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Archive for Sunday, February 21, 2010

Freshmen provide spark for KU women

Texans Davis, Engelman return to home state today to take on Texas Tech in must win

February 21, 2010

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Bonnie Henrickson stressed she wouldn’t try to reinvent the wheel, and Kansas University’s women’s basketball coach has been true to her word.

In the wake of knee injuries to starters Angel Goodrich and Danielle McCray, Henrickson simply has added a couple of new spokes to that wheel in freshmen Carolyn Davis and Monica Engelman.

Now the two Texans — Davis from Houston and Engelman from San Antonio — will be returning to their home state for today’s game against Texas Tech.

Tipoff will be at 5 p.m. at the United Spirit Arena. ESPNU (Sunflower Broadband channels 141, 232) will carry a live telecast.

Davis has recorded double-doubles in four of the last six games. In the last four, the 6-foot-3 post player has averaged 22.0 points, 11.0 rebounds and 3.8 blocks.

Meanwhile, Engelman has evolved into KU’s best outside shooter with McCray on the shelf for the remainder of the season. The 5-11 guard has scored in double figures the last four games.

Davis, who made all 10 of her shots in Tuesday’s 79-72 win at Colorado, should be a handful for the Red Raiders because 6-3 Kierra Mallard, Tech’s best inside player, is on indefinite suspension.

“We anticipate them trying to double her,” Henrickson said of Davis, “so we need to find her early.”

Davis’ catch-and-shoot ability inside, coupled with Engelman’s outside touch, have helped salve the loss of Goodrich and McCray.

“They didn’t have a lot of confidence early,” Henrickson said of the pair, “but it’s 101 practices that have put them in position to produce.”

Texas Tech (15-10 overall, 3-8 Big 12) is the last unranked team on KU’s schedule, so a win today is a must if the Jayhawks are to earn a berth in the NCAA Tournament.

“That’s a fact. That’s the way it is,” Henrickson said. “We haven’t shied away from saying that.”

Kansas has dropped 10 straight to the Red Raiders, including last season’s 58-47 loss in Lawrence. Moreover, KU hasn’t won in Lubbock since the formation of the Big 12.

KU's lone win in Lubbock was the first meeting between the two schools way back in 1978.

Notes

• It’s Tech’s breast-cancer awareness game, so the Jayhawks will be wearing pink uniforms.

• KU is No. 25 in the latest RPI ratings published by the NCAA.

• The Jayhawks’ remaining games are against Iowa State and Texas A&M (home), and Baylor and Nebraska (road).

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