Indiana State Sycamores (12-13, 6-7 MVC)
at Creighton Bluejays (14-11, 8-6 MVC)
Game #26 • Sunday, Feb. 19 • 2:05 p.m.
Ryan Athletic Center & D.J. Sokol Arena (2,500) • Omaha, Neb.
Twitter: @GoCreighton, @CreightonWBB
Series History: CU leads 32-12; CU leads 16-3 in Omaha
Audio (1180 AM) | Live Stats | Live Video
at Creighton Bluejays (14-11, 8-6 MVC)
Game #26 • Sunday, Feb. 19 • 2:05 p.m.
Ryan Athletic Center & D.J. Sokol Arena (2,500) • Omaha, Neb.
Twitter: @GoCreighton, @CreightonWBB
Series History: CU leads 32-12; CU leads 16-3 in Omaha
Audio (1180 AM) | Live Stats | Live Video
• Creighton is 6-2 at home in MVC play this year. The Bluejays have not lost more than two MVC home games in a season since 2006-07. Since the start of the 2007-08 season, the Jays are 32-7 (.821) at home in Valley play.
• Creighton overcame a 10-point deficit to beat Wichita State (Feb. 2) and a nine-point deficit to defeat Illinois State (Feb. 17) for its last two home wins. CU has trailed by at least eight in six wins this year, including its 12-point deficit overcome in its 64-62 win at Indiana State.
• The Bluejays shot a season-high 53.8 percent from three-point range (7-13) and blocked a season-high nine shots against Illinois State on Friday night.
• Sarah Nelson leads the Bluejays with nine double-doubles this season, tying Megan Neuvirth for the most in one season by a Bluejay in the last 10 years.
• In her last five games, Nelson is averaging 17.2 points and 10.0 rebounds per game, scoring a career-high 25 points at SIU last week.
• Carli Tritz scored all of her team-leading 16 points in the second half against Illinois State on Friday.
• Senior DaNae Moore will be playing in her final game at D.J. Sokol Arena today. She is the last Bluejay remaining to have called the Omaha Civic Auditorium home. The team will honor Moore in a postgame ceremony.
• Moore has established career-highs in points, field goals, field goal attempts, field goal percentage, assists and steals this year.
• Creighton has won six straight meetings with Indiana State and nine of the last 10 overall. CU has won four straight against the Sycamores in Omaha.
Scouting the Bluejays
Creighton played the toughest non-conference schedule in the league, with its strength of schedule ranked 18th before the start of Valley play ... Nine of CU’s 12 roster spots are filled by underclassmen ... After this weekend, Creighton plays its final three MVC games on the road for the second straight season ... The Bluejays lead the league in defense (58.8 ppg) and are eighth in the MVC in offense (60.8 ppg) ... Despite ranking eighth in the MVC in scoring, CU is second with 13.1 assists per game ... Sophomore Sarah Nelson (13.3 ppg), a two-time MVC Player of the Week this year, leads the team with nine double-doubles, 7.8 rebounds per game and 25 blocked shots ... Nelson, who scored a career-high 25 points last Saturday, is averaging 17.2 points and 10 rebounds in her last five games ... Sophomore Carli Tritz (14.3 ppg) is averaging a team-leading 15.3 points in MVC play ... Tritz, who has 18 steals in her last five games, is CU’s active career leader in points, steals, assists, free throws and free-throw attempts ... Junior Ally Jensen (8.4 ppg) leads the team with 50 three-pointers this year and 129 in her career.
Scouting the Sycamores
Indiana State lost six straight after opening MVC play 4-0 ... The Sycamores won twice last weekend before losing 60-43 at Drake on Friday ... ISU ranks last in the MVC with a minus-3.5 turnover margin ... Shannon Thomas is tied with Deja Mattox for the team-lead with 12.5 points per game, while Thomas tops the squad with 9.1 rebounds per game and 42 blocked shots ... Mattox leads the team with 33 steals and is shooting 46.5 percent (40-86) from three-point range, and leads ISU with 14.6 ppg in league play ... Brittany Schoen (11.2 ppg) ranks third in the MVC with 65 three-pointers on the year, while her 263 career triples are tied for the most in ISU history ... Anna Munn (10.0) leads the team with 2.5 assists per game and is also scoring in double figures for the Sycamores.
