Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

KU Women 'Win an Ugly One' over Arkansas State

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

KU Women 'Win an Ugly One' over Arkansas State

Article excerpt

LAWRENCE -- The Jayhawks needed someone to take over.

Forward Chelsea Gardner was dealing with foul trouble and playing timid, so it wasn't going to be her. The same goes for guard Lauren Aldridge.

Senior guard Natalie Knight -- KU's best outside option -- had a decent first half with six points, but couldn't find the same rhythm in the second half.

So with Kansas up by seven against an Arkansas State team that was closing in with four minutes left, the ball went to freshman guard Chayla Cheadle on the right wing. Cheadle didn't hesitate, launching a 3-pointer as her defender fouled her on the release.

The shot fell, as did the ensuing free throw, and for the remainder of Kansas' 62-48 victory, it was clear which Jayhawk was getting the ball.

"I just shot it with confidence and it went in," Cheadle said. "I feel like that was momentum for our team that helped us grow the lead."

Those final four minutes helped seal a breakout performance for the freshman, who scored 12 of the Jayhawks' final 13 points to finish with a career-high 19 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the field -- making her KU's leading scored on Sunday.

Arkansas State coach Brian Boyer said the Red Wolves (4-4) were focused on shutting down Gardner -- who averages nearly 18 points and eight rebounds per game -- and were able to limit her to two points on three field goal attempts. It forced Kansas coach Bonnie Henrickson to get a little more creative with her offense as the Jayhawks' played without their centerpiece.

"We did rip and run a little bit," Henrickson said. "Just space and spread the floor, drive and kick. But if you're going to do that you have to bank on your team being unselfish."

With Gardner in foul trouble, Kansas (8-3) didn't have much choice but to move the ball around -- forcing the team into old habits. …

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