SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - Trailing 49-34 with 7:56 remaining, the Creighton WBB team rallied to claim a 65-62 overtime victory in EnergySolutions Arena, the home of the Utah Jazz and Utah Starzz, on Wednesday, Nov. 28.
The Jays improved to 3-2 on the season, all road victories, while BYU fell to 3-4 overall. The Bluejays' comeback win was the largest since Jan. 24, 2010. In that game Creighton overcame a 16 point deficit halftime deficit (33-17) against Northern Iowa to claim a 62-58 win.
Down by as much as 18 points in the first half (35-17) and by 16 at the break (35-19) Creighton began to show some life in the opening moments of the second period led by the scoring of junior Jordan Garrison and freshman Marissa Janning. Garrison opened the second half scoring with a three-pointer from the right corner and Janning connected on a traditional three-point play, but five points from the Cougars' Lexi Eaton kept the deficit at 15, 40-25. Undaunted, Garrison drilled another trifecta from the right wing. The next time down the floor BYU defense collapsed to Garrison, so Janning calmly nailed a three-pointer from the left wing to bring the Jays back within single digits at 40-31. Following a BYU layup Janning drew the Jays within eight on her second three-pointer, this time from deep in the right corner. The eight point deficit was as close as Creighton had been since the 10-minute mark of the opening half.
BYU answered with a 7-0 run over the next four minutes to push the game back to a 15-point margin at 49-34. Coming out of the eight minute media timeout the Bluejays went to junior Sarah Nelson at the elbow for a jumper to end the Cougars run. The play not only ended BYU’s run, but started the Jays down the comeback trail.
Over the ensuing four minutes Nelson and team captains, junior Carli Tritz and senior Ally Jensen, led the Jays on a 15-5 run to pull within just five at 54-49 with 3:10 left in regulation. Janning capped the run with her third trey of the game.
The Jays defense continued to frustrate BYU down the stretch, forcing stop after stop. Tritz took advantage with a driving layup, then Janning connected on a four-foot running jumper as well as the bonus foul shot to tie the game at 54-54 with 2:12 to go.
BYU reclaimed the lead at 56-54 on a 10-footer by Xojian Harry with 34 seconds left. Tritz and the Jays refused to give in, knotting the game again 12 seconds later on a driving layup.
The overtime period saw the Bluejays claim their first lead with 3:33 to go as A. Jensen went 1-of-2 from the line. The Cougars wasted little time reclaiming the lead on three-pointer from Kim Beeston to take a 59-57 lead with just over two minutes to go. This time Tritz waited 17 seconds to tie the contest on a driving layup at 59-59.
Following two BYU free throws it was Janning's turn to shine as the Watertown, Minn. native nailed a floating jumper from 12 feet to make it 61-61 with 1:51 to go.
BYU had its chances to take control once again, but two missed jumpers as well as a missed free throw by Eaton on a 1-and-1 chance opened the door for the Jays.
With under a minute to go in overtime, BYU refused to let Tritz drive. Instead she kicked the ball out to Nelson on the right wing behind the NBA three-point line. The Omaha native raised up to can her first three-pointer of the game and send the Jays home with their third win away from home in three contests.
The opening period saw the Jays struggle from the field, shooting 9-of-31 from the field (29%) and just 1-of-9 from beyond the arc (11%). Creighton rebounded to connect on 6-of-12 from downtown in the second period and 8-of-24 (33%) in the game.
Janning led the Jays with a game-high 19 points, Nelson finished with 16 points, while Garrison and Tritz each delivered nine. BYU got a team-high 18 points from Eaton in the loss.
Creighton returns to action on Wednesday, Dec. 5 as the Jays host Nebraska at 7:05 p.m. in D.J. Sokol Arena.