University of Kansas

Hot start propels Jayhawks to win

Updated: 2013-12-30T01:30:34Z

— Kansas showed no sign of rust returning from the Holiday break as the Jayhawks jumped out to a quick 11-0 lead over Yale en route to a 79-63 win over the Bulldogs in Allen Fieldhouse on Sunday afternoon.

Four Jayhawks finished the game in double figures led by junior forward Chelsea Gardner with 26 points, as KU improved to 7-5 and closed out non-conference play with two consecutive wins. Gardner also pulled down 10 rebounds to post her fourth double-double of the season.

Junior guard Asia Boyd turned in her third double-double of her career and second of the season as she tied Gardner for game-high rebounding honors with 10, to go along with 17 points.

Yale dropped to 5-7 on the season with the loss.

KU sizzled from the field early as it made its first four shots of the game and seven of its first eight, taking the early 11-0 lead. Kansas stayed hot for the majority of the first half finishing the opening frame shooting 68.0 percent (17-of-25) from the floor as the Jayhawks took a commanding 45-26 lead into halftime .

Boyd and fellow junior guard, Natalie Knight, got the ball rolling for KU as the duo combined for Kansas' first seven points of the game. The pair each finished the first half in double figures with 11 and 10 points, respectively

Meanwhile, the Kansas defense put the freeze on Yale as the Bulldogs opened the game missing their first eight shots from the field and shot just 30 percent (10-of-33) from the field in the first half. .

The Jayhawks opened the second half the same way as the first, connecting on their first four buckets, extending the lead to 53-29 on back-to-back layups from senior guard CeCe Harper. A layup by freshman guard Keyla Morgan at the 16:55 mark of the second half gave KU a 26-point advantage, its largest of the afternoon.

Yale scored 14 unanswered points over a four-minute span in the second half behind seven points from Mission Woods, Kan., native, Janna Graf, to trim the KU lead down to 11 points with 5:07 to play in the game. The Jayhawks regrouped behind three-consecutive free throws from Harper and freshman guard Dakota Gonzalez to thwart the Bulldog run and regain control of the game.

Knight joined Gardner and Boyd in double figures for Kansas with 14 points. The Olathe, Kan., native dished a career-best eight assists and also led all players with five steals in the win. Morgan tied her career-high with 11 points, while Harper chipped in with seven points and seven assists.

Kansas finished the game shooting 57.7 percent (30-of-52) from the field, and dominated inside, outscoring Yale 44-20 in the paint. The Bulldogs shot 36.9 percent (24-of-65) from the floor for the game. KU also held an edge on the boards, pulling down 38 rebounds to Yale's 34.

Graf and Sarah Halejian led Yale with 17 points each, while Katie Werner led the Bulldogs on the boards with seven caroms.

The Jayhawks will return to action Thursday, Jan. 2, when they ring in 2014 and open Big 12 Conference play with a home game against West Virginia.

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