Jays' Battle With Salukis, Final Hurdle to MVC Championship

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The Creighton women's basketball team is just one win away from claiming at least a share of its first MVC regular-season title since 2002-03. Saturday the Jays host SIU at 2:05 p.m.
Courtesy: Eric Francis

OMAHA, Neb. - The Creighton women's basketball team is just one win away from claiming at least a share of its first MVC regular-season title since 2002-03.  Saturday the Jays host SIU at 2:05 p.m.

Following Saturday's game the Jays will honor seniors Ally Jensen and Jasmin Corbin.

3/9: Southern Illinois (4-24, 1-16) at Creighton (22-6, 14-3)
Radio: KZOT AM 1180 (www.1620thezone.com)
Brad Burwell (Play-by-Play) & Rob Simms (Color Analyst)
Live Stats: www.gocreighton.com
Twitter: @GoCreighton, @CreightonWBB

Live Stats Information:
All of Creighton’s games this season will have free live stats.  Visit www.gocreighton.com and click on the Live Stats tab near the top of the page on the left for the link to the exact URL.

Creighton vs. Southern Illinois:
The Bluejays lead the all-time series with the Salukis, 31-15.  Creighton  has won the last 10
meetings and are 15-7 against SIU in Omaha.

Last Time vs. Southern Illinois: W, 81-60 @ Southern Illinois (1-3-13)
Four Jays posted double figures to lead the Creighton women’s basketball team to an 81-60 victory over Southern Illinois on Thursday, Jan. 3

Trailing 19-17 midway through the opening period, the Bluejays got going from beyond the arc to bolt out on a 9-0 run in under a minute. Junior Jordan Garrison gave Creighton a 20-19 lead with 7:22 on the clock to start the run, then junior Sarah Nelson converting a running layup into a traditional three-point play.  Freshman Marissa Janning capped the run with a trifecta from the right wing to give the Jays a 26-19 edge with 6:24 remaining.

The Jays pulled away in the second half as Nelson led all scorers with 18 points, while Janning
finished with 14, Garrison had 12 and Kamphaus tossed in 10. Rishonda Napier came off the bench to lead Southern Illinois with 16 points.

About Southern Illinois
•  Located in Carbondale, Ill., Southern Illinois has an enrollment of 19,817.
•  The Salukis finished 2011-12 with a 8-22 record and a 4-14 mark in the Valley.  SIU returned six letterwinners from last season, including starter Cartaesha Macklin.
•  The Salukis were picked to finish eighth in the MVC preseason poll.

Last 10 Meetings with Southern Illinois:
2/14/08    W    62-59 in Omaha
1/15/09    W    55-43 in Carbondale
2/14/09    W    66-53 in Omaha
1/16/10    W    84-62 in Carbondale
2/11/10    W    63-41 in Omaha
1/8/11    W    68-51 in Carbondale
2/3/11    W    62-43 in Omaha
1/14/12    W    66-59 in Omaha
2/11/12    W    80-64 in Carbondale
1/3/13    W    81-60 in Carbondale

Scouting the Salukis (4-24, 1-16 MVC)
It has been a rough season for the Salukis, head coach Missy Tiber resigned in late January following a 90-48 loss on Jan. 22.  Since then Southern Illinois has gone 0-12.  Overall SIU is in the midst of a 15 game losing streak.  The Saluki last win came over Drake on Jan. 5, 77-70. 

Sophomore Cartaesha Macklin has been a bright spot for the Salukis, averaging 14.9 points per game and leading the team with 118 assists.  Freshmen Rishonda Napier and Dyana Pierre have also showed flashes in the starting lineup this season.  Napier led Southern Illinois with 16 points against the Jays earlier this season, while Pierre is averaging 10.7 rebounds per game over the past seven contests.

Keys to the Game w/Southern Illinois:
Getting out to an early start.  The emotion of senior day, the chance to win the regular season title and the Salukis recent struggles all make a quick start for Creighton vital.  The Jays have struggled in the first half against Drake and Evansville and do not want to give SIU life.
Shot Selection: Creighton launched a MVC record 44 three-pointers against Evansville on Thursday night.  While the three point shot is a large portion of the Jays’ offense, expect that number to go down against SIU.

