Goodrich and co. propel women’s basketball to victory over Oklahoma

Senior leadership carried the Kansas women’s basketball team to an 81-71 victory over No.22 ranked Oklahoma at Allen Fieldhouse on Sunday.

Tara Bryant/KANSAN Sophomore guard Chelsea Gardner pushes her way past an Oklahoma defender to get a look at the basket late in the second half of Sunday's game.

Tara Bryant/KANSAN
Sophomore guard Chelsea Gardner pushes her way past an Oklahoma defender to get a look at the basket late in the second half of Sunday’s game.

The three seniors, Angel Goodrich, Monica Engelman, and Carolyn Davis, combined for 62 of the Jayhawks’ 81 points, and it was the second consecutive game in which Engelman has scored over 20 points.

It has become a theme that in each of Kansas’ most recent wins, going back to the victory over Iowa State, the seniors have acted as leaders and played like veterans.

“There’s poise and composure,” Kansas coach Bonnie Henrickson said. “There’s a sense of calm, not without a heartbeat, but their huddles are tighter, their voices are louder.”

As Henrickson said, when Oklahoma made a second half run and cut the lead to single digits, it was Angel Goodrich who had the answer. Goodrich and Engelman were able to get the ball to Davis and make important free throws.

The lead was seven points, the closest it was in the second half, with 5:33 left in the half when Davis began demanding the ball. Oklahoma was right in the middle of making a second half run that seemed inevitable, but Davis caught the ball in the post, turned and scored.

“I felt like we were slowing up,” Davis said. “We had to keep pushing the tempo. We had to keep attacking. We couldn’t let up. I was trying to get my teammates to be more aggressive. I knew I had to take over as a senior, as a captain. I just tried to push my teammates to give me the ball.”

Davis and her teammates are familiar with fighting  back from double-digit margins in the second half as they did against TCU and Iowa State, but against Oklahoma on Sunday it was the Jayhawks trying to hold off Oklahoma’s run. Herickson and Davis both agreed that those situations gave them a lesson of how to handle the lead.

Henrickson said she made sure her team knew not to start playing not to lose, though she said she did not use those words as she spoke to them during a second half timeout.

“Don’t you dare stop being aggressive,” Henrickson told them in the huddle. “Don’t you dare start standing around and watching Angel and Carolyn play.”

In the end, Davis had 24 points and 10 rebounds, Engelman had 21 points and five rebounds, and Goodrich had 17 points and 10 assists.

Sophomore Chelsea Gardner also contributed 10 points and nine rebounds in the game.

The win is the second this season for the Jayhawks over a team ranked in the AP top-25 poll, and gives them a winning record in conference play at 7-6. Kansas still sits at sixth in the conference standings.

  • Updated Feb. 18, 2013 at 12:19 am
  • Edited by Brian Sisk