OMAHA, Neb. - The Creighton women's basketball team look to retain the road warrior moniker as the Jays head to Salt Lake City, Utah to face BYU in EnergySolutions Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 4 p.m. (CT).
Creighton Bluejays (2-2) vs. BYU Cougars (3-3) Radio: KZOT AM 1180 (www.1620thezone.com) TV/Video: byutvsports.com Live Stats: www.gocreighton.com Twitter: www.twitter.com/gocreighton Series History: Creighton leads BYU, 6-5
Last Time Out: 11/25; L, 48-58 vs. #22 Kansas
Trailing by as much as 19 in the second period, the Creighton women’s basketball team closed the game strong to cut the deficit to single digits before falling to #22 Kansas, 58-48, on Sunday, Nov. 25.
Down 51-32 late in the second half, the Jays began to show the level of basketball that head coach Jim Flanery wanted to see the entire game. Junior Sarah Nelson got things turned around for Creighton with a driving layup to spark a 6-0 run. The remaining four points came from fellow junior McKenzie Fujan on two free throws and a driving layup to make it a 51-38 lead with 5:38 left.
Following a Kansas bucket, junior Carli Tritz sparked another Jays burst with two free throws and a three-pointer from the left wing to cut the deficit to just nine (52-43) with 4:24 remaining. A short time later, Fujan drove the lane once again to make it to the foul line. The Weston, Neb. native sank one of two, then junior Jordan Garrison poked the ball away from Kansas guard Angel Goodrich. The bounce went directly to Fujan on the right side near midcourt. With 2:30 remaining on the clock, Fujan raced to the bucket for an uncontested layup, pulling the Jays within eight, 54-46.
Unfortunately time was not on the Creighton side as Kansas scored on two of its final three possessions to hold on for the 58-48 win. Fujan, Nelson and Tritz led Creighton with 11 points each, while Kansas got 12 from Davis and Monica Engelman.
Playing Under the Bright Lights
Creighton and BYU will battle in EnergySolutions Arena, the home of the Utah Jazz (NBA) and Utah Starzz (WNBA).
Jays vs. BYU
Creighton holds a 6-5 series edge on BYU. The two teams have not met since 1992, a 92-63 win for the Bluejays in Omaha on Feb. 20. Creighton has won all five meetings with the Cougars at home but are just 1-5 in Utah. Wednesday’s contest will be the first meeting between the two teams on a neutral court.
The Bluejays have opened the 2012-13 season with two road victories for the second consecutive season, defeating South Dakota State (63-54 on Nov. 14) and South Dakota (53-49 on Nov. 20). The last time Creighton won its first three contests away from home was the 1993-94 season. That year the Jays won their first four contests on the road.
Nelson’s 23-point Outburst Paces Jays
Junior Sarah Nelson put up a season-high 23 points in the Jays’ 53-49 win at South Dakota on Nov. 20. Nelson was 7-of-11 from the field and posted a career-high three treys against the Coyotes. Nelson also had two blocks, a season-high.
EnergySolutions Arena, Former Home of Kyle Korver
While Wednesday will be the first time the Creighton WBB team will play in the EnergySolutions Arena, former Creighton MBB standout Kyle Korver called it home for three seasons as a member of the Utah Jazz (2007-08 to 2009-10).
Scouting the Bluejays (2-2)
Creighton hits the road for the third time this season as the Jays look to continue their winning ways in a neutral site matchup with BYU. While caliber of opponent certainly has played a factor, both of Creighton’s home losses have come against ranked teams, the Jays defense has held its two road opponents to 38% from the field (36-of-95). Conversely the two home opponents are shooting 51% (51-of-101). A key for the matchup on Wednesday will be the play of junior Sarah Nelson. The Omaha native leads Creighton with 12.8 ppg and has grabbed 20 rebounds as well as five blocks to lead the Jays in all three categories. Nelson, however, has gotten help on the outside from senior Ally Jensen and junior Carli Tritz. A. Jensen and Tritz are averaging three just under 18 points per game and have nabbed 14 steals.
Scouting the Cougars (3-3)
With a 3-3 record the Cougars return to Utah after playing five consecutive games out of state. However, BYU will not play in its home arena for the sixth consecutive game. Instead the game will be in Salt Lake City at EnergySolutions Arena (ESA) at 3 p.m. The Cougars have not played at ESA since the 1992-93 season when the WAC Championships were held there. BYU has dropped three of their past four games, including a 67-52 loss at Washington State on Nov. 24. The Cougars are led in scoring by sophomore Lexi Eaton with 104 points in six contests, 17.3 ppg. BYU, however, is a different team when Jennifer Hamson is on the court. The 6-7 junior has played only one game, the Cougars’ 62-48 win at Arizona on Nov. 20th. Hamson recorded 23 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks in 27 minutes. It is unclear why Hamson has only played in one of the Cougars six contests, but she is not in the projected starting lineup.