Talk about good timing.
In search of a victory to snap its five-game conference losing skid, the Kansas University women’s basketball team will welcome the one Big 12 opponent it has managed to beat this season to Allen Fieldhouse at 7 tonight, when the Jayhawks play host to Colorado.
CU enters tonight’s contest at 11-9 overall and 2-5 in the Big 12. The Buffs come in at 0-5 on the road, including 0-3 in league road games. The last time these two met, Jan. 12 in Boulder, Colo., a balanced KU attack led the Jayhawks (14-7, 1-6) to a 68-58 victory. Junior forward Aishah Sutherland scored 15 points to lead Kansas, while sophomores Carolyn Davis (12) and Monica Engelman (11) also functioned as offensive threats. Freshman Keena Mays and senior Krysten Boogaard just missed reaching double figures, scoring nine and eight, respectively.
At this point in the season, however, it’s not about balanced scoring, winning the battle on the boards or taking away an opponent’s top scoring threat. Instead, it’s about effort, something KU coach Bonnie Henrickson praised one of her less-heralded starters for after last Saturday’s loss at Kansas State. Despite scoring just five points in 36 minutes, senior guard Marisha Brown was the first player Henrickson complimented during the postgame meeting with the media.
“It’s been a long time since I had a kid play that hard and do her job and embrace her role,” Henrickson said of Brown. “We need more, obviously.”
In that 65-60 loss to K-State, Davis, KU’s leading scorer, was limited to just nine points and one rebound in 19 minutes, as foul trouble forced her to sit on the bench for the final 15 minutes of the first half. Although Davis’ absence was tough for Kansas to overcome, the sophomore forward said the Jayhawks needed to focus on getting everyone on the same page if they want to snap out of their funk.
“That’s what we always stress,” Davis said. “That we need everyone on this team.”
The Jayhawks and Buffaloes will be meeting for the final time as members of the same conference. Beginning next season, Colorado will compete in the expanded Pac-12. The all-time series is tied at 33.
KU is 10-3 at home this season, but 0-3 at home in Big 12 play.