From the very beginning, the KU women’s basketball team struggled to compete with SMU in a 75-63 loss.
The Mustangs (2-0) began the game on a 15-0 run before junior guard Chayla Cheadle converted on a bucket with 5:22 left in the 1st quarter. From there, it was mostly smooth sailing for SMU, with the exception of a few bumps along the way.
Coming off an 87-64 loss to the Missouri State Bears in their opening game, Kansas (0-2) was looking to get things back on track and even their record. However, it seemed as though the 1st quarter of Wednesday’s game was an exact continuation of the 4th quarter from Sunday.
Against the Bears, the Jayhawks only trailed by 3 points going into the 4th quarter before being outscored by 20 in the final period.
Facing the Mustangs, KU allowed that performance to carry over into the opening period, putting themselves into a hole they could never quite dig out of.
On two separate occasions in the 2nd quarter, KU would manage to cut the deficit to 9 points, but never any closer than that.
With the score at 26-14 early in the second period, sophomore guard Kylee Kopatich knocked in a big three to cut it to single digits.
And then again, this time midway through the 2nd quarter and the score at 31-19, sophomore guard McKenzie Calvert converted on a jumper in the lane and made an and-one free throw. Unfortunately for KU, the Mustangs countered with an 8-0 run, taking control and heading into halftime up 41-29.
From there, Kansas could not get anything going. SMU uncorked an 11-0 run to begin the 2nd half, stealing any hope of a comeback the Jayhawks may have had.
Kansas would go on an 11-0 run in the final minutes of the 4th quarter, but it was too little too late, and the Jayhawks and head coach Brandon Schneider dropped to 0-2 on the year.
Star guards Washington and Calvert once again struggled from the field, as Washington went 4-14 and Calvert went 5-17. When these two shoot poorly, it is hard for the Jayhawks to win, as displayed in Sunday’s loss to Missouri State as well.
Senior forward Caelynn Manning-Allen only scored one point in the loss on Tuesday. This comes on the heels of a 6 point performance against Missouri State. If the Jayhawks are to improve, they will need an interior presence. Chelsea Lott looked effective in her 8 minutes on the court, scoring 5 points and grabbing 3 rebounds.
As a team, KU had yet another poor performance from the free throw line, only putting in 14 out of 25. While it may not have mattered as much in this game, the Jayhawks will need to make their free throws in order to pull out close games in the future.