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Archive for Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Slumping KU women’s team returns home

January 27, 2010

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Bonnie Henrickson isn’t ready to push the panic button and probably never will be.

“That’s not going to do any good,” said Henrickson, coach of Kansas University’s struggling Kansas University women’s basketball team.

Losers of five of their last six games after a 10-1 start, the Jayhawks will play host to Colorado today.

Tipoff will be at 7 p.m. in Allen Fieldhouse. Metro Sports (Sunflower Broadband 37) will carry a live telecast. It’s a Dollar Day promotion with tickets and concessions going for $1.

Henrickson plans no changes in the starting lineup, although one starter — point guard LaChelda Jacobs — is skating on thin ice because of recent spotty performances since being called on to replace injured and out-for-the season Angel Goodrich in the last three outings.

Jacobs, a 5-foot-10 senior, opened in Saturday’s 81-69 loss at Oklahoma, but Henrickson used Sade Morris at the point during the bulk of the second half, and inserted freshman Monica Engelman to replace Morris at a wing slot.

Will Henrickson opt for that strategy again?

“If we don’t get any more production out of LaChelda,” the KU coach said. “But it wasn’t her offense (at Oklahoma). It was more of a defensive thing.”

In fact, the 81 points surrendered to the Sooners were a season-high.

“We need LaChelda to be who she needs to be on both ends of the floor,” Henrickson said.

Kansas also needs Danielle McCray to emerge from her shooting slump. The Jayhawks’ preseason All-American has been in a funk, particularly on the road.

In late December, McCray sparked the Jayhawks to an 89-69 win at Houston by making 17-of-22 shots and scoring a career-high 37 points. But in KU’s four road games since — all losses — McCray has made only 26 percent of her shots (14 of 54).

McCray has been much better at home, hitting at a 42.8 percent clip in the two home games of the Jayhawks’ tailspin.

It’s no secret Henrickson’s team plays better in Allen Fieldhouse than it does on the road where the Jayhawks have dropped 17 of their last 18 Big 12 Conference games.

“We just need to play well,” Henrickson said. “There’s no guarantee because we’re at home.”

Colorado (12-6, 2-3 Big 12) has won only one of its five games in unfriendly arenas this season, but that lone victory was at Kansas State (63-57) where the Jayhawks were waxed, 59-35, a couple of weeks ago.

The Buffaloes feature All-Big 12 candidate Brittany Spears who averages 17.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.6 steals a game as well as super sub Bianca Smith who leads the conference in three-point goals.

Kansas (11-7, 1-4 Big 12) will go on the road again Saturday for a 5 p.m. clash with Missouri, KU’s lone victim this month.

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