OMAHA, Neb. - Five Bluejays reached double-figures, led by 29 from sophomore Marissa Janning, as the Creighton women's basketball team defeated Xavier 79-50 on Wednesday, Jan. 15.
The win lifted Creighton to 11-7 on the season and 5-1 in BIG EAST play, while Xavier fell to 7-10 overall and 2-3 in conference action.
Trailing 5-0 with just over 16 minutes to go in the opening period the Bluejays turned to Janning to ignite the offense. The sophomore responded with a pull up jumper that started an 8-0 burst. Senior Sarah Nelson followed with a trey from outside the elbow, then Janning nailed a three-ball of her own to give Creighton its first lead, 8-5.
Xavier rallied to reclaim its five-point edge at 15-10 (9:23), but that served as a wakeup call to Creighton. Over the next seven minutes the Bluejays mounted an 18-2 run, including 14 straight points to take control of the game at 28-17.
Nelson started the surge, passing out of a double team to freshman Brianna Rollerson down low for an easy layup. Moments later it was Nelson getting the return from Nelson for two. After a bucket by the Musketeers made it 17-14 (8:06), Creighton stormed on its 14-point charge.
Once more Rollerson delivered an interior bucket, then Janning took over. The Minnesota native delivered eight of her 17 first half points to lead the Bluejay charge. Junior Alexis Akin-Otiko and senior McKenzie Fujan each chipped in a bucket to round out the Creighton run. The Bluejays went on to take a 32-22 lead into the half.
Janning started the second half of play right where she had left off, red hot, canning a pull-up jumper from the right corner. The Bluejay lead hovered between 8-12 points over the next seven minutes. Up 47-35 with 12:54 on the clock, Creighton put the game away with a 14-4 run. Five Bluejays contributed, led by five from Janning and four by Rollerson to make it a 61-39 contest.
Janning's 29 led all scorers, while Nelson posted 14 points, Rollerson tossed in 12, Fujan had 11 and Akin-Otiko finished with 10. Briana Glover paced Xavier with 12 points.
Ball movement was a key for the Bluejays as Creighton notched a season-high 21 assist for the second consecutive game. Xavier, meanwhile, committed 20 turnovers in the loss.
Creighton returns to action on Saturday, Jan. 18 as the Bluejays travel to Indianapolis to face Butler at 5 pm (CT).