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Creighton WBB Heads to Houston to Face Cougars

OMAHA, Neb. - The Creighton (4-2) women's basketball team looks to stay perfect away from home as the Jays travel to Houston, Texas to face the Houston Cougars (4-5) on Saturday, Dec. 8 at 2 p.m.

Creighton Bluejays (4-2) at Houston Cougars (4-5)
 KZOT AM 1180 (
Brad Burwell (Play-by-Play) & Glen Sisk (Color Analyst)
TV/Video & Live Stats:
Series History: Series tied, 1-1

Jays vs. Houston
Creighton and Houston have split the only two meetings between the two schools.  Houston won the first meeting, 80-63, in Texas on Nov. 24, 2004.  The following year the Jays took the rematch in Omaha on Nov. 30, 2005, 76-59.  Ironically each team won on its home floor by 17 points.

Previous Meetings with Houston
Nov. 24, 2004:     Houston 80, Creighton 63
Nov. 30, 2005:     Creighton 76, Creighton 59

Road Warriors
The Bluejays opened the 2012-13 season with three consecutive victories away from home, two road and one neutral site wins.  The Jays rallied to best BYU 65-62 in overtime at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah on Nov. 28 (neutral) and defeated South Dakota State (63-54 on Nov. 14) and South Dakota (53-49 on Nov. 20) on the road.  The last time Creighton won its first four contests away from home was the 1995-96 season.  That year the Jays won their first three on the road as well as a neutral site game.

Inching Closer to Rasmussen and History
Jim Flanery captured his 194th career win against  #25 Nebraska on Dec. 5, 2012.  Flanery’s 194 victories in ten seasons trails the Bluejays overall leader, current Creighton athletics director Bruce Rasmussen, by just two.  If Flanery leads the Bluejays to victories in their next two contests, he would tie Rasmussen for the most wins in school history on Dec. 16.
Creighton Coaching Wins
Name    Wins    Seasons
Bruce Rasmussen    196    12
Jim Flanery    194    10
Connie Yori    170    10
Gaye Kinnett    33    3
Eddye McClure    26    3
Howard Faber    11    1

Last Time Out: 12/5; W, 66-57 vs. #25 Nebraska
The win breaks a seven-game losing streak to the Huskers as the Bluejays last victory over Nebraska came on Dec. 18, 2004, 58-57.  The win is also Creighton’s first victory over a ranked opponent since the Jays defeated No. 22 Illinois State on Feb.2, 2008 by the score of 75-71.

Creighton controlled the contest from start to finish. Down 5-2 with just under 17 minutes remaining in the first half, the Jays scored 13 of the next 17 points to grab a 15-9 edge. Junior Carli Tritz got the run started for Creighton with a driving layup from the left.  Tritz drew contact from Nebraska’s Jordan Hooper but was able to drain the bucket as she fell to the floor.  The ensuing two possessions saw freshman Marissa Janning follow suit with driving layups to put the Jays up 8-5.  After Nebraska regained the lead at 9-8, Creighton scored the ensuing seven points on a layup by junior Jordan Garrison, a three-ball from junior McKenzie Fujan and a running jumper from senior Ally Jensen.

With the Jays up 18-11 moments later, Nebraska rattled off eight straight to reclaim the lead at 19-18 with 6:23 remaining in the half. The Bluejays responded with a 9-2 run as Janning drilled back-to back treys to make is 24-19, then after a Husker bucket it was Garrison’s turn to connect from downtown pushing Creighton’s lead back to 27-21 with 4:21 to go. The Huskers refused to roll over, pulling back within two at 27-25, but the Jays closed the half with another 9-2 run in the final three minutes to take a 36-27 advantage into the locker room at the half.

Creighton pushed its lead out to 12 points in opening moments of the second half with a 5-2 run.  Following a Husker bucket, Fujan drained her third trifecta of the contest and junior Alyssa Kamphaus converted a layup to give the Jays a 41-29 lead with 18:29 left.

Showing the fight of a ranked team, Nebraska scored 11 of the next 13 points to make it a one possession game at 43-40 with just under 13 minutes remaining. Once more the Jays answered the challenge as Garrison delivered a circus style layup from the right wing.  The Osceola native went to the line for a three-point opportunity but missed off the front of the rim.  Tritz vaulted into the air along the left side of the rim to coral the rebound, then dropped a layup in the cylinder to put Creighton back up by seven at 47-40 with 12:26 to go.  Up 50-46 moments later, the Jays delivered the knockout blow with a 10-2 run, including a three-point dagger from Janning to make it 60-48 with 4:13 remaining.

Janning finished with a team-high 19 points, while Fujan had a career-high 13 points.  Nelson finished with just four points, but held Nebraska’s Hooper without a point for the first time in her career.

Creighton vs. Conference USA
The Bluejays have a combined 11-3 record against Conference USA teams (1-1 vs. Houston, 1-0 vs. Tulane, 4-0 vs. Tulsa and 5-2 vs. UTEP).   Head coach Jim Flanery is 1-1 against Conference USA in his tenure, both games with Houston. 

Third Time Was the Charm
Playing their third home game of the season and their third ranked opponent in No. 25 Nebraska.  Creighton ended a streak of 10 straight losses to ranked opponents, dating back to the Jays’ 75-71 win at No. 24 Illinois State on Feb. 2, 2008.  The Bluejays had not defeated a non-conference top-25 team since knocking off No. 14 Kansas 55-54 at home on Dec. 7, 1999. 

Creighton also ended a seven-game losing streak to Nebraska with the 66-57 win on Dec. 5.  Prior to Wednesday’s victory the Jays last win over the Huskers came on Dec. 18, 2004, 58-57.

The Jays are 2-17 against ranked teams under Jim Flanery and 2-8 versus the Huskers.

Scouting the Bluejays (4-2)
Coming off a big victory against intrastate rival #25 Nebraska on Dec. 5 (66-57), the Jays cannot overlook a much improved Houston team. Creighton posted their best shooting performance of the season in the win over the Huskers, going 27-of-48 from the field (56.3%).  On of the reasons for the improved shooting has been the play of freshman Marissa Janning.  The Watertown, Minn. native has provided more than a spark off the bench over the past two contests, dropping 19 points in each game.  Against the Huskers Janning was 7-for-10 from the field, including 4-of-6 from beyond the arc. The Jays also got a significant contribution from junior McKenzie Fujan as she delivered a career-high 13 points against Nebraska. On the season the Jays have relied on juniors Sarah Nelson and Carli Tritz to carry the load.  Nelson posted her first double-double of the season (16 points and 10 rebounds) in the Jays’ 65-62 (OT) win against BYU on Nov. 28 and leads the Jays on the season 11.8 ppg and 6.3 rpg.  Tritz is second in second in scoring at 8.7 ppg and leads the Bluejays with 17 assists this season.    

Scouting the Cougars (4-5)
Coming off a 3-26 record last season, the Cougars are off to a 4-5 start in 2012-13.  Houston dropped its first four contests, but rebounded to even its record with four straight wins.  At home the Cougars are 4-1 this season, falling only to Alabama (83-74) on Nov. 13.  Senior point guard Porsche Landry is the driving force for the Cougars with 16.3 ppg and 34 assists.  Junior Yasmeen Thompson is Houston’s post presence.  The junior college transfer is
averaging a double-double with 10.2 points and 10.4 rebounds per game.

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