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Harden helps WSU women beat UTSA

  • Eagle correspondent
  • Published Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012, at 6:29 p.m.

Every chance has been given for the six senior Wichita State women’s basketball players to take ownership of the team.

But when Wichita State needs a play to happen, it doesn’t go to a senior. It goes to Alex Harden and the baby-faced sophomore has delivered.

The Shockers defeated Texas-San Antonio 50-36 on Sunday afternoon in Koch Arena behind Harden’s career-high 18 points on 8-of-10 shooting to go along with nine rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal in 36 minutes.

“Honestly, I expect it from her,” WSU coach Jody Adams said. “It’s what she wants to do. It’s a choice; it’s work ethic; it’s work habits in practice. If she wants to be an All-American, she’ll be an All-American because she’s blessed with unbelievable athleticism.”

In her second season, Harden has taken command of the offense. Adams is willing to stay patient as her point guard skills develop because of her elite playmaking ability.

“The game is slowing down for me,” Harden said. “It’s a process of getting used to the speed and the power and being able to first get to that tempo and then be able to think through that tempo. Everything is slowing down, so you can work through your offense, work through your defense, communicate.”

Harden and her teammates could do little wrong in the first half, as Wichita State forced UTSA into a 3-of-24 shooting performance for a 29-11 halftime lead.

“We saw a good 20 minutes of basketball,” Adams said. “We advanced it from 13 minutes from what I thought was good basketball at Arkansas State (on Thursday), but the game is played 40 minutes.”

Those final 20 minutes became problematic when the Shockers let up and allowed the Roadrunners to close within six points. But the lead was never legitimately challenged, as a Harden jumper ignited a 12-2 run to seal the victory.

Adams wasn’t complaining about a victory before the Shockers boarded a plane Sunday evening to fly to Cancun, Mexico, for three games in three days starting on Thursday against Missouri.

“It’s always a gradual process to get that perfect 40-minute game,” Harden said. “We need that in March, we don’t necessarily need that right now.”

TEXAS-SAN ANTONIO (3-1): Turner 0-3 2-4 2, Montgomery 0-1 0-0 0, King 1-4 3-4 6, Young 2-9 6-6 10, Wright 2-4 0-0 4, Malone 0-2 0-0 0, Menz 0-0 0-0 0, Mitchell-Cole 0-3 0-0 0, Elonu 1-2 0-0 2, York 2-5 1-3 5, Spaletta 1-5 1-2 4, Bell 0-3 0-2 0, Thorman 1-1 0-0 2, Cooper 0-4 1-2 1. Totals 10-46 14-23 36.

WICHITA STATE (2-1): Jones 0-4 0-0 0, DIamond 1-9 2-2 4, Harden 8-10 2-2 18, Turner 3-4 0-0 6, Gordon 2-7 4-5 8, O’Brien 0-3 3-4 3, Jacobs 2-4 1-2 5, Fountaine 0-7 1-2 1, Price 2-2 1-2 5. Totals 18-50 14-19 50.

Halftime—WSU 29, UTSA 11. 3-point shooting—UTSA 2-15 (King 1-3, Spaletta 1-5, Wright 0-1, Malone 0-1, Mitchell-Cole 0-2, Young 0-3), WSU 0-4 (O’Brien 0-1, Fountaine 0-1, Diamond 0-2). Rebounds—UTSA 28 (Elonu 7), WSU 46 (Harden 9). Assists—UTSA 5 (Young 2), WSU 6 (Harden 3). Fouls—UTSA 20, WSU 20. A—1,312.

Kansas 64, Wake Forest 58 — Carolyn Davis scored 22 points and helped the Jayhawks beat Wake Forest in Lawrence. Wake Forest led 54-52 before Davis’ three-point play with 1:57 to play put KU back on top.

WAKE FOREST: Hamby 4-12 4-6 12, Garcia 0-3 0-2 0, Douglas 4-12 2-2 12, Boykin 6-14 3-5 15, Williams 3-14 1-2 7, Walker 4-8 2-2 10, Webster 0-1 0-2 0, Calicott 0-0 0-0 0, Wright 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 22-67 12-21 58.

KANSAS: Davis 9-13 4-7 22, Jackson 3-7 5-6 11, Goodrich 4-11 4-7 13, Engeman 1-8 2-2 4, Knight 2-8 2-2 6, Boyd 0-4 0-0 0, Williams 1-3 2-2 4, Gardner 1-1 2-2 4, Harper 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 21-56 21-28 64.

Halftime — Wake 27, KU 24. 3-point shots — Wake 2-13 (Douglas 2-6, Hamby 0-2, Williams 0-2, Boykin 0-3; KU 1-13 (Goodrich 1-4, Jackson 0-1, Boyd 0-1, Engelman 0-2, Knight 0-5). Rebounds — Wake 44 (Walker 10), KU 43 (Davis, Jackson 9). Assists — Wake 10 (Douglas 4), KU 11 (Engelman 4). Fouls — Wake 23, KU 16. A — 2,151.

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