OMAHA, Neb. - Coming off a Championship in the Caribbean Classic, the Creighton women (8-2) will try to remain perfect away from home (6-0) as the Jays wrap-up non-conference play at Minnesota (10-3) on Dec. 30.
Creighton (8-2) at Minnesota (10-3)
Series History: Minnesota Leads Series, 5-0
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Live Stats: www.gophersports.com
Jays Claim First Regular-Season Tournament Championship Since 2007-08: Victories over Miami (Ohio) (66-57) and South Florida (91-74) on Dec. 21 and 22 respectively, the Creighton Bluejays won their first regular-season tournament title since 2007-08, nabbing the Caribbean Classic Championship in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. In 2007-08 the Jays won the Rocky Mountain Invitational with victories over Kent State (71-57) and Colorado State (78-56).
Flying High Away from Home: Creighton is currently 6-0 away from home this season, 3-0 in true road contests and 3-0 in neutral site games. This marks the first time the Jays’ have opened the season with more than four consecutive victories away from home. Creighton remained one of two teams nationally that is undefeated away from home with at least three men’s and three women’s basketball games this winter. The Jays are joined by Duke on that elite list.
Bluejays tie Program Mark for 3s: The Jays showed precise accuracy, hitting 16-of-29 three-pointers in their 91-74 win over South Florida on Dec. 22. The 16 triples tied a program record for most three-pointers in on contest. Creighton also nailed 16 trifectas in a 63-61 (ot) win at UC Davis on Nov. 27, 2009 and at home on Dec. 6, 1989 in a 115-63 win over Oral Roberts.
With Record in Hand, Flanery Eyes 200: Creighton head coach Jim Flanery claimed sole possession of the Creighton record for most victories in the Jays’ 66-57 win over Miami (Ohio) on Dec. 21. Flanery’s record is 198-131 (.604) in his 11th season at the helm for the Jays.
Jays vs. Minnesota
Creighton and Minnesota have faced off five times previously, with the Golden Gophers taking each contest. Sunday will be the fifth time the Bluejays have traveled to Minnesota. The last meeting between the two teams came on Nov. 22, 2006. A 75-55 loss for Creighton in Minnesota.
Scouting the Golden Gophers (10-3)
Minnesota enters the game with Creighton on a four-game winning streak, including an 86-43 win over Northern Iowa. The Golden Gophers are a high-powered offense, averaging 73.8 points per game and have topped 80 in six of their 10 victories. Sophomore Rachel Banham leads the way for Minnesota with 20.1 ppg and 60 assists. The 5-10 point guard also has a knack for getting to the free-throw line, hitting 45 of her 52 shots from the charity stripe. The Gophers second leading scorer is junior Micaëlla Riché, who has 157 points (12.1 ppg) and leads Minnesota with 87 rebounds (6.7 rpg). The Golden Gophers are 8-1 at home this season, their only loss coming against Virginia, 90-68, on Nov. 29. A key to Minnesota’s success this season has been a stingy defense that has held opponents to a shooting percentage of 36.2 and a strong effort on the backboard as Minnesota has out-rebounded its opponents, 519-442.
Jays Out to Best Start Since 2002-03:
At 8-2 this season, the Creighton Bluejays are off to their best start since the 2002-03 season when the Jays started 9-2.
Jays Ranked Third in ESPN Mid-Major Top 10:
After earning the ESPN Team of the Weekend on Dec. 9, the Jays continued to nab accolades from the “mothership” as ESPN.com’s Graham Hays moved Creighton to third in his Mid-Major Top-10 on Dec. 27. The Bluejays first appeared in the poll on Dec. 13. In addition, ESPN’s Charlie Crème has the Jays as an 11-seed in the latest Bracketology.