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Kansas Shuts Down Colorado

Feb 4, 2009

LAWRENCE, Kan. ' Kara Richards scored 17 points and grabbed seven rebounds for Colorado but a big Kansas run in the first half was the difference in a 65-54 Jayhawks win in Big 12 Conference action Wednesday night at Allen Fieldhouse.


Kansas (13-7, 2-5 Big 12) rallied for a 21-4 run over the last eight minutes of the first half as the Buffaloes (10-10, 2-6 Big 12) dropped their third straight in Lawrence.


Sophomore Brittany Spears had 10 points and seven rebounds but struggled from the field, along with the rest of the Buffaloes in the first half, missing all seven of her shots in the first 20 minutes. Colorado shot just 29 percent (7-of-24) in the first period and made just 3-of-15 inside the 3-point arc.


Danielle McCray had a game-high 24 points with six rebounds and four assists for Kansas. Sade Morris had 13 points and Aishah Sutherland scored 12 off the bench, hitting 6-of-8 from the field.


Foul trouble hampered the Buffaloes as well. Three Colorado starters Richards, Alyssa Fressle and Spears each had two fouls and Richards was on the bench for the majority of KU's first half run.


Colorado jumped out front early, making its first four 3-point attempts, one each by Fressle, Bianca Smith, Britney Blythe and Courtney Dunn as the Buffaloes led 14-11 at the 8:15 mark.


From there Kansas began to heat up, after making just 5-of-13 to start the game, Kansas made 9-of14 to close the half. The Jayhawks shot 53 percent overall on the night.


After Dunn's 3-pointer, Morris scored on a layup and Nicolette Smith gave Kansas its first lead at 16-14. Blythe nailed a jumper to tie the game, but KU guard Kelly Kohn came off the bench to hit back-to-back 3-pointers which gave Kansas a 24-16 lead with 3:33 remaining.


Dunn answered with a layup off a Spears pass at the 3:09 mark, but that was it for the Buffaloes as Kansas closed half on an 8-0 run.


Kansas led by as much as 15 in the second half, but Colorado made a late run to keep the game close. Spears and Richards scored 25 of their combined 27 points in the second half and a 10-2 run fueled by the duo cut the Kansas lead to 55-48 with just 4:34 left.


Colorado was much better in the second half from the field, hitting 60 percent (15-of-25).


But Kansas answered every threat from there and its lead never dipped below seven. McCray scored the Jayhawks' final six points to close out the game.  Kansas kept pace with CU's shooting, hitting 54 percent of its own in the second half (14-of-26).


Colorado will return home to host No. 21/23 Iowa State on Saturday, Feb. 7, at 2 p.m. at the Coors Events/Conference Center. The game will be televised live on FSN Rocky Mountain.