Griffin leads No. 3 Nebraska past Kansas 67-60Feb 11, 2010 - 4:37 AM By DOUG TUCKER AP Sports Writer
LAWRENCE, Kan.(AP) -- Kansas' hot shooting streak was enough to throw a big scare into No. 3 Nebraska. It wasn't enough to knockoff the unbeaten Cornhuskers.
Kelsey Griffin had 17 points and 13 rebounds and helped Nebraska blunt a stunning comeback attempt with a hard-fought 67-60 victory Wednesday night, extending the best start in school history.
The injury-depleted Jayhawks (14-8, 4-5 Big 12) made only one of their last 11 shots in the first half and trailed 30-20 at intermission. Then they started the second half making their first 11 shots and found themselves leading the Huskers 45-41.
It was quite an effort by a team that has lost its top two players, point guard Angel Goodrich and preseason Big 12 player of the year Danielle McCray, to season-ending knee injuries.
"What I love about our group right now, we don't feel sorry for ourselves," said Kansas coach Bonnie Henrickson. "We don't want anybody feeling sorry for us. We want to compete and prove that we're good enough to win. We tried to do that tonight. We just didn't play long enough to get it done."
Nebraska (22-0, 9-0) remains one of only two unbeaten women's Div. I teams.
"We just kept telling our kids we've got to find ways to find stops," said Nebraska coach Connie Yori. "We can't just hope they miss. We've got to make them miss. I thought that last 6 minutes we made them miss or turned them over."
Trailing that late in a game was something this Nebraska team had not experienced all year. All but three of their first 21 wins were by double digits.
"One of the things coach told us after the game is that she really enjoyed watching it because we showed a lot of fight," Nebraska junior Dominique Kelly said. "We've never been down by four points at that point in the game. I thought it said a lot about who this team is."
After making only 6 of 23 shots, the Jayhawks came out hot and tied it 41-all on a jumper by Carolyn Davis. Then LaChelda Jacobs gave Kansas a 43-41 lead when she stole the ball at midcourt and drove in for a layup.
The Huskers scored 19 points off 19 turnovers by Kansas, which led 53-49 on Jacobs' jumper.
"We learned a lot about what we have to do better," said Kansas guard Sade Morris. "We have to handle the pressure and we have to be able to take care of the ball."
It was tied 55-55 when Yvonne Turner made a 3-pointer and the Huskers never trailed again.
Even missing their two most important offensive players, the Jayhawks shocked Nebraska in the opening minutes of the second half, scoring from inside and out.
Monica Engelman, who had 13 points, sank a long 3-pointer to make the Jayhawks 7 for 7 and then followed that with a short jumper that sliced the lead to 41-39. Twice Nebraska called time out during the spree to discuss defensive strategy and try to halt the sudden Kansas momentum.
Yvonne Turner had 15 points for Nebraska and Kelly had 14.
After their surge, Kansas started getting careless and Nebraska stole the ball on three straight possessions. Turner drove in for a layup and then Catheryn Redmon converted to into a basket for a 53-53 tie.
After the third theft, Lindsey Moore was fouled and made two foul shots to put Nebraska back on top by two with 6:54 to go.
It was 55-55 when Turner made a 3-pointer - the third of the night for the Huskers. After Griffin blocked a Kansas shot, the 6-foot-2 senior put in a tightly contested layup on the other end to make it 60-55.
"Kansas did a great job of executing their sets throughout the game," said Griffin. "Our coaches prepared us for them. We knew them and yet they were still executing."
After Aishah Sutherland scored for the Jayhawks, Lindsey Moore stole the ball from Kansas and was fouled. Moore made the first free throw, but Nebraska rebounded and Turner made another from beyond the arc, putting the Cornhuskers on top 64-57 with 1:12 to go.
- NCAA WOMENS BB
NEBRASKA (3) 67
KANSAS 60 FINAL
Feb 10 10:17 PM
- NCAA WOMENS BB
NEBRASKA (3) 30
KANSAS 20 HALFTIME
Feb 10 8:55 PM
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