No. 19 KU women pick up road win over Iowa, 66-55
Iowa City, Iowa ? Danielle McCray scored 20 points and No. 19 Kansas used a late 11-0 run to beat Iowa 66-55 on Wednesday night.
McCray missed nine of her first 10 shots and had only five points at the break. However, the 5-foot-11 senior made several key baskets in the second half and finished 8 for 19 from the field.
“Just calming down,” McCray said, explaining the turnaround. “I was going too fast at times. Coach did a good job at halftime of telling us to calm down and don’t rush our shots.”
All five starters scored in double figures for Kansas (2-0), with Aishah Sutherland finishing with 12 points, Krysten Boogaard 11, Sade Morris 10 and Angel Goodrich 10.
McCray averaged 21.6 points last season when she led the Big 12 Conference in scoring.
“It’s hard to limit a player like that,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. “She’s as good and talented a player as we’ll see all year, especially at the wing position. It’s hard to keep a player like that down.”
Trailing 54-51 with 7 minutes to go, Kansas scored 11 straight to gain control. McCray, who led the Big 12 Conference in scoring last season, hit a big 3-pointer during the run to put the Jayhawks up four. Goodrich followed with a pair of buckets.
“It’s one of those games you wish you could get those six minutes back and do it again,” Bluder said.
Kachine Alexander had 23 points and 17 rebounds to lead Iowa (2-1). The Hawkeyes were short-handed with four players currently sidelined with injuries. That left only nine players in uniform, with two juniors, three sophomores and three freshmen.
“I think we ran out of gas the last 6 minutes, but that’s what we’ve got,” Bluder said of the short bench. “We’ve got to fight through that.”
Kansas coach Bonnie Henrickson thought her team did a good job of executing its offense during the pivotal 11-0 spurt to take control. Prior to that, she thought the Jayhawks were too passive against Iowa’s zone and man-to-man defenses.
“We kind of stood around and watched,” Henrickson said. “We weren’t ready.”
Henrickson served as an assistant coach at Iowa for two years in the mid-1990s and helped the Hawkeyes win a pair of Big Ten titles. She said she was proud to come back to Carver-Hawkeye Arena with the Jayhawks.
“Proud to bring a good team in here and be competitive,” she said. “Good memories. It’s hard to believe it’s been 12 years.”
Kansas jumped to a quick 11-0 lead and appeared headed for a blowout. The Hawkeyes missed their first eight shots, including five 3-pointers. However, Alexander scored five quick points and Iowa rallied to tie the game at 13.
“When you’re down a whole lot, it always takes a lot to get back,” Alexander said. “I don’t know if it took a lot out of us, but we fought back.”