No. 20 Kansas opens with 106-80 win over ORUNov 16, 2009 - 12:04 AM By JOHN MARSHALL AP Sports Writer
LAWRENCE, Kan.(AP) -- Whipping passes through the zone, dropping in 3-pointers, dominating in the paint, No. 20 Kansas played a near-flawless first half to get the rout started.
The defense? Still needs a little work. Allowing an opponent to score 80 points on 36 percent shooting is proof of that.
Danielle McCray scored 21 of her 27 points in a dominating first half and Aishah Sutherland added 24, helping Kansas overcome some defensive breakdowns to open the season with a resounding 106-80 win over Oral Roberts on Sunday.
Ranked in the preseason for the first time since 1999, Kansas (1-0) shot 56 percent, saw every starter hit double figures in scoring, led by as much as 26 in cruising to its fifth straight season-opening win.
Not that coach Bonnie Henrickson noticed. She was too busy watching Oral Roberts sneak out for breakaway layups after made shots, the constant penetration by its guards, the big games by its best player and a freshman.
"I was so mad defensively I probably didn't enjoy the offense," Henrickson said. "Maybe when I watch the tape, I'll just fast forward through the defense and watch the offense, and maybe feel a little better about it."
Henrickson might not stop smiling if she does.
Picking apart Oral Roberts' extended 2-1-2 zone and relishing the game's up-tempo pace, Kansas dominated the first half, scoring inside, outside, in transition. The Jayhawks opened the game with an 11-3 run and barely slowed, shooting 61 percent and getting 16 assists on 26 field goals to lead 64-42 - the fourth-most points in a half in school history.
"It might look different when we watch it on film but it felt like they couldn't miss a shot in the first half," Oral Roberts guard Janae Voelker said.
The Golden Eagles (1-1) opened the season with a 33-point victory over Texas-Pan American on Friday, but were no match for Kansas inside and had trouble shooting from the perimeter. Oral Roberts shot 7 of 29 from 3-point range, was outscored 18-0 on second-chance points and by 52-34 in the paint.
Voelker, from Newton, Kan., led Oral Roberts with 29 points and nine rebounds, and freshman Kevi Luper had 24 points to follow up her 25-point performance in the opener.
"It's nice to be here at Allen Fieldhouse and the history and tradition it represented," Oral Roberts coach Jerry Finkbeiner said. "A lot of our girls, this is their first time being here. This could have been overwhelming but I think we settled in."
McCray, the preseason Big 12 player of the year, wasted little time stamping her senior season, opening with a turnaround jumper and hitting two 3-pointers in the game's first 3 minutes. McCray had four 3-pointers and 21 points by halftime and shot 9 for 15 from the field overall.
It wasn't just shooting, though.
Following a be-more-aggressive pregame urging by Henrickson, McCray filled up the stat sheet, grabbing 11 rebounds, handing out seven assists, throwing in two blocked shots and a steal for good measure.
"Coach challenged me today for getting on the boards and I thought I needed to go to the boards," said McCray, who had five offensive rebounds. "That really just helped get me going tonight."
Of course, it seemed like all the Jayhawks could do no wrong.
Redshirt freshman Angel Goodrich gave Kansas the playmaking ability it missed at the point last season, whipping no-look passes through traffic, pulling up for jumpers in transition. Fully recovered from the torn ACL she suffered before last season, she had 10 points and seven assists.
Sutherland, a role player as a freshman last season, was a force at both ends, hitting a variety of short jumpers on offense, blocking and altering shots at the other end. She shot 11 of 15 from the floor and blocked three shots.
Junior center Krysten Boogaard, who bulked up in the offseason, had her way inside, using her 6-foot-5 frame to shoot over the Golden Eagles on the way to 19 points and 10 rebounds. Sade Morris had her intermediate game working, scoring 12 points on mid-range jumpers and slashes through the lane.
Limited to one or two scoring options last season, the Jayhawks clearly have more depth this year.
"We knew coming in this year that we added playmakers, athleticism and things were going to change," Morris said. "It makes it a lot easier for D (McCray) and I because we have other people who can score."
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