• Jim Flanery (Creighton, 1987) is in his 10th season as head coach at his alma mater, where he has led his team to seven WNIT postseason appearances and five 20-win seasons. He owns a career record of 184-127 (.592). The winningest MVC coach in school history, his 113 MVC wins rank sixth in league history. The second-winningest coach in school history, he led the Bluejays to the 2004 WNIT Championship. Prior to serving as CU’s head coach, Flanery served as CU’s top assistant for a decade. Flan is 13-8 all-time against Indiana State.
• Teri Moren (Purdue, 1992) is in her second season at Indiana State after serving three seasons as associate head coach at Georgia Tech She is 28-29 at Indiana State and 158-102 overall as a head coach. Moren previously served as head coach at Division II University of Indianapolis for seven seasons.
Creighton-Indiana State Series History
Creighton leads the all-time series with Indiana State, 32-12, including 16-3 in Omaha. CU has won sox straight and nine of the last 10 meetings with ISU after losing six straight in the series. The Bluejays have won four straight meetings with ISU in Omaha as the Sycamores last won here on March 1, 2007.
Last Time vs. Indiana State
Carli Tritz hit the game-winning shot with 2.0 seconds left on the clock to cap a 14-2 game-ending run for the Bluejays in a 64-62 win in Terre Haute last month. Indiana State led by 12 with 7:25 to play, but the Bluejays made 7-of-8 shots during a 17-3 run and smothered the Sycamores with a pressing defense to overcome the deficit for a victory. Tritz scored 17 of her team-high 19 points in the second half. The Jays made 10-of-25 three-pointers in the exciting win. Deja Mattox led the Sycamores with a career-high 25 points. ISU out-scored the Bluejays 20-2 at the free-throw line.
Individuals against Indiana State
Carli Tritz averages 16.7 points, 4.3 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game in her career against Indiana State, shooting 45.9 percent from the field and 50 percent (5-10) from three-point range. McKenzie Fujan scored 10 points and added three assists against Indiana State last month. Ally Jensen scored 11 points against ISU last month, but averages just 6.4 points per game, shooting 9-of-29 (.310) from 3-point range against the Sycamores in five career meetings. Sarah Nelson averages 8.0 points and 5.3 rebounds against ISU.
Carli Tritz scored all of her team-leading 16 points in the second half of Creighton’s win over Illinois State on Friday. It’s nothing new for Tritz, who scored 17 of her 19 points against Indiana State last month after halftime. On the season Tritz is averaging 8.8 points per game in the second half, compared to just 5.4 points in the first half. Tritz is shooting 49.4 percent from the field after halftime and just 38.8 percent in the first half.
Not Half Bad
Creighton improved to 28-1 all-time under head coach Jim Flanery when shooting at least 50 percent from the field as the Bluejays shot a season-high 52.8 percent from the floor at SIU on Saturday. The Bluejays also scored a season-high 80 points at SIU, tying their highs for first-half (37) and second-half (43) point totals on the season.
Creighton’s leading scorers, Carli Tritz (14.3) and Sarah Nelson (13.3) have been remarkable consistent this season, averaging a combined 27.6 points per game – or 44.4 percent of Creighton’s offense. Tritz has scored in double figures 19 times and Nelson 18 times. They are looking to become the first pair of Bluejays to average at least 13 points in a season since Angie Janis (18.5) and Kristi Woodard (13.5) in 2005-06.
Better Balance in Wins
• Carli Tritz and Sarah Nelson average 40.0 percent of CU’s points in wins, but score 51.4 percent of the team’s points in losses.
• Creighton’s third-leading scorer, Ally Jensen, averages 11.0 points per game in wins, but drops to just 5.3 in losses.
• In wins, four Bluejays are averaging at least four rebounds per game, helping the Jays to a plus-5.9 rebounding advantage.
• In losses, only Nelson (7.2) averages better than 3.7 rebounds per game, as CU has a minus-4.5 rebounding margin in defeats.
Sarah Nelson scored career-highs in back-to-back games last week, scoring 23 at Evansville before topping that with 25 points at Southern Illinois. It's the second time this season the sophomore has scored 20 points in consecutive games, becoming the first Bluejay since Angie Janis to score 20 in back-to-back games more than once in a season. She's the first Bluejay since Megan Neuvirth in 2009-10 to score 20 in consecutive games and the first Jay since Chevelle Herring in 2008-09 to score more than 23 in consecutive games. Her 25 points equal Carli Tritz for team-high honors on the season and the most points scored by a Bluejay over the previous three seasons.
