Jayhawks Survive Late Surge to Win 76-64 in Season Opener
Nov. 13, 2011
LAWRENCE, Kan.-- Junior guard Angel Goodrich scored nine of Kansas' first 16 points to help the Jayhawks overcome a close first half as the Kansas women's basketball team won its 2011-12 regular-season opener when the Jayhawks defeated Western Michigan, 76-64, Sunday afternoon in Allen Fieldhouse.
Goodrich, who finished the game with 13 points, seven assists, five steals and three rebounds, was one of five Jayhawks in double-digits. The Jayhawks were led in scoring by junior guard Monica Engelman, who scored 17 points off 5-of-10 shooting.
Kansas (1-0) was without standout power forward Carolyn Davis, who sat out for the first time since the 2009-10 season, with a stress fracture in her right foot. Davis' replacement, junior Tania Jackson, recorded a career-high 16 points to go along with 10 boards for her second career double-double.
Freshman Bunny Williams, a Duncanville, Texas native, scored six points, including 4-of-6 from the free throw line, and grabbed three rebounds in her debut. Fellow freshman Natalie Knight contributed eight points--highlighted by a clutch three-pointer in the final minutes--six boards and two steals in 30 minutes in her first start for the Jayhawks.
Both teams came out firing in the second half as Kansas led 40-31 at the first media break. Kansas pushed the ball, scoring six fast break points in the first five minutes, with Goodrich and Jackson contributing the Jayhawks' first eight points of the second half.
Western Michigan called timeout with 14:33 left in the second half after Kansas pushed its lead to 13, the biggest lead of the game for either team. The Broncos pulled within five points after a three pointer from A.J. Johnson and a free throw from Corie Buchanan. Kansas responded with a put back from Sutherland after a Jackson miss to make the score 60-43 Jayhawks with 4:16 left in the game.
Less than a minute later, Miame Giden completed an old-fashioned three-point play to pull the Broncos within four with 3:41 remaining.
Following a free throw from Jackson, Western Michigan responded with a free throw of its own before Jazmine Windham stole the Kansas inbound pass for a layup to bring the Broncos within three.
Knight knocked down a critical three-pointer from the corner three possessions later to push the Kansas lead back to six with 1:40 remaining in the game. Knight, Engelman, Jackson and Sutherland each hit two free throws inside the final minute to help the Jayhawks preserve the victory.
In the first half, Western Michigan forced the issue early to increase its lead to 7-2 after Goodrich hit two free throws with 16:52 to play in the half. Goodrich continued to have the hot hand in the opening minutes knocking down a three from the top of the key to even the score at 7-7 after hitting a jumper from the elbow on the previous possession.
Senior forward Aishah Suthlerand hit a turn-around jumper to put the Jayhawks up by four at the 4:14 mark. Two possessions later, Knight forced a turnover from Western Michigan's Johnson right in front of the Kansas bench. The steal led to a high-low feed two plays later from Sutherland to Jackson that improved the Kansas lead to 26-20 with 2:44 to play. Kansas finished the half on an 11-2 run to head into the locker room up by 11, 31-20.
The Broncos used a balanced attack to hang close with KU through the first half as seven players contributed to Western Michigan's 20 first-half points. Marquisha Harris and Maria Iaquaniello led the Broncos at the half with four points each. Kansas was led by its point guard, Goodrich, who finished the first 20 minutes with nine points and three boards.
Kansas will be back in action Wednesday, Nov. 16, when the Jayhawks host the Creighton Bluejays at 8 p.m. in Allen Fieldhouse.