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KU women hope to avoid holiday hangover

Today's Kansas University women's basketball game against the Boston Terriers at Allen Fieldhouse features a pair of teams with different ideas about holiday time off.

The last time the Jayhawks (9-2) took the court was Dec. 21, a loss at California, leaving a nine-day layoff between games.

On the other hand, today's game will be the third game in four days for the Terriers, who completed a two-day stop at the Virginia Commonwealth Invitational in Richmond, Va. The Terriers (7-5) defeated Georgia Southern on Thursday and lost to host VCU in Friday's championship game.

An outsider could look at the Terriers' recent swing and see an advantage for the well rested Jayhawks. But after the loss at Cal and a lengthy layoff, KU coach Bonnie Henrickson isn't taking anything for granted.

"I've seen them on film, and they seem like a fit team," Henrickson said. "I told our team that it may be an advantage for them since they've played over the break and have had a chance to get in sync."

After a number of practices late in the week, Henrickson said her team was ready and excited to get back on the court. Adding to the Jayhawks' enthusiasm will be the return of leading scorer Danielle McCray to the lineup.

The sophomore missed KU's previous two games with a foot injury and has been cleared to play this afternoon. Although Henrickson said McCray may not start, just having her available is a big lift.

"It's a boost," Henrickson said. "Kelly (Kohn) has played well in (McCray's) absence. Kelly's played with more confidence and is better now than before the injury. So I think we could be a better team once we get Danielle back in rhythm, and that's what we're hoping for."

One member of Boston U's roster also will be making a return of sorts, as forward Jesyka Burks-Wiley comes back to the area after graduating from K.C. Lincoln Prep Academy. The 6-foot-1 junior is a key component to the Terriers' offense - averaging nearly 15 points a game - and has impressed Henrickson.

"She's very, very talented," Henrickson said. "She's a great perimeter player as a post player. She's skilled, she's got great one-on-one moves and she passes the ball well. I've been very impressed with her, and knowing she's from right down the road, I'm sure she'll be excited to play here."

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