• Sarah Nelson’s nine double-doubles this year are the most by a Bluejay since Megan Neuvirth had nine in 2008-09. The nine double-dimes are the most by any Bluejay over the last decade.
• After averaging 24 points last week, the sophomore is averaging 17.2 points, 10.0 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game over her last five contests, shooting 51.7 percent (30-58) from the field in that span.
• Nelson is the first Bluejay under Jim Flanery to lead the team outright in scoring, rebounds and assists in consecutive games (Neuvirth shared team-high honors), doing so at Evansville (Feb. 9) and SIU (Feb. 11)
Nelson Scores More Than Half
Sarah Nelson scored more than half of Creighton’s points in a 48-45 loss at Evansville last week, pouring in a career-high 23 points. She also added four assists to have a hand in 13 of CU’s 18 field goals in the loss. The last Bluejay to score more than half of her team’s points in a game was Sam Schuett. Schuett scored 22 of CU’s 42 points in a 42-41 win over Evansville on Feb. 13, 2010.
Tritz is a Thief
Sophomore Carli Tritz tied her season and career-high with six steals at Southern Illinois last Saturday, has 14 steals in her last three games and 18 in her last five contests. She leads the team with 42 steals on the season to move her to 109 swipes in her career.
Give Us Moore
Senior DaNae Moore is enjoying a career year in her final season at Creighton. With four games still remaining in the regular-season, Moore already has career-highs in points, field goals, field goal attempts, field goal percentage, assists and steals. She tied her career-high with 11 points against UNI (Jan. 27), making 5-of-6 shots. She one-upped herself with a new career-high of 12 points on 6-of-9 shooting and a season-high nine rebounds in Creighton’s win over Bradley (Jan. 29).
Home is Where the Wins Are
Creighton is 21-5 (.808) all-time in MVC games played at D.J. Sokol Arena and the Bluejays are 32-9 (.780) overall in the third season at their new home. The Bluejays are 104-34 (.754) at home under Jim Flanery, including 70-19 (.787) in MVC play at home under Flanery.
Creighton is 32-9 all-time their new home. In those 41 games, the Jays have allowed less than 60 points points 29 times and under 50 points 10 times. Bluejay opponents are averaging just 55.8 points per game in the 41 games played inside D.J. Sokol Arena.
Cleaning the Glass
Creighton crushed Wichita State on the glass on Feb. 2, outrebounding the Shockers by 25 (47-22). The plus-25 margin was the largest rebounding margin recorded by a Jim Flanery coached team and was Creighton’s largest rebounding margin since outrebounding Indiana State by 26 on Feb. 11, 2001. The Bluejays were outrebounded by a combined 35 through their first three MVC games (-11.7 per game), all losses. Since then, the Bluejays have gone 6-2 and are plus 58 (+5.8 per game) on the glass.
Specialty Stat Improvements
Creighton has improved in all four “specialty stat” categories – points off turnovers, second-chance points, points in the paint and bench scoring – since MVC play began. The Bluejays are out-scoring their opponents in all the categories as well.
Statistic Non-Con MVC
Off Turnovers 15.4 (-2.0) 17.0 (+2.2)
Second Chance 8.9 (-0.3) 10.5 (+2.0)
In the Paint 23.3 (-6.3) 24.8 (+0.6)
Bench Scoring 16.6 (+0.5) 17.3 (+3.9)
Parentheses indicate opponent differential
Carli’s Career-High 25 Points
Sophomore Carli Tritz poured in a career-high 25 points against Bradley (Jan. 29), making 10-of-16 field goals and 5-of-7 free-throws in the win. Her 25 points – which topped her former mark of 23 against Kansas (Nov. 16) – equal the most scored by a Bluejay in a game over the previous three seasons, as Kelsey Woodard had a season-high 25 points in 2010-11 and Megan Neuvirth scored 25 points for a team-high in 2009-10.
On Top of the Valley
Creighton has won more MVC games over the past 10 seasons than any other league foe. Since Jim Flanery took over in 2002-03, the Bluejays have posted 113 Valley wins. With 105 victories between 2002 and 2011, the Bluejays were the only Valley team to eclipse 100 conference wins in that nine-year span.
MVC Records Since 2002-03
(through Feb. 17)
School W-L Pct.
