Women’s basketball ends season with loss to Kansas in inaugural Big 12 Tournament


Kansas opened the second half on an 13-6 run and never looked back, ousting the Frogs in the first round of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Women's Basketball Championship. 

The two regular season contests between these sides were decided by a mere 8 points, but Kansas's offensive production overwhelmed TCU's zone defense and gave the Jayhawks the 83-61 victory.

Chelsea Gardner, Carolyn Davis, Angel Goodrich, Markisha Hawkins and Asia Boyd all scored in double digits for the Jayhawks, with Hawkins and Boyd's production coming from the bench.

"They got a lot of production from a lot of people and were able to really give us problems," TCU coach Jeff Mittie said. "We've had trouble stopping them all three times we played them. We've had better offense than we had tonight, which kept us in those games and gave us some opportunities, but tonight we did not play very well at either end."

Gardner and Goodrich, who shot a combined 8-of-40 from the field in the first two meetings according to Kansas coach Bonnie Henrickson, shot 11-of-19 inside American Airlines Center.

Gardner, a product from nearby DeSoto High School, said she had extra excitement and motivation playing so close to home after scoring 11 points and collecting a career-high 19 rebounds.

"Gardner, who did not play very well on Tuesday night, had a monster game tonight," Mittie said. "They got a lot of production from a lot of people tonight."

TCU shot blocker Latricia Lovings could not contain the Jayhawks, who scored 44 points in the paint, away from the basket.

"Playing them previously, we've known that we have to push them around and play them hard on defense," Lovings said. "We didn't play as a team, we didn't lock down on defense like we were supposed to."

TCU could not find its rhythm offensively. Mittie thought the team had made progress in terms of their shot selection, but the ball did not fall for the Frogs this evening.

"They'd averaged 28 points in the first half in league play and almost 43 against us in our first two games," Henrickson said. "I thought defensively we were so much better than we had been."

After six straight points from Boyd at the twelve minute mark to push the Kansas lead to 20 points, TCU tried to battle back with a Natalie Ventress layup after Lovings dove over the baseline to save the ball from landing out of bounds, making the Kansas lead 62-46 with 10 minutes to play.

Kansas proceeded to turn the ball over next possession, and freshman Zahna Medley took advantage by converting a layup after drawing a foul, trimming the deficit to 13 points. 

After that, it was all Rock Chalk. Markisha Hawkins and Davis scored the next 10 Kansas points. Goodrich hit a 3-pointer and a layup to expand the lead to 24 points in the closing minutes.

Goodrich picked a great day to record her first no-turnover performance of the season.

"I thought her poise, control and decision making certainly was fantastic," Henrickson said.

Kansas (18-12, 8-10 Big 12) now face the 2-seed, Iowa State, Saturday afternoon in Dallas. TCU finishes the season with only 2 conference wins, but should return all but two players (seniors Delisa Gross and Whitney Williams) next season.