ROSEMONT, Ill. - The Creighton women's basketball team played their collective hearts out but ultimately succumbed to St. John's, 68-63, in double overtime on Monday, March 10 in the BIG EAST WBB Tournament.
The loss dropped Creighton to 19-13, while St. John's advances to the BIG EAST WBB Tournament final against the winner of #1 DePaul and #5 Marquette.
Creighton gained the upper hand early as the Bluejays built an 11-5, getting buckets from four different players. St. John's rallied with eight straight to take the lead at 13-11 only to have Creighton respond with nine straight of their own to reclaim the advantage, 20-13, with 2:07 remaining in the half. The closing two possessions of the half saw senior Sarah Nelson
knock down a three-pointer from the left wing, but a half-court heave from St. John's Aailyah Lewis cut Creighton's lead to 25-22 at the break.
The momentum of the half court shot carried into the opening moments of the second half as St. John's claimed its largest lead to that point, 30-27, with 17:11 on the clock. Senior Jordan Garrison
buoyed the Bluejays with a three-ball from the corner to knot the score at 30-30 (17:01).
Over the next six minutes the teams traded buckets, landing on the ninth tie of the contest at 40-40. Creighton appeared to take control with an 8-1 run, getting a traditional three point play from Nelson, a trifecta from freshman MC McGrory
and a 14-foot jumper from junior Alexis Akin-Otiko
Down 48-41 with 7:26 remaining a media timeout gave the Red Storm a chance to regroup as St. John's scored six straight to make it 48-47 (4:35) and set up a furious finish.
Tied at 50-50 with just over one minute to play, sophomore Marissa Janning
completed a running layup and the free throw to give the Bluejays a 53-50 edge. St. John’s answered with a layup, then when Nelson missed one of two from the charity stripe the Red Storm forced overtime with a driving layup from Keylantra Langley.
Both teams struggled in the overtime as the Red Storm missed four free throws in the opening three minutes. St. John’s scored first on a pull-up jumper from Danaeja Grant (1:48), but Nelson answered for Creighton with a trey from the top of the key. Up 57-56, Creighton got a defensive stop and Janning was fouled with 22 seconds remaining. The BIG EAST’s leader in free throw percentage made one of two. In the closing seconds Grant got to the foul line for the Red Storm. Just 2-for-9 from the line to that point, Grant hit both free throws to force double overtime.
Down 63-62 in the second extra period, Fujan delivered a driving layup to put Creighton back on top (64-63) with 1:35 remaining. Unfortunately the Red Storm got the final push as St. John’s scored the final six points to take the game.
Nelson led Creighton with 20 points and nine rebounds, while Janning finished with 11.
Grant led St. John’s with 20 points and Aliyyah Handford added 19 for the Red Storm.