Creighton 113-63 .642
Northern Iowa 107-69 .608
Illinois State 106-69 .606
Indiana State 103-72 .589
Missouri State 101-74 .577
Drake 96-80 .545
Bradley 77-99 .438
Evansville 66-110 .375
Wichita State 64-111 .366
Southern Illinois 45-131 .256
Flan Makes History
Head coach Jim Flanery is one of seven coaches in league history with 100 wins in conference play. With Creighton’s win over Bradley on Jan. 29, Flan moved past his predecessor Connie Yori (now at Nebraska) for the school record and now ranks sixth in MVC history with 112 Valley wins.
Most MVC Coaching Wins (league games)
Name, School Wins Years
Cheryl Burnett, MSU 201 1988-02
Cindy Scott, SIU 199 1983-98
Jill Hutchison, ILS 170 1983-99
Tony DiCecco, UNI 117 1996-07
Lisa Bluder, DU 116 1991-00
Jim Flanery, CU 113 2002-pr.
Connie Yori, CU 109 1992-02
Creighton overcame a 12-point second-half deficit to win 64-62 at Indiana State (Jan. 20), as Carli Tritz hit the game-winning basket with 2.0 seconds on the clock. It marked Creighton’s first win when trailing at halftime this year and its largest come-from-behind road win since 2008. The Bluejays have overcome three double-digit deficits for wins this year (Bowling Green, Indiana State, Wichita State). The Jays have trailed in 12 of their 14 wins this season, and been behind by at least eight points in six of their 14 wins.
More Information on Comebacks
Creighton’s win at Indiana State was its 19th victory under Jim Flanery when it trailed by at least 10 points in the game. It was CU’s largest comeback in two years, since overcoming an 18-point deficit against Northern Iowa on Jan. 24, 2010. Below are the top comebacks for CU since 2002-03.
Opponent, Deficit Final Date
vs. Indiana State, -19 69-65 3-9-07*
Northern Iowa, -18 62-58 1-24-10
Missouri State, -13 79-73 (ot) 1-6-08
at Evansville, -13 76-64 1-21-07
at Indiana State, -12 64-62 1-20-12
at South Dakota St., -12 76-69 3-20-08^
Illinois State, -12 80-77 (ot) 2-29-08
at Indiana State, -12 68-60 1-31-08
Illinois State, -12 77-72 1-10-04
* - MVC Tournament; ^ - WNIT
Home games in bold
Sophomore Carli Tritz scored in double figures in 11 straight games (Dec. 8 - Jan. 22), the longest streak of her career and longest by a Bluejay since Sam Schuett had 15 straight games of at least 10 points during the 2009-10 season. Tritz is one of five players during the Jim Flanery era to put together 10 straight games of double-digit scoring, joining Laura Spanheimer, Angie Janis, Kristi Woodard and Schuett. She's the first sophomore to record such a streak under Flanery and the first to do so since MVC Player of the Year Christy Neneman did so in 2001-02.
10-Game Streaks of 10+ Points
Under Jim Flanery (since 2002-03)
Player, Yr. Streak Season
Angie Janis, Jr. 20 2004-05
Sam Schuett, Jr. 15 2009-10
Kristi Woodard, Jr. 15 2004-05
Angie Janis, Sr. 13 2005-06
Carli Tritz, So. 11 2011-12
Laura Spanheimer, Sr. 10 2004-05
Nelson in Elite Company
Sophomore Sarah Nelson leads the team with seven double-doubles this season. Against SIU on Jan. 14, she posted 11 rebounds, 10 points and a career-high five assists. With those five helpers, she joined Megan Neuvirth, Laura Spanheimer and Christy Neneman as the only Bluejays since 2002-03 to log at least 10 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in a game.
10+ Points, 10+ Rebounds, 5+ Assists
Under Jim Flanery (since 2002-03)
Player P-R-A Date, Opp.
