Danielle McCray knows she’ll have a bull’s-eye on her back today.
McCray scored a career-high 29 points when Kansas University tripped Marquette in women’s basketball last season in Allen Fieldhouse, and now the Jayhawks must play on the Golden Eagles’ home floor.
Tipoff will be at 2 p.m. today at the McGuire Center in Milwaukee.
“I have to go in with the mind-set,” McCray said, “that I’ll have to deal with what they have planned for me.”
McCray, who matched that career high in this season’s opener against Sacred Heart, has been the ringleader in KU’s 5-0 start. The 5-foot-11 junior out of Olathe East High leads the Jayhawks in scoring (20.8) and rebounding (8.6).
In addition to her 29 points in the 74-55 victory over the Golden Eagles last year, McCray captured 13 boards, so it’s unlikely she’ll slip into the rematch unnoticed.
Asked if she thought Marquette would remember her, she nodded and smiled, “They’ll probably remember when the lights went out, too.”
With about four minutes remaining in the 2007 meeting — McCray was shooting a free throw at the time — Allen Fieldhouse went dark because of a power failure. Some of the lights eventually were restored, and the remainder of the contest was played in semi-darkness.
Marquette (6-2) looms as the Jayhawks’ toughest test so far. Before the season, Iowa figured to be the most difficult non-conference game on KU’s schedule, but the Hawkeyes are 4-4, including a 76-55 loss to Kansas. MU’s only losses were to Virginia by five points and Utah by three in overtime.
“Marquette is very, very good,” KU coach Bonnie Henrickson said. “This is a much different and more experienced Marquette team than the one we saw a year ago.”
In truth, Marquette’s poor performance in Lawrence was atypical because the Big East Conference school went on to win the WNIT by thumping Michigan State, 81-66, in early April in East Lansing, Mich.
Kansas probably will be without Krysten Boogaard again today. Boogaard has missed the last three games due to a stress reaction in her left femur, but the 6-5 sophomore will make the trip and test the leg.
“There has to be no pain. If she still has pain we’ll shut her down,” Henrickson said. “We’re not going to take any risks.”
Next on the Jayhawks’ schedule is a Wednesday night date with Western Illinois in Allen Fieldhouse.