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Coach Jim Flanery has engineered wins in two of Creighton's last three meetings with ranked opponents.
Courtesy: Steven Branscombe

WBB Travels to Norman to Face #18 Oklahoma

OMAHA, Neb. - The Creighton women's basketball team looks for its first road win of the 2013-14 season, but the Bluejays must defeat #18 Oklahoma to do on Sunday, Dec. 1.

12/1: Creighton (4-2) at #18 Oklahoma (4-2) - 12:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports 2
Ron Thulin (play-by-play), Brenda VanLengen (color analyst)
Radio: None
Live Stats (Free): http://www.soonersports.com/liveStats/liveStats.dbml?SPID=127261&DB_OEM_ID=31000&LIST_SPORT__BASKETBALL
Twitter: @GoCreighton, @CreightonWBB
Cracking the Code of the Ranked
After opening his career 1-17 against opponents ranked in the AP top-25, coach Flanery has won two of his last three meetings with ranked opponents. The lone loss coming at #10 Tennessee in the NCAA Second Round, 68-52.  

Flanery’s victorys vs. AP Top-25
Date    Result    Opponent
2/2/08    W, 75-71     at #24 Illinois State
12/5/12    W, 66-57    vs. #25 Nebraska
3/23/13    W, 61-56    vs. #22 Syracuse

We’ve Been Here Before
While no current Bluejay player was on the squad the last time Creighton played Oklahoma in Llyod Noble Center (a 69-49 loss on Dec. 3, 2008), the building has fond bittersweet memories for many of the Bluejays.  Creighton played in the same arena in the 2012 NCAA Tournamet, just missing an upset win over #14 St. John’s as the Bluejays fell on in the closing moments, 69-67 to the Red Storm.  

Despite the loss, Creighton used the lessons learned in Lloyd Noble Center to earn a win over #22 Syracuse last season in the NCAA Tournament.

That said, the Bluejays would love nothing more than to create another memory in Norman.

About Oklahoma
  • Located in Norman, Oklahoma.\
  • Founded in 1890.Oklahoma has an enrollment of 29,280.
  • The Sooners finished 2012-13 with an 24-11 record and a 11-7 mark in the Big 12.
  • Oklahoma returns seven letterwinners from last season, including four starters (Campbell, Ellenberg, Griffin,  & Hook).
  • The Sooners were picked to win the Big 12 in the annual preseason poll, earning 5-of-10 first place votes.

Creighton vs. Oklahoma:
Oklahoma and Creighton have met four times, with the Sooners getting the better of the exchange in each meeting.  Last season, the Sooners and Bluejays opened the 2012-13 as Oklahoma downed Creighton, 69-48 in Omaha on Noc. 10.

Series with Oklahoma:
Date    Result    Score/Site
12/2/85    L    76-94 at Oklahoma
12/3/08    L    49-69 at Oklahoma
12/20/09    L    58-67 in Omaha
11/10/12    L    48-69 in Omaha

Last Time vs. #12 Oklahoma
(11-10-12): L, 48-69 in Omaha
The Bluejays got off to a fast start as Creighton jumped out to an 8-2 lead behind good ball movement. McKenzie Fujan opened the scoring on a back-cut for an easy layup. Fujan was fouled on the shot and converted the free throw to make it 3-0. Following an Oklahoma bucket, Ally Jensen drilled a three-pointer to make it 6-2. Moments later it was Jensen distributing inside to Alyssa Kamphaus for a right-handed layup to give the Bluejays a six-point edge, 8-2, with 16:44 remaining in the opening period.
 
The 12th-ranked Sooners were able to adjust their defense quickly, clogging up the passing lanes to force Creighton into more outside shots. The result was a 16-2 run for Oklahoma over the ensuing five minutes to push the Sooners out to a lead of 18-10. Oklahoma extended its lead to as much as 14 at 30-16 and took a 36-24 edge in at the break.