C. Neneman 12-12-5 11-24-02, UMKC
L. Spanheimer 12-10-11 1-8-04, Ind. St.
L. Spanheimer 12-10-5 1-10-04, Ill. St.
L. Spanheimer 20-10-7 11-19-04, NW
L. Spanheimer 14-10-6 2-23-05, Bradley
M. Neuvirth 17-16-6 11-25-08, SLU
M. Neuvirth 18-14-5 12-21-08, Colo. St.
M. Neuvirth 10-12-6 1-16-10, SIU
S. Nelson 10-11-5 1-14-12, SIU
X-X First-Half Leads to X-X Finish
For the sixth straight season the Bluejays owned a winning record through the first half of MVC play. This marks the 17th time in 20 seasons as a member of the MVC that the Jays have posted a winning record through the first half of the league schedule. CU had an identical first and second-half MVC record in 2007-08 and 2008-09, but has not had a better second half record than first half since 2002-03 – its last regular-season championship.
MVC MVC MVC
Season 1st Half Overall Finish
2011-12 5-4 8-6 ??
2010-11 7-2 12-6 T-2nd
2009-10 7-2 13-5 2nd
2008-09 7-2 14-4 2nd
2007-08 6-3 12-6 4th
2006-07 5-4 8-10 6th
2005-06 4-5 5-13 T-9th
2004-05 8-1 13-5 T-2nd
2003-04 8-1 15-3 2nd
2002-03 6-3 13-5 T-1st
2001-02 8-1 16-2 1st
2000-01 5-4 11-7 4th
1999-00 4-5 7-11 6th
1998-99 5-4 9-9 7th
1997-98 7-2 11-7 3rd
1996-97 4-5 7-11 8th
1995-96 6-3 10-8 T-4th
1994-95 6-3 12-6 4th
1993-94 8-0 14-2 2nd
1992-93 7-1 12-4 T-2nd
Garrison Picks Spots, Hits Shots
Sophomore Jordan Garrison scored a career-high 11 points against Evansville (Jan. 12), making 4-of-5 shots from the field. She tied her career-high by making three three-pointers, finishing 3-for-4 from long range.
Bluejays Win Big
Creighton cruised to a 65-33 win over Evansville on Jan. 12. Here are some numbers to highlight the win.
• The 33 points were the fewest scored by a Bluejay opponent since Nebraska Wesleyan scored 31 on Nov. 28, 1978.
• The 32-margin of victory was Creighton’s largest of the season and the fifth time under Jim Flanery the Bluejays have won by at least 30 points. CU has twice defeated Wichita State by at least 30 points and owns large non-conference wins over North Dakota (+39) and Memphis (+33) under Flanery.
• The 32-margin of victory was the third-largest winning margin in MVC play under Flanery.
• The win marked the third straight season the Bluejays have beaten the Purple Aces by at least 26 points.
Largest MVC Winning Margins
Under Jim Flanery (since 2002-03)
Opponent Date Score Margin
Wichita State 1-7-10 89-48 41
Wichita State 1-4-08 83-47 36
Evansville 1-12-12 65-33 32
Missouri State 1-8-09 92-63 29
Illinois State 2-19-11 71-44 27
Evansville 1-6-11 81-55 26
Evansville 1-14-10 63-37 26
Bluejays Hit the Boards
Creighton snagged 50 rebounds in its win over SIU (Jan. 14). Sarah Nelson led the team with 11 boards, while three Jays tied or set a career-high for rebounds. McKenzie Fujan doubled her previous rebounding high, grabbing eight in the win. Alexis Akin-Otiko tied her career-best with seven boards. Sammy Jensen entered the game with three rebounds in 82 minutes played on the season before the 5-foot-5 freshman snagged a career-best five rebounds in 11 minutes against the Salukis.
Trail to Win
In 12 of Creighton’s 14 wins this year, the Bluejays have fallen behind in the opening minutes, only to come back and own a lead before halftime. Creighton, which never trailed in its win at Wyoming, led at halftime in its first eight wins of the season before overcoming a halftime deficit for a win at Indiana State (Jan. 20). A quick glance at some of CU’s deficits overcome for wins this year:
• Nov. 11 at UND, CU trailed by 6 just 90 seconds into the game, but led 34-28 at halftime and won 72-54.
• Nov. 13 at NDSU, CU trailed by 8 six minutes into the game, but led 28-24 at halftime and won 71-51.
• Dec. 18 vs. BGSU, CU trailed by 10 with 9:15 left in the first half, but led 26-25 at halftime and won 49-47.
• Dec. 20 at UTSA, CU trailed by 6, six minutes into the game, but led 23-18 at halftime and won 54-53.
• Jan. 14 vs. SIU, CU trailed by 8, five minutes into the game, but led 30-26 at halftime and won 66-59.
