By Wendell Barnhouse | firstname.lastname@example.org
DALLAS - The latest NCAA women's tournament bracketology projections, posted earlier in the week, listed Kansas as one of the first teams out. The Jayhawks made sure they stayed in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Women's Championship in convincing fashion.
Pulling off a trick that is considered one of the toughest in college basketball - beating the same team three times in a season - No. 7 seed Kansas played a complete game in rolling past No. 10 seed TCU, 83-61, in a first-round game Friday. The Horned Frogs ended their first season in the Big 12 with a 9-21 overall record.
"We were able to jump out and get a lead tonight," said Kansas coach Bonnie Henrickson, whose team had been struggling defensively over the last seven games. "Our defense effort was much better. We're excited to play, excited about the opportunity to play Iowa State."
Kansas (18-12) advances to play No. 2 seed Iowa State (21-7) at 6 p.m. Saturday in a quarterfinal game. The teams split the season series, with each winning on its home court. All the quarterfinal games and the remainder of the Championship will air on FSN.
Senior guard Angel Goodrich led five players in double figures with 16 points. She was a stat sheet stuffer: eight assists, five rebounds, two steals and two blocked shots. One box score category caught her eye.
"Zero assists," she said. "I don't think I've done that this season. I was excited when they told me on the bench."
Chelsea Gardner, a 6-3 sophomore from nearby DeSoto, Texas, had a double-double with 11 points and 19 rebounds. She helped the Jayhawks to a commanding 50-34 edge on the boards.
"I came out with a lot of energy and I was excited to be playing back at home," she said.
The Horned Frogs, who had lost at Kansas 74-67 on Tuesday, started in a triangle-and-two defense instead of their usual zone. Goodrich helped the Jayhawks find open shots in the lane and at the 3-point line.
"We hadn't seen that (triangle and two) all year," Henrickson said. "They tried to pinch her, run a second defender at her, but she kept her poise and composure and she made really good decisions."
Kansas got 3-pointers from three different players in the first seven minutes. Gardner scored in the lane with 8:01 remaining to take a 27-16 lead. The Jayhawks had a 40-30 lead at halftime and maintained the double-digit advantage the rest of the way.
"I just think we weren't tough enough tonight," TCU junior center Latricia Lovings said. "Playing them previously, we knew we had to push them around and play them hard on defense. Tonight we just didn't play as a team and didn't lock down on defense like we were supposed to."
TCU is last in the Big 12 in shooting percentage (.345). The Horned Frogs finished at 32.4 percent against the Jayhawks but they were just 10-of-37 (27 percent) in the first half as Kansas took control.
"I thought our shot selection was poor," TCU coach Jeff Mittie said. "I thought we made strides over the last three weeks about our shot selection ... I just didn't like our flow tonight. We have not been a very efficient offensive team all year."