NORMAL, Ill. - Despite 11 three-pointers, the Creighton women's basketball team suffered a 66-60 loss at Illinois State on Sunday, Feb. 10.
The loss dropped the Jays to 16-6 overall and 8-3 in the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC). Illinois State, meanwhile, improved to 15-8 on the season and 7-4 in MVC action.Early in the game the Jays fell behind 7-0 as Illinois State's Alexis Jenkins scored all seven of the Redbirds points. Junior Sarah Nelson rallied her squad with two quick buckets to ignite an 8-0 Creighton run as the Bluejays took an 8-7 lead by the 13:21 mark.
The game remained close over the next eight minutes as the Jays clung to a 19-18 lead with just under six minutes remaining. The Jays rattled off 12 of the next 16 points as five Jays contributed buckets to push the Creighton edge to 31-22 with less than one minute remaining in the half. Illinois State nailed a late three-ball to send the contest to halftime at 31-25 in Creighton's favor.
Period two saw the Redbirds hit their opening shot, but the Jays responded with back-to-back threes from senior Ally Jensen and freshman Marissa Janning to push the lead to its highest point, 37-27. Creighton maintained the safe distance until Russell took over.
With 11:36 remaining in the game the Bluejays appeared to be in complete control as Creighton held a 49-41 lead. Illinois State's Jamie Russell, however, had other plans. The Redbird senior scored six straight points, leading Illinois State on a 10-0 run in under three minutes to change the course of the game.
A trey from A. Jensen seemed to stop the Redbird run, but Illinois State rattled off 11 more to claim a 63-52 lead with 3:54 left in the contest.
Janning led the way for Creighton with 18 points, while A. Jensen had 15 and Nelson posted 10 points as well as nine rebounds.
Russell finished with a game-high 22 points, including 16 in the second half. The other Redbird in double-figures was Jenkins, who finished with 16 points.
The Bluejays return home next weekend as Creighton plays host to Missouri State on Feb. 14 (7 p.m.) and Wichita State on Feb. 16 (3 p.m.).