• Jan. 20 at Indiana State, CU trailed 36-27 at halftime and was down 57-45 with seven minutes remaining before using a 17-3 run, including 12 unanswered points, and the game-winning bucket with 2.0 seconds left to win 64-62.
• Feb. 2 vs. Wichita State, WSU went on a 14-0 run to take a 16-6 lead seven minutes into the game before the Jays bounced back to lead 30-29 at halftime and win 61-59.
• Feb. 17 vs. Illinois State, ISU led by nine in the first half and was up 29-23 at halftime before the Jays started the second-half on an 8-0 run and would win 68-59.
Ally Jensen Joins the Club
Junior Ally Jensen became the 16th player in school history to reach 100 career three-pointers when she hit her third trey at UTSA on Dec. 20. Jensen is now ranked 14th in school history in three-pointers made.
Creighton Career 3-Point Field Goals
1. 309 Kathy Halligan 1988-92
2. 294 Dayna Finch 2000-04
3. 261 Kelsey Woodard 2007-11
4. 250 Laura Spanheimer 2001-05
5. 187 Missy Miller 1992-96
6. 174 Holly Sivesind 1993-97
7. 169 Sam Schuett 2006-11
8. 154 Ally Thrall 2004-08
9. 151 Melissa Sanford 1989-92
10. 137 Krissie Spanheimer 1997-01
11. 134 Chevelle Herring 2005-10
134 Angela Timmons 1997-01
13. 132 Kristi Woodard 2002-06
14. 129 Ally Jensen 2009-
15. 102 Christy Neneman 2000-04
16. 101 Michelle Kaus 2005-09
Alexis in Stitches
Alexis Akin-Otiko had an unfortunate ending to her best game since Nov. 13 at Missouri State on Jan. 5. The freshman scored 10 points, making all five of her field goal attempts in Creighton's game at MSU, scoring in double figures for the second time this season. The rookie left the game with 2:47 remaining after colliding head-on with Lady Bear star Casey Garrison. Akin-Otiko needed four stitches to repair a cut under her right eye, while Garrison suffered a broken nose in the collision.
Jim Flanery coached in his 300th game as Creighton's head coach at Wichita State on Jan. 8. He joins Bruce Rasmussen as the only other coach in school history to reach 300 games as CU's leader. Rasmussen coached in 343 games in 12 seasons at Creighton, while Flan is now in his 10th season. Rasmussen, now Creighton’s athletic director, was 160-140 (.533) after 300 games, while Flanery went 176-124 (.587) in his first 300 games at CU.
Best Non-Conference RPI & SOS in MVC
• As it annually does, Creighton again played the strongest non-conference schedule in the MVC. When non-conference play concluded, the Bluejays’ strength of schedule (SOS) through Dec. 28 was 18. Only one other school in the MVC had an SOS in the top 100, as Illinois State’s SOS was 39 before Valley play began. The average strength of schedule for the nine other MVC teams was 174 – or 156 spots lower than Creighton’s.
• Creighton’s league-leading RPI was 49 before MVC play began. The Jays were one of four MVC teams in the top 100, with Missouri State (63), Bradley (82) and Illinois State (97) joining them.
No Bad Non-Conference Losses
One reason for Creighton’s high non-conference RPI and strength of schedule is the fact that the five teams Creighton lost to this year were a combined 52-4 in non-conference action. Colorado (11-0), Notre Dame (12-1), Nebraska (11-1), Kansas (11-1) and South Dakota (7-1) had impressive non-conference marks. Notre Dame is ranked second and Nebraska is ranked 16th in this week's AP poll.
Tritz Named All-Tournament
Carli Tritz was named to the UTSA Holiday Classic All-Tournament Team following her play at the event in San Antonio Dec. 20-21. Tritz scored 14 points against UTSA and followed with a game-high 18 points and five assists against Colorado to average 16 points per game at the tournament.
Concussions are Contagious?
Well no, but two Bluejay freshmen missed time with concussions in December. Taylor Johnson missed three games (Dec. 18-21) with concussions symptoms, due to a concussions suffered in practice the week before playing Bowling Green on Dec. 18. Sammy Jensen then suffered a concussion while taking a charge in Creighton’s game at UTSA (Dec. 20). Both freshmen returned to action in Creighton’s MVC opener.
