KU is out of the Big 12 Tournament after a 77-62 loss to Iowa State.
By Claire McInerny
In the quarterfinals of the Phillips 66 Women’s Big 12 Championship, Kansas fought hard to try and defeat No. 2 Iowa State but ultimately did not succeed. KU lost to Iowa State 77-62, and Hallie Christofferson and Chelsea Poppens of Iowa State proved KU’s biggest obstacle to a win.
Christofferson and Poppens scored 47 of Iowa State’s 77 points and Poppens had 14 rebounds, the most of any player on the court. Both Poppens and Coach Bill Fennelly attributed tonight’s win and Iowa State’s success throughout the season to the team’s chemistry.
“It is the easiest team that I’ve had to manage in a long time,” Fennelly said. “They like each other. They get along. They appreciate each other. I think they appreciate that and they understand that and they all accept the roles on their team, and they want and honestly care about playing with each other, for each other.”
This confidence and trust in each other payed off as it led the lady Cyclones to the semi-finals tomorrow. KU struggled defensively throughout the game with the height of Iowa State’s players one of the biggest obstacle for Carolyn Davis, the 6’3″ senior from Houston, Tex.
“They have a tough front line, they have 6 foot, 6’3″, 6’3″ and it’s a challenge for our guards to guard Christofferson in the post,” Davis said.
Now that KU is out of the Big 12 Tournament, the Jayhawks will spend the next week waiting to find out if their season is over or if they get to continue March Madness in the NCAA Tournament. This time last year, KU was labeled a “bubble team” for the NCAA tournament with a 19-11 record, similar to this year’s 18-13 record, and went on to go to the Sweet 16. The Jayhawks are hoping the committee gives them the same chance they did last year.
“I thought the committee made a great decision last year and I thought we made them look real smart,” Henrickson said. “I think we should be (in the tournament). We play the best teams in the best league in America.”
While the Jayhawks wait to hear if they will compete in the NCAA tournament, Henrickson and senior guard Angel Goodrich both said the team will spend the next week working on their defensive skills.
“We’re not for sure what’s going to happen, but we got to stay positive and look forward, keep practicing and get better,” Goodrich said.