No doubt it was the signature victory for Kansas University’s women’s basketball team last season.
Baylor came to Lawrence with a No. 5 national ranking, and the unranked Jayhawks shredded the Bears, 69-45. The unexpected outcome served as a springboard to a KU berth in the WNIT.
Now Baylor will have an opportunity for payback.
Tipoff will be at 4 p.m. today at the Farrell Center in Waco, Texas. ESPN2 (Sunflower Broadband channels 34 and 234) will carry a live telecast.
Last summer, when the KU-BU contest was scheduled for national cable TV, it was projected as a showcase for two of the Big 12 Conference’s best players — KU senior Danielle McCray and touted BU freshman Brittney Griner.
But with McCray suffering a season-ending knee injury about three weeks ago, the spotlight will shine directly on the 6-foot-8 Griner, who is averaging 18.9 points, 9.0 rebounds and 6.0 blocks per game.
Moreover, Griner has produced a nation-leading three triple-doubles and has registered four dunks, including two in one game. The Houston native had 22 points and 21 rebounds in Wednesday’s 65-63 victory at Texas A&M.
“I’ve seen them all,” A&M coach Gary Blair said when asked about Griner. “She’s the best, or going to be the best by the time she finishes at the post position. This kid is changing the game.”
Meanwhile, the Jayhawks have played six games without McCray and clearly missed her in narrow home losses to Texas and Iowa State.
On Thursday night, KU blew a late four-point lead and bowed to ISU, 57-54. Earlier, the Jayhawks also led Texas, but fell in double overtime.
“It’s frustrating,” freshman forward Carolyn Davis said. “We’re always up, and we can’t close.”
Three regular-season games remain — No. 17 Baylor today, No. 3 Nebraska on Wednesday in Lincoln, Neb., and the home finale on Saturday against No. 12 Texas A&M.
“The most important thing,” KU freshman guard Monica Engelman said, “is we have three games left, and we have an opportunity for some W’s.”