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Archive for Wednesday, March 4, 2009

KU women defeat No. 5 Baylor, 69-45

Danielle McCray scores 35 points

Kansas forward Aishah Sutherland wrestles for a loose ball with Baylor forward Whitney Zachariason during the second half Wednesday, March 4, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Aishah Sutherland wrestles for a loose ball with Baylor forward Whitney Zachariason during the second half Wednesday, March 4, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.

March 4, 2009

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KU women trump No. 5 Baylor, 69-45

The Kansas women's basketball team went in search of their fourth consecutive Big 12 victory on Wednesday night. Enlarge video

Call it a tale of two Danielles.

Danielle McCray scored a career-high 35 points as Kansas University stunned Danielle Wilson-less Baylor, 69-45, in Big 12 women’s basketball on Wednesday night in Allen Fieldhouse.

McCray was marvelous, making seven of 10 three-point goals — including her first five attempts during a first-half onslaught that left the Bears ladder-less in a 42-17 halftime hole.

“I had the hot hand … everything was going in,” said McCray, a 5-foot-11 junior whose previous high was 30, a total she had reached twice earlier in the season.

“She’s a perimeter player,” Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said of McCray, “and she almost scored as many points as our whole team did. I haven’t seen her a whole lot, but I thought she was very good.”

Overlooked, though, because of McCray’s offensive explosion was Krysten Boogaard. The 6-5 sophomore was a force inside with 18 points and 11 rebounds — totals she conceded she probably wouldn’t have accumulated if Baylor’s Wilson had been playing.

“I think it would have changed the game a lot,” Boogaard said. “But even without Danielle Wilson, they are a good basketball team.”

Not Wednesday night.

Wilson, a 6-3 senior who was leading the No. 5-ranked Bears in scoring (15.1) and rebounding (9.6), suffered a knee injury late in the first half of Saturday’s victory over Texas and didn’t play against the Jayhawks.

Without Wilson, the Bears looked lost. They shot dreadfully, making only 16 of 62 shots, a dismal 25.8 percent.

“It takes energy and effort to win on the road,” Mulkey said, “and I didn’t think we got it from some of our players when the game started.”

With the Bears in a funk, the Jayhawks worked the high-low to perfection. If McCray didn’t score from the outside, Boogaard scored inside. The two accounted for 33 of the Jayhawks’ 52 shots and all but 16 of KU’s points.

Looking at the big picture, the Jayhawks knocked off a Top-10 team for the first time in Bonnie Henrickson’s five years as KU coach. Kansas also won a sixth Big 12 game for the first time under Henrickson.

“It’s a great win,” the KU coach said. “I thought the kids were ready to play. It feels good to be playing well. We have been playing with a sense of urgency.”

Kansas began its four-game sizz after suffering a 69-62 loss at Colorado, the Big 12 cellar-dweller.

“Danielle was in foul trouble at Colorado,” Henrickson said. “It was a crisis. It was terrible.”

McCray logged only 22 minutes that night in Boulder, Colo., and finished with 11 points. But in the four games since, she has averaged nearly 27 points a game.

“I don’t have words for it,” McCray said. “It’s just a great feeling.”

Included in those four wins was a victory over then No. 23-ranked Iowa State, so KU’s mini-streak has some cachet. But enough to earn a berth in the NCAA Tournament?

With a 17-11 overall record, the Jayhawks are a lock for the WNIT, but their sights are set higher.

“We still have NCAA hopes alive,” McCray said. “We’re not thinking it’s over. We’re not giving up.”

The Jayhawks, alone in seventh place in league standings with a 6-9 record, will conclude the regular season Saturday night at Iowa State. The Big 12 tournament will begin a week from today in Oklahoma City.

After Wednesday’s game, Ivana Catic, Marija Zinic and Katie Smith were feted on Senior Night. Also recognized was junior Rebecca Feickert, who will graduate in May and doesn’t plan to play basketball next season.

— Sports writer Chuck Woodling can be reached at 832-6348.

Comments

couranna1 5 years, 1 month ago

ROCK CHALK LADIES a great game and well played by true college athletes

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greenworld 5 years, 1 month ago

Great news. Great job coach Henrickson and staff. I attended the Iowa St game and it was my first Ku womans game that I have been to and couldnt figure out why more people dont sell that place out. You guys looked great and im sorry to see that people arent recognizing this. I have lived in Lawrence my whole life and am starting to see something that hasnt been around for awhile, a great ku womans B-ball team. Nothing against Coach Washington but I seriously believe "if you build it they will come" I also believe once you become ranked that you will start to see alot more people and more noise in the fieldhouse. Your beating ranked teams now which is a good sign and making some noise of your own. Great job ladies.

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dinglesmith 5 years, 1 month ago

Anyone else catch that some combination of the the phrases "graduate school", "honor roll", and "Academic All-Big 12" were used when introducing every senior? The win was impressive, but that was far more impressive to me.

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cthulhu_4_president 5 years, 1 month ago

Feickert is probably the smartest person I have ever met in my years at the University. Absolutely no surprise here that she's graduating a year early. They are all dedicated atheletes, and equally dedicated students.

Congrats ladies!

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edjayhawk 5 years, 1 month ago

Okay I'll eat my main course of crow right now. This win really helps me get over the horrible loss to Tech last night.

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Omegatron 5 years, 1 month ago

It's not over til the fat lady sings. Never give up, never surrender.

Keep playing your best, finish the season strong. Believe in yourselves.

Rock Chalk Jayhawk, Go KU,

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jprich 5 years, 1 month ago

Based on the men's outcome, I guess what goes around comes around.

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like_n_Lawrence 5 years, 1 month ago

I just watched KU issue the beat-down on some Bear meat in Allen Fieldhouse this evening. WAY TO GO LADIES!!!! I'm so excited I don't think I can eat, sleep, or go to work tomorrow. You all rock. Nice coaching. I'm speechless....seriously... Thanks Seniors!!

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BallHawk 5 years, 1 month ago

That's the way, un-huh, un-huh, I like it....

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