McCray's Star Keeps Shining
Jan. 12, 2010
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
Appearing in front thousands of Lawrence elementary school kids on “Schools for Success Day,” Kansas senior guard-forward Danielle McCray extended her streak of scoring in double figures to 15 games on the season with a team-high 28 points.
“I appreciate all of the fans that came out and the kids were great,” said McCray. “It was really loud in there and you couldn’t hear yourself talking. It was a great atmosphere for us and I thought we played well through it, but it didn’t turn out how we wanted it to in the end.”
Although it was not enough to give the Jayhawks their first win in conference play, McCray, who played all 40 minutes of the game, hit big shot after big shot in KU’s 70-68 loss to the 15th-ranked Oklahoma State Cowgirls.
With under a minute left, and down by only one, McCray took control and drove to the hoop for a layup as the shot clock buzzer sounded. The basket would have put Kansas up 67-66 if the shot counted, but after the officials reviewed the shot, the Cowgirls kept their lead as they recalled the bucket.
Kansas head coach Bonnie Henrickson said she knew as the layup left McCray’s hand that it would be a close call.
“I thought it was real close,” Henrickson said. “Honestly, I thought she had got it, but when they came back to me, I was not shocked because it was close.”
McCray had another chance to shine, as she showed up big with 15 seconds remaining in the game. The senior guard came off a screen from junior center Krysten Boogaard and hit a three-pointer to tie up the game at 68-68.
“The whole day they were kind of in a zone and Coach [Henrickson] ran plays for me to get open,” McCray said. “Krysten [Boogaard] did a good job in the last play of screening my man, I stepped back into the three, saw the rim and just knocked it down.”
Oklahoma State seemed to have an answer each time the Jayhawks closed in on it. McCray, who went into the game 14th in scoring in the NCAA with 20.8 points per game, almost matched the Cowgirls’ senior Andrea Riley shot-for-shot. Riley ended the game with 30 points.
“She was fantastic the whole day,” said Henrickson. “We said that [Andrea] Riley and Danielle [McCray] had neutralized each other. It was probably the best out-of-the-locker room game that we have had, under duress and down 10 points at halftime.”
Both McCray and Henrickson said that the Kansas team had made a significant improvement from the way it played on Saturday at Kansas State.
“We were the aggressors, we attacked and put ourselves in a position to win, other than on the defensive boards,” Henrickson said. “We need to build on that, build on what we did well and go from there.”
McCray said that the team knows that if it gives that effort every time out, it can come out on top in the remaining games.
“It’s real difficult, but it is night and day from the team we were on Saturday,” McCray said. “We’re right there on the edge and I think we have to bounce back from this one and get a win on Sunday.”
Kansas, 10-5 overall, will look to break its three-game losing streak when it meets Missouri on Sunday in Allen Fieldhouse at 1 p.m.