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Archive for Monday, November 2, 2009

A good start

Sutherland, Goodrich carry KU

KU's Danielle McCray (4) battles for a rebound during the first half of the game against Pitt State on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2009, at Allen Fieldhouse.

KU's Danielle McCray (4) battles for a rebound during the first half of the game against Pitt State on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2009, at Allen Fieldhouse.

November 2, 2009

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KU women top Pittsburg State in exhibition opener

The 2009-2010 Kansas women's basketball season — at least the exhibition portion — got under way Sunday against NCAA Division II foe Pittsburg State. Enlarge video

Danielle McCray is Danielle McCray, but the Big 12 preseason women’s basketball player of the year was on the back burner Sunday afternoon.

“It bodes well for us,” Kansas University coach Bonnie Henrickson said, “when you have Danielle McCray, and she’s not the most impressive player in the gym.”

Two Jayhawks making their first starts — Aishah Sutherland and Angel Goodrich — stole the show as KU punctured Pittsburg State, 86-56, in an exhibition game in Allen Fieldhouse.

At this time a year ago, Goodrich was on the shelf because of a knee injury, and Sutherland was so far down the bench she was nearly in another zip code.

The 6-foot-2 Sutherland, who evolved into KU’s best bench player late last season, earned her first start and paced the Jayhawks with 20 points and 10 rebounds.

“She has just outplayed everybody at her position,” Henrickson said when asked why she had started Sutherland. “She has started where she finished last year.”

What a difference a year has made for the 6-foot-2 sophomore from Perris, Calif.

“Last year I wasn’t as confident,” she said. “I was messing up on and off the court.”

Henrickson told Sutherland at mid-week she had earned her first opening bell after coming off the bench 29 times as a freshman.

“I expected it,” Sutherland said, “because I was doing good in practice.”

Goodrich expected to start, too, even if it was a year late for the talented point guard from Tahlequah, Okla.

“I was very nervous,” Goodrich said. “Actually, I’ve been nervous all week.”

That Goodrich had the jitters caught at least one of her teammates by surprise.

“She doesn’t show it at all,” McCray said. “She has that straight face all the time.”

Goodrich logged 18 minutes and contributed 10 assists, many of them thanks to finishes by Sutherland and McCray off fast breaks.

“I thought she did good,” McCray said. “That’s just talent. She was born with the ability to see the floor.”

Added Sutherland: “She’s the best passer I’ve ever played with. As long as I’m running, I know she’ll get me the ball.”

Notably, however, Goodrich attempted only two shots, missed both and didn’t score a point. Then again, Henrickson said she hasn’t installed many plays designed to free Goodrich to score.

“Right now, we don’t have a lot in for her,” the KU coach said. “We will put in more, but I didn’t want to overload her.”

Meanwhile, although playing third fiddle to Sutherland and Goodrich, McCray was solid with 18 points, five assists and three steals.

Also impressive was Nicollette Smith, who had lost her starting job to Sutherland. The 6-2 junior from Tulsa, Okla., contributed 12 points and eight rebounds off the bench.

Krysten Boogaard, the other starter inside, had 13 points and two boards. Thus, KU’s three top post players combined for 45 points and 20 boards.

Other than Goodrich, none of the other newcomers produced moments to remember. Freshman Monica Engelman saw the most time, logging 16 minutes, but missed six of seven shots.

Junior-college transfer Rhea Codio played 10 minutes at point guard with two assists and two turnovers.

“Rhea struggled a bit, but she’ll be fine,” Henrickson said.

Lawrence High product Tania Jackson logged three minutes in mop-up time and had three rebounds while hitting one of two free throws.

Jackson, like Goodrich, had missed all of last season because of a knee injury, so it was her first floor time since the 2008 Class 6A state championship game, when she was a junior.

Comments

Bill Lee 4 years, 5 months ago

I would have been happy with a final score yesterday, but the J-W had NOTHING online until this morning. Maybe they don't have anyone working on Sunday.

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youngjayhawk 4 years, 5 months ago

The next KU Women's game is Sunday at 2PM. In fact, there's a home game every Sunday in November (except November 29) - all at 2PM. The games are great fun to watch and the atmosphere rich in KU tradition! The updates to the fieldhouse are awesome! Come out ... enjoy and support the Lady Jays! Rock Chalk - Go KU!

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nbnozzy 4 years, 5 months ago

I had no idea they played yesterday because I saw nothing saying they were. I enjoy going to the womens games because its no where near crowded like the mens. Prices are better and I think the women try harder.

But its my fault for missing it. I should have looked at the schedule from the KU website. I will be there to support the women at the next game.

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Sharon Roullins 4 years, 5 months ago

I was at the game yesterday and it was not the turnout that the lady Jayhawks deserved. I was very disappointed that there was not even a hint of a score last night online. I have to agree with the first poster, the men will get more coverage on their first game. Not picking sides, but the lady Jayhawks have earned their place and now it is time that they get equal coverage and support. I will be there to support them every chance I get. The way they played yesterday, they could have easily gotten 100 points.

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edjayhawk 4 years, 5 months ago

I"m not sure what you mean. The JW has given them much more coverage because of their potential this year.

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Bill Lee 4 years, 5 months ago

I'll bet it won't take as long for a story about the men's first exhibition game to be posted as it did for this story. The KU women are nationally ranked, but locally ignored. J-W, wake up!

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