Creighton was 9-of-34 in the opening 20 minutes (.273), including just 3-of-16 (.188) from beyond the arc. The Jays finished the game 17-of-65 from the field (.262) and 7-of-31 (.226) from beyond the arc. Oklahoma shot .482 for the game (27-of-56), including 7-of-14 from three-point land.

Oklahoma Head Coach
Sherri Coale  (Oklahoma Christian, 1987)

  • Overall record of 385-181 all at Oklahaoma.
  • Coale is in her 18th season.
  • 10 Big 12 championship trophies reside at the Lloyd Noble Center. All 10, six regular season and four postseason, have come since the 1999-00 season.
  • During Coale’s 17-year reign at OU, 20 players have earned All-Big 12 honors 46 times. Coale has won four Big 12 Coach of the Year awards and the Sooners have six total Big 12 Players of the Year. Both are league highs.
  • OU appeared in the AP Top 25 poll for the first time under Coale in the 10th week of the 1999-00 season. Since then, the Sooners have been ranked in 214 of 253 polls that included a streak of 118 straight weeks.

Scouting the Sooners (4-2)
The 18th-ranked Sooners are a high scoring bunch, averaging 86 points per game.  The high-water mark of the season for Oklahoma came on Nov. 20 as the Sooners downed Texas-Arlington, 99-46.

Oklahoma opened the 2013-14 season with three straight wins, but have dropped two of its last three.  The Sooners fell in overtime against #4 Louisville, 97-92, on Nov. 17 and dropped their first road game of the season, 82-76 at UCLA (RV) on Nov. 24.

After spending some time helping Team USA to a gold medal at the World University Games this summer, Aaryn Ellenberg has played some of her best basketball at the start of 2013-14.  Ellenberg is averaging 19.3 ppg through six games, she has also grabbed 33 rebounds (5.5 rpg) as well as 17 steals (2.9 spg).

While Ellenberg has keyed the offense, Oklahoma has also been edept at cleaning the glass this season.  The Sooners are averaging 43.7 rebounds per game, compared to Creighton’s 32.2.  

Like several of Creighton’s early season opponents, Oklahoma has been susceptible to the turnover.  The Sooners have 99 turnovers in six games and committed 18 & 20 respectively in their losses to UCLA & Louisville.
 
Keys to the Game w/Oklahoma:

  • Limiting second chance opportunities:  Creighton is 3-1 this season when they’ve outrebounded their opponents. Oklahoma’s high-octane scoring system means the Bluejays must limit second-chance points
  • Control Ellenberg:  She dropped 19 on the Jays in the game last season, yet coach Flanery has shown a propensity for shutting down the opponents best weapon. 
  • Frustrate the Sooners to force turnovers:  Last season Oklahoma committed 19 turnovers in the win in Omaha.  Creighton must force the Sooners to make poor decisions in their effort to push the pace.
  • Continue to Get Contributions in the Post:  In victories over Houston and South Dakota the Bluejays got 28 & 38 points in the paint respectively.  In both those contests, freshman Brianna Rollerson got 10 points, while Alyssa Kamphaus added 10 more versus South Dakota.  Creighton must continue to get contributions from their post players to down a team the caliber of Oklahoma.

Family History
While no Bluejay player has faced Oklahoma in Norman, assistant coach Chevelle Herring put up 16 points in her last trip to Lloyd Noble Center.  She led the Jays in the game, hitting 4-of-10 from three-point land. 

Janning Warming to Her Western Neighbor, South Dakota
Minnesota native Marissa Janning appears to be warming to her neighbors from to the west, South Dakota.  As a freshman, Janning scored 0 & 8 points in games with South Dakota State and South Dakota.  This season she put up 20 on both the Jackrabbits and the Coyotes.

Crazy Eights
After holding the team-high of eight rebounds for since the second game of teh season, Janning now has company.  Alyssa Kamphaus and Brianna Rollerson each grabbed eight rebounds in the Bluejays 63-48 win over South Dakota on Nov. 26. Ironically, Janning’s eight boards came aginst South Dakota State, a 68-63 win on Nov. 12.

 

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