Bluejays Lose Norman Again
For the second straight season Riley Norman will not appear in a regular-season game for the Bluejays. The Des Moines native suffered a torn ACL during preseason practices prior to her freshman year in 2010-11 and missed the year. The forward underwent surgery for a separate knee injury on Dec. 22 and will miss all of the 2011-12 season because of the injury.
Freshman Makes History
Taylor Johnson became the first freshman in school history to make at least four three-point field goals in consecutive games earlier this year when she drained four against both NC State (Nov. 27) and at Wyoming (Dec. 1). The rookie has found her shooting touch, as she has gone 11-of-27 (.407) from long range after starting her career 1-of-14 (.071) from beyond the arc. She was the first Bluejay to make at least four threes in consecutive games since Kelsey Woodard did so in the final two games of the 2008-09 season.
3-Point Streak Snapped
Creighton had made at least five three-pointers in its first 11 games this year before it made a season-low three and shot a season-low 15.8 percent (3-19) from long range against Drake on Dec. 31. The 11-straight games with five threes was CU’s longest streak since making five threes in 12 straight games between Jan. 8 – Feb. 20, 2004. The Bluejays ended last season having made at least five three-pointers in their final eight games as the Jays set a school-record with 19 consecutive games with at least five threes.
Creighton went 4-2 on the road in non-conference action this season after posting a combined 2-8 record in non-conference road games over its previous two seasons. Creighton captured its first winning record on the road in non-conference play since Jim Flanery’s first season in 2002-03 when the Bluejays went 6-2 in non-conference road games (3-2 in the regular-season and 3-0 in the WNIT). The Jays were 2-2 in non-conference road games in 2004-05 and 4-4 on the non-con road in 2003-04.
Tritz Reaches 400 Points Rapidly
With 13 points against South Dakota (Nov. 22), sophomore Carli Tritz eclipsed 400 career points in just her 35th career game. She became the fastest Bluejay to reach 400 points since Becky Flynn scored her 400th career point in her first game as a sophomore in 1993. Flynn reached 400 points in her 29th career game. If you’re curious about other recent Bluejays to quickly reach 400 – Christy Neneman (37), Kelsey Woodard (38) and Laura Spanheimer (39) – were all edged out by Tritz.
Flan Schedules the Big Boys (or Girls)
Creighton played five games against teams from BCS conferences this season, continuing a trend head coach Jim Flanery started when he took over in 2002-03. The Bluejays have played 66 games against BCS schools in that span, 26 more than the next closest MVC school – Drake (40). Flanery’s 19 wins against BCS schools in that span are nine more than the next closest MVC school in that span – Illinois State (10). In fact, Flan has more wins against BCS conference (ACC, Big East, Big 10, Big 12, Pac 12, SEC) schools since he took over than Bradley has games played (17) against BCS schools.
MVC vs. BCS since 2002-03
School Games Wins
Creighton 66 19
Illinois State 32 10
Drake 40 9
Missouri State 32 7
Indiana State 20 6
Northern Iowa 37 4
Wichita State 21 4
Evansville 20 3
Bradley 17 3
Southern Illinois 22 0
Nelson: 2-Time MVC Player of the Week
Whatever the opposite of a sophomore slump is, Sarah Nelson is doing it. The sophomore was named the MVC Player of the Week twice in the first three weeks of the season, earning the honor on Nov. 28 following a week in which she averaged 16.5 points and 13.5 rebounds and set career-highs for rebounds and points in a game. Nelson turned in a career-high 17 rebounds against South Dakota (Nov. 22) and followed with a career-high 22 points against NC State (Nov. 27). She made 9-of-10 shots against the Wolfpack and to finish the week 14-of-20 (.700) from the field.
• Nelson also earned MVC Player of the Week honors after the opening week of the season when she averaged 14.5 points per game and made 12-of-16 shots (.750) from the field in road wins at North Dakota and North Dakota State.
• Nelson is the first Bluejay two be named MVC Player of the Week twice in one season since Megan Neuvirth in 2008-09.
• Nelson is the first Bluejay to be named MVC Player of the Week twice in the same month since Christy Neneman in February 2002.
• Nelson scored in double figures in her first six games this year after never scoring 10+ in consecutive games at all as a freshman.
