't wait to Rock Chalk in the Fieldhouse on Wednesday!!!

kusp8 8 years, 8 months ago

It'll be interesting to see if KU sends out an e-mail to the students and if they do any sort of enticement in getting people to the game.

tlcinks 8 years, 8 months ago

Congratulations to Coach Hendrickson and the Jayhawks! I wish I could go to the game. I hope they have a radio broadcast.

dkbrown2006 8 years, 8 months ago

Rock Chalk lady Hawks!!! Congrats and keep up the tradition.

dragonwagon2 8 years, 8 months ago

Way to GO lady Jayhawks! I'll be there Wednesday and will bring several friends. If we all do that - we'll have a crowd that can help win this game!

Shame on New Mexico for their fan antics. We could hear constant booing over the radio.... thowing things onto the floor - OMG - grow up! Mind your manners.

Go Jayhawks!

Staci Dark Simpson 8 years, 8 months ago

Great job Lady Jayhawks! So proud of you guys! Way to step up your game.

Maddy Griffin 8 years, 8 months ago

Go Lady Jayhawks!! We're so proud of you!! Maybe now this team will get the kind of press it deserves.

schula 8 years, 8 months ago

Let's fill the field house on Wednesday night! And show everyone we are much classier then the New Mexico fans. Way to go Lady Jayhawks!

vdakes 8 years, 8 months ago

I would like to gradulate the Jawhawks on winning a tough game. I was at the game as a life long Lobo fan. I am proud of the the Lady Lobos and what they achieved this season.
I would also like to apologize for the actions a small number of individuals who do not represent the real fans of Lobo Basketball. It was embarrassing as a Lobo fan.

Good luck the rest into the rest of the WNIT.

LiberalDude 8 years, 8 months ago

Wow, winning at New Mexico is a huge accomplishment. They can like 10,000 fans at their games and their team is really good, too. Well done Jayhawks! I'll be there to support you on Wednesday night!

truman1902 8 years, 8 months ago

So good to see Coach Bonnie with a smile on her face, given the dismal start having lost Ms. Goodrich to injury..The entire team seems to have peaked at the right time..Let's rock the fieldhouse and give these women the PHOG treatment they deserve...Ms. Sutherland is gonna be awesome ..Congrats Coach Bonnie!.

rgh 8 years, 8 months ago


What is up with all the negative toward KU and the Journal?

The students know about the games, trust me, my daugther attends KU and they are well informed.

Great job Lady Hawks! There have too many negative postings the past few weeks about not going to the NCAA, getting rid of Bonnie, etc., etc. NIT or not, this is great and Bonnie is getting program headed in the right direction regardless of what some of you think.

Good luck Wednesday!

Armen Kurdian 8 years, 8 months ago

I'm surprised we don't have the obligatory, "Who cares about women's sports," comment here. Seems weird. Didn't expect the women to playing longer than the men this year, but hey, that's terrific for them! One of my biggest regrets after graduating was not attending more women's hoops games. I always seemed to come up w/an excuse why I couldn't go.

kusp8 8 years, 8 months ago

Initially the article didn't say where the next game would be. I'd love for a large student contingent to be there, it sure would be a nice change for a team that is the face for the lack of respect for women's sports in college.

shadowbox66044 8 years, 8 months ago

KU will meet Illinois State (27-7) at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Allen Fieldhouse.

MIke Mallory 8 years, 8 months ago

lets fill the fieldhouse, rock chalk lady jayhawks, bonnie ball is here to stay, great job ladies,

LLobo_fan 8 years, 8 months ago

Congrats to the Jayhawks! We believe the officiating was execrable, but without a doubt the better team won. Hope to meet you again in the NCAAs, WNIT or even pre-season. In any case, if you play here in New Mexico, I can promise you it won't happen in an empty arena!

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