Mar 24, 2012; Des Moines, IA, USA; Kansas Jayhawks guard Angel Goodrich (3) dribbles past Tennessee Lady Volunteers guard Briana Bass (1) during the first half of the semifinals of the Iowa region in the 2012 NCAA women

Tennessee defeates Kansas 84-73

The Kansas Jayhawks women’s team is out of the Women’s NCAA Tournament after a 84-73 loss at the hands of the favored squad; the Tennessee Volunteers. The Jayhawks had a better field goal percentage, but they were thoroughly outscored from the foul line (21-24 on FTs for the Vols). Meanwhile, Tennessee out-rebounded Kansas 41-32, but the scoreboard did flatter them.

“If you want to be developed as a player, you have a responsibility on your part to come in and be a sponge and be silly putty, so to speak. I don’t know that I’ve been around a group of freshmen that has embraced this as much as these guys,” said Bonnie Henrickson with regards to the freshmen.

 

The Jayhawks had a successful 21-13 season, but it always hurts to get knocked out, especially when the team that loses shoots better than the winning team. Kansas played Tennessee tough, and that’s something to be proud of given the talent that the Volunteers possess. It’s too bad that the team’s best run since the  1998 season came to an end in the Sweet 16, but we have to cherish what this team has done this season.

It all starts with Angel Goodrich, who led the way with a game-high 23 points and played in every single minute of the game; now that’s called dedication from the guard. Goodrich also had five rebounds and six assists, and it offset the five turnovers with a stat line that looked like something Tyshawn Taylor would put up.

11 seeded Kansas had a great tournament run, but there was no way that they were going to take down the No. 2 seeded Volunteers. It’s extremely difficult to get a No. 11 seed into the Sweet 16 in the women’s tournament, because there are less upsets than in the men’s bracket. So yeah, what the Jayhawks have done is pretty incredible.

Despite the gaudy statistics, I thought that forward Chelsea Gardner was definitely the best player on the night. She added two blocks and a steal and went 7-9 from the floor in a brutally efficient game for Kansas. Gardner went 14-10 for her second double-double of her career, and both game in this year’s NCAA Tournament; now that’s called crunch-time rebounding. In fact, she was one point away from matching her career high in a tourney game that transpired last week against Nebraska.

Here’s what is depressing, the Kansas Jayhawks were winning 35-30 at the half, and then were outscored by 16 in the second half and allowed 54 points. Kansas had this game, but the Volunteers took control after hitting some open threes and controlling the flow of the game in the second half. Meighan Simmons led the way with 22 points, while PF Glory Johnson also played in all 40 minutes (but for the Lady Vols) and finished with 18 points and 7 rebounds.

Stat to Note: Senior Aishah Sutherland finished her terrific career with KU with the fourth most appearances in school history and had 19 points and eight boards in the loss. She also has the 16th most points in Jayhawks history.

Quote of the Night: Bonnie Henrickson on Tennessee’s legendary coach Pat Summitt, “‘I’ve always had great respect for you, and I always will.’ It’s not just that she’s won all those games, which is amazing to me, it’s how she’s handled success and all of that -just who she is as a person and how she’s handled her situation. I wanted to make sure I told her when I got a chance.”

Tags: Aishah Sutherland Angel Goodrich Bonnie Henrickson Chelsea Gardner Glory Johnson Kansas Jayhawks Women's Basketball Meighan Simmons Nebraska Pat Summitt Sweet 16 Tennessee Volunteers Tyshawn Taylor Women's NCAA Tournament

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