The Kansas Lady Jayhawks, coming off their 79-63 dismantling of Yale to close out the New Year, were in hopes of doing more of the same in their 2014 conference opener versus West Virginia at Phog Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence.
Kansas took a 28-27 lead into halftime after Dakota Gonzalez capped off a neck and neck first half with a layup with three seconds remaining.
The second half continued to produce the same vigorous battle from both sides before the Lady Mountaineers began to pull away from Kansas with six minutes remaining in the contest. An Asia Boyd made free-throw with 11:45 remaining was the last points scored for Kansas before they began an eight minute cold streak that produces zero points and six turnovers. Freshman G Keyla Morgan finally cauterized the bleeding with 3:45 remaining as she drained a three-point shot on an Asia Boyd assist.
Kansas was never able to recover from their ice cold stretch and ultimately lost the game 65-55.
Both squads shot sub-par from beyond the arc, going for a combined 10 for 37 (27%) shooting from three-point territory (KU 6-20, WVU 4-17). Alongside their dismal shooting performance, foul trouble and turnovers also cost the Lady Jayhawks their first conference victory. Kansas G Charlicia Harper led the turnover column with seven total while also matching with seven assists. The Lady Jayhawks doubled West Virginia’s foul count as well (KU-21, WVU-10).
Junior F Chelsea Gardner, who had an explosive performance against Yale finishing with 26 points on 8-11 shooting, only managed to contribute ten points in last night’s loss. Natalie Knight was the KU high scorer, finishing with a game-high 15 points.
G Christa Caldwell and C Asya Bussie led the way for the Lady Mountaineers. Caldwell scored a team-high 14 points while Bussie followed close behind with a 13 point performance.
Despite turning the ball over 19 times and going on an eight minute cold streak, something must be left to be said about the Lady Jayhawks this season as they move to a 7-6 overall record on the season. Cutting back on small mistakes could go a long way for Kansas as they plunge into the Big-12 conference schedule.
Kansas will have a handful come January 5 when the take on #9 Baylor at 3 PM EST on the road in Waco.