Flanery against the Salukis
Coach Flanery has faced Southern Illinois 22 times as a head coach, holding a 16-6 mark against the Salukis. Flanery is 8-2 versus the Southern Illinois in Omaha.

MVC Championship
Creighton will earn at least a share of the MVC regular-season championship with a victory over Southern Illinois on Saturday.  It would be the Jays first title since sharing the crown with Indiana State in 2002-03.  

MVC Tournament Seeding
Entering the final day of action, only a few seeds are set for the MVC Tournament (March 14-17).
No. 1 & 2 seeds:      Creighton/Wichita State
No. 3 seed:     Illinois State
No. 4 seed:    Northern Iowa
No. 5 & 6 seeds:    Indiana State/Bradley
No. 7, 8 & 9 seeds:    Missouri State/Bradley/Drake
No. 10 seed:    Southern Illinois

MVC Schedule for March 9:
Indiana State at Bradley *     2:00 p.m.
Illinois State at UNI *     2:00 p.m.
Wichita State at Missouri State *      2:05 p.m.
Southern Illinois at Creighton *     2:05 p.m.
Evansville at Drake *     2:05 p.m.

No. 1 Seed
If Wichita State and Creighton both win on Saturday, the Shockers will earn the top seed based on the Missouri Valley Conference’s second tiebreaker (a point system).  Wichita State holds the tiebreaker due to a win at Indiana State.  That win carries more points than the Jays win at home over Bradley.  Wichita State lost at home to Bradley and Creighton fell at Indiana State.

Helping Hands
With 104 and 102 assists respectively, juniors Carli Tritz and Sarah Nelson are the first Bluejay duo to reach 100 assists in the same season since Becky Flynn and Tracy Landuyt did it in 1993-94. 

Helping Hands - Part Two
Nelson became the first Creighton post player (forward or center) to top 100 assists in a season, since Becky Flynn had 153 in 1993-94.

Jays Set New MVC Record for 3FGs Attempted
With 44 three-pointers in the their 74-69 win over Evansville on Thursday, March 7 the Jays set a new MVC record for treys in one game.  The previous record, 41, was shared by Creighton and Illinois State.  The Jays took 41 treys at UC Davis on Nov. 27, 2009. 

Chasing History
With a victory over Southern Illinois, head coach Jim Flanery will post his first perfect home MVC record since 2002-03.  It would also put Flanery on pace to surpass his career-high for wins in a season (24 in 2002-03 & 2003-04).  The Creighton record for victories in one year (28) was set in 1991-92.

Five-Time, Five-Time
For the second time in 2012-13 the Jays have five players reach double figures in the win over Evansville (March 7).  Juniors Sarah Nelson (20), McKenzie Fujan (13) and Carli Tritz (10) were joined by senior Ally Jensen (11) and freshman Marissa Janning (12). The Jays also had five in double figures in their 83-65 win over Bradley on Feb. 23. In that contest Nelson (18), A. Jensen (15) and Janning (10) were joined by juniors Alyssa Kamphaus (17) and Jordan Garrison (10).  Prior to this season the last time five Jays posted 10 or more in one game was on Dec. 20, 2010 (Kelsey Woodard 19, Sam Schuett 16, Ally Jensen 14, Sarah Nelson 12 & Kellie Nelson 12).

Nelson Nabs 600th Rebound, 100th Steal
Junior Sarah Nelson reached two milestones in the Bluejays win on March 7, grabbing her 600th career rebound and her 100th steal.  With 971 points, the Omaha native is on pace to become just the 12th Jay to record 1,000 and 600 rebounds.

Three-Ball on the Way, BANG!
With 267 three-pointers in 28 games (9.5 per game) the Bluejays are the NCAA Division I leader in three-pointers made per game.  Creighton also eclipsed the current program record of 260
(2003-04) trifectas. That team played 33 contests, averaging 7.88 treys per game.

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