The Kansas senior forward and All-American candidate eclipsed that point total with 15 in just under the first 15 minutes of action against the Buffaloes.
McCray kept on shooting and scored a game-high 29 points to lead KU to
a 75-64 victory. Those were McCray's most points since scoring a
career-high 37 against Houston on Dec. 22. The win broke the Jayhawks'
two-game losing streak and gave KU just its second ‘W' in its last
Kansas (12-7, 2-4 Big 12) raced to a 47-27 halftime lead behind
McCray's 19 points and a dominating 27-to-7 margin on the boards. KU
retrieved 14 of its 17 missed shots and outscored CU 13 to one in
second-chance points the first 20 minutes.
While Colorado rallied the final nine minutes to cut into KU's lead and
get within 11 points three times in the last 3:11, it was too late to
pull off a comeback victory.
KU coach Bonnie Henrickson was especially pleased with her team's
rebounding effort, transition offense, how they shared the ball, and
overall aggressiveness the first half.
"But we need to be a team that has to do that for 40 minutes,"
Colorado head coach Kathy McConnell-Miller praised her team's effort
"We defended a little bit better and we came out with some more energy
and passion," McConnell-Miller said. "We played Colorado basketball in
the second half."
The Jayhawks, though, were better this night. Freshman forward/center
Carolyn Davis tallied her first career double-double with 10 points and
10 rebounds. Senior guard Sade Morris added 11 points and two steals,
sophomore forward Aishah Sutherland scored nine points and grabbed
seven boards, and freshman guard Monica Engelman was a spark off the
bench with seven points on 3-of-4 shooting.
KU shot 48.4 percent from the field and an impressive 46.2 percent from
beyond the arc, while limiting the Buffaloes to just 37.7 percent field
goal shooting and outrebounding CU, 49 to 29.
Above all, this night belonged to McCray, who shot 11-of-25 from the
field (her 25 field goal attempts tied her career high) and matched her
career high with 16 boards, including eight offensive rebounds. McCray
repeatedly crashed the glass on her own missed shots and kept attacking.
"I loved her play on the offensive glass," Henrickson said. "I think
that toughness sends a statement. She set that tone on the boards for
us. When your best player is doing that kind of work, then there is no
excuse for anyone else. I thought that we followed suit and everyone
After losing five of its last six games, this was a must-win game for
"I told the seniors at shootaround today, ‘it's the biggest game in
your career,'" Henrickson said. "'We got to get on a run and you can't
get on a run if you're going to lose tonight.' ... That was the last
message in the shootaround. I pointed to those seniors ... ‘you guys
got to step up and play.'"
They got the message.
"I definitely think it was an important game to get our confidence back
up and to try and get into the NCAA tournament," McCray said. "That's
our goal right now. We're going to try and keep up a winning streak,
and I thought tonight was a good start to that. We can't let it slip
away from us."
KU next heads to Columbia Sunday for its Border Showdown battle with
Missouri. The Jayhawks previously beat MU, 72-59, at Allen Fieldhouse
on Jan. 17.
Kansas knows it will have to play a full 40 minutes to win again.
"Once we learn how to maintain our focus for the whole game," McCray
said, "we'll be a great team."
McCray Scores 29 in Win Over CU
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