Big XII: Victory Sweet Medicine for Kansas

By Jean Neuberger - March 07, 2007

It seemed as if everyone, from the players, coaches, band, spirit squads...even the Jayhawk beat writers were all smiles following the surprising 71-62 victory by Kansas over Oklahoma State.

Coach Bonnie Henrickson was all smiles, high fiving family members and savoring what was the biggest win of the season. Meanwhile, Taylor McIntosh, with a bandage just under her right eye, summed up tonight's performance in one sentence.

"We were sick of losing," she said.

"Taylor's doing what she needs to do," said Henrickson. "She's become so confident. Our team is getting more confident offensively as a whole."

But it was the defense of the Jayhawks, particularly against Andrea Riley and Danielle Green in the second half, that was a huge part of tonight's upset win.

"We knew we couldn't stop Riley, we had to contain her," said Henrickson. "She's super quick, and her game has improved with every game. We knew we could only contain what she could do."

According to Shaquina Mosley, the key was not to take a step back on Riley.

"Coach told me never to take a step back," said Mosley. "When you take a step back on her, she takes a step back in the other direction and sets herself up for a shot. Coach said not to take that step back, so her shots would be contested more."

Meanwhile, just outside of the players' locker room, freshman guard Kelly Kohn was generous enough to jump back off of the bus and walk over to talk to me. I said frequently that Kohn was a grossly underrated player, and tonight, she proved her worth, matching Riley step for step and directing the Jayhawk attack as a great floor general.

Kohn, who was gracious in accepting praise, also noted the importance of such a great win.

"Coach told us that this game is their season, but it's our day," she said. "We came out and just took the day from them. And when you're overlooked, and don't recieve any postseason recognition...well, this game means more than any of those things."

As for Baylor, who the Jayhawks play tomorrow...that can wait.

"Our coaches will do a great job preparing us for Baylor tomorrow," said Kohn. "But we won't think about them just yet."

And who can blame them, given that tonight was worth so much for Kansas.

Posted by Jean Neuberger at 12:51 AM on March 07, 2007

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