Much has been said about the potential of the 2008-09 Kansas Lady Comets. And if Tuesday night’s opener versus Foyil at J. O. Jones Gymnasium was any indication the rumors are true.
The home town ladies brutalized their guests, forcing 14 first quarter turnovers on defense and allowing a single free throw, while their offense scampered to a 25-1 season opening scoring run.
The Comets, on the other hand, showed some pretty good defense, but turnovers and missed free throws, to go with some cold shooting, doomed the Kansas boys.
In the first game, members of the near capacity crowd witnessed the coming out party of freshman guard Kelsey Barnwell in addition to the welcome return of seniors Monique Sharp, Ceci Thomason and Courtney Baker, along with junior stalwart Kortni Kendrick.
The slippery quick Barnwell took control of the first two minutes of the game with a pair of steals, a pair of buckets and a pair of free throws to put in the first six of the game’s points.
And so it went for the hapless Lady Panthers as the Kansas defensive pressure harassed them into 15 first stanza turnovers.
Following a 15-0 run, the Comets called on their second flank. And the reserves went on a 10-0 run of their own.
Brittany Lamont buried a pair of treys to go with two Baker baskets to lead the 25-1 first quarter charge.
With Thomason and Kendrick dominating the boards at both ends of the court eight Lady Comets joined forces to score 28 in the second.
Held to just one of nine from the floor Foyil managed only seven points, to go into halftime trailing 53-8.
Following the break, the Comet starters saw a cursory amount of playing time before giving way to the reserves for the bulk of the second half.
Along the way Lamont and Shannoah Smoke added nine and eight off the bench, respectively.
With 11 points Barnwell led the cavalcade of 14 Lady Comets that made the scorebook in route to the 89-38 final.
In the later contest, the Comets fell to a quick 0-7 deficit and had to call a timeout at the 5:43 mark of the first period to get themselves on track.
But thanks to a half dozen by Trent Cochran, Kansas was able to keep things within reason.
Led by seven from Ethan Simarly, the Panthers went on to their best offensive quarter of the game with 16.
Shooting 3 of 11 from the floor and 4 of 10 from the foul line, the Comets turned the ball over six times as they struggled to put 11 on the scoreboard.
Trailing by a dozen to start the second half the good news for Kansas was that their defense held their opponents to just seven points in the third. The bad news, however, was that the Comets hit 2 of 12 field goals and 0 of 5 from beyond the arc, for only four points of their own.
Try as they might in the final quarter the Comet offense could never get any closer than nine points. Nevin Nofire with five points and Corey Cowan with four anchored the Comets’ fourth quarter scoring in 49-39 loss.