Nelson Grabs 17 Rebounds
Sarah Nelson had the best rebounding game by a Bluejay since 2003 on Nov. 22 when she pulled down 17 rebounds against South Dakota. The 17 boards were not only a career-high, but they were also a D.J. Sokol Arena record. The 17 caroms were the most by a Bluejay since two-time MVC Player of the Year Christy Neneman snagged 17 rebounds against Indiana State on Feb. 27, 2003. The 17 rebounds are tied for the 10th-most in a single game in school history.
3s by the Dozen
Creighton made a season-high 12 three-pointer in its 74-67 win over NC State (Nov. 27). The game marked the 20th time under Jim Flanery the Bluejays have made at least 12 triples in one game, moving Creighton’s record to 16-4 (.800) under Flan when making at least 12 threes. The Jays are now 34-11 (.756) under Flan when making 10 or more three-pointers in a game.
Career Highs All Around
The Bluejays had four players score career-high point totals in their 74-67 win over NC State (Nov. 27), led by Sarah Nelson’s 22 points. Taylor Johnson entered the NC State game with 13 points scored in her first four collegiate games before snapping out of her shooting funk by hitting 4-of-10 three-pointers and finishing with 15 points. Junior Jasmin Corbin scored a career-high nine points, making a career-best 6-of-6 free throws, and sophomore Jordan Garrison finished with a then career-high nine points by making 3-of-5 three-pointers in her first career start. Junior Ally Jensen dished a career-high seven assists – three more than her previous career-best – while she also equalled her career-high with six rebounds against the Wolfpack.
Not So Rocky Road
The Bluejays won their first two road games of the season for the first time since 1995. Creighton opened the season with consecutive road wins in its first two games for the first time in school history. Prior to its 72-54 win at North Dakota to open the year, Creighton had not won its first road game of the season since 1999 and had not won a season-opener on the road since 1998.
Bluejays Blowout Bison
Creighton blasted North Dakota State 71-51 on Nov. 13, the Bluejays’ first 20-point non-conference road win since a 78-56 win at Colorado State on Nov. 24, 2007. It marked just the third non-conference road win of at least 20 points under head coach Jim Flanery, with the first coming on Dec. 20, 2002 – 80-57 at UC Irvine.
Creighton opened the season with a 72-54 win at North Dakota, earning head coach Jim Flanery his 171st career victory. That win moved him ahead of his predecessor Connie Yori (170) alone into second place on the CU career victories chart. He now trails only Bruce Rasmussen’s (currently Creighton’s AD) 196 wins for tops in school history.
Creighton Coaching Wins
Name Wins Seasons
Bruce Rasmussen 196 12
Jim Flanery 183 10
Connie Yori 170 10
Gaye Kinnett 33 3
Eddye McClure 26 3
Howard Faber 11 1
We’re Still Young
One season after half of the roster was made up of freshmen, the 2011-12 roster consists of 12 players, nine of which are underclassmen. The Bluejays have one senior (DaNae Moore), two juniors, five sophomores, three true freshmen and one redshirt freshman on the roster.
Creighton’s Sister Act Continues
One of the three freshmen on this year’s team is Sammy Jensen, the younger sister of junior Ally Jensen, continuing the recent trend of sisters playing for the Bluejays. Last year, Kellie and Sarah Nelson played alongside each other. Before the Nelson’s played together, the last recorded sister duo to play on the same Bluejay basketball squad was Peggy and Patty Bierle during the 1978-79 season. Kelsey Woodard (2007-11) followed older sister Kristi (2002-06) and Laura Spanheimer (2001-05) followed in the steps of her older sister Krissie (1997-01) to solidify this basketball program as true family environment.
Five of Creighton’s 12 players on this year’s roster are from Nebraska – Omaha products Jasmin Corbin (Millard West) and Sarah Nelson (Westside), Seward High graduate Alyssa Kamphaus, Wahoo Bishop Neumann product McKenzie Fujan and Alexis Akin-Otiko out of Bellevue West.
The Bellevue Bloodline
Freshman Alexis Akin-Otiko continues a trend at Creighton which began in 2002-03. Akin-Otiko attended Bellevue West, following in the footsteps of former Bluejays and fellow Bellevue West Thunderbirds Kristi and Kelsey Woodard. Kristi played for the Jays from 2002-06 and Kelsey played from 2007-11, meaning one T-Bird has been on the roster every year since 2002-03 – with the exception of 2006-07. CU has had at least one player from Bellevue on the roster every season for the last decade, as Chevelle Herring, a Bellevue East product, played from 2005-10.