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A look back to the Bluejays battle with St. John's in the 2012 NCAA Tournament
Courtesy: Jackson Laizure

WBB Hosts #22 St. John's on Sunday

OMAHA, Neb. - The Creighton women's basketball team looks to extend its home conference win streak to 18 against #22 St. John's on Sunday, Feb. 23.

2/23: - 2:07 p.m. (CT)
#22 St. John’s (19-6, 12-2 BE) at Creighton (16-10, 10-4 BE)

TV - Fox Sports 2: Chris Shearn (play-by-play), Leslie Hill (Color Analyst)

Radio - 1180 AM: Brad Burwell (play-by-play), Rob Simms (Color Analyst)

Stats (Free):

Twitter: @GoCreighton, @CreightonWBB
Series History: St. John’s leads, 2-1

Last Time Out:
W, 70-61 at Xavier, 2-18-14
Junior Sammy Jensen delivered a career-high 17 points to lead the Creighton women’s basketball team to a 70-61 win at Xavier on Tuesday, Feb. 18.

The win lifted Creighton to 16-10 on the season and 10-4 in the BIG EAST Conference, while Xavier fell to 8-18 overall and 3-11 in conference play.

Down 58-56 with just over five minutes to play, Creighton mounted a 12-1 run on three-balls from sophomore Marissa Janning (two), Jensen and senior Sarah Nelson to take control.  Janning opened the run with a trey from the right corner to give Creighton a 59-58 edge (5:14).  After a defensive stop, Jensen delivered from the right wing.  Another defensive stop led to Nelson’s trey (65-58).  Following a Musketeer free-throw, Janning capped the run with another three-pointer from the right corner to make it 68-59 (2:54).

Knotted at 5-5 early in the game (17:17), the Bluejay  bench made an immediate impact with treys from freshman Lauren Works and senior Jordan Garrison to create the first bit of separation.  Janning capped Creighton’s 8-0 run with a 12-foot jumper from the right wing to make it 13-5 (13:56).

Creighton went on to push its lead to double-digits at 27-17 and again at 32-22.  Xavier responded each time, pulling within a bucket at 32-29 with 3:51 remaining.  Creighton continued to pound away from downtown as freshman MC McGrory drained a trey, then Jensen knocked down her third trifecta of the first half.  The Bluejays took a 41-33 lead in at the half.

Creighton was 9-19 from beyond the arc in the opening half, but the Bluejays went cold in the opening moments of the second period.  The Bluejays shooting troubles allowed Xavier to rally, finally allowing the Musketeers take the lead at 51-50 (13:33).

The squads battled back and forth over the next few minutes, trading the lead back-and-forth.  With 5:28 showing on the clock Xavier equaled its largest margin at 58-56, setting the stage for the Bluejays’ final push.

Jensen and Janning led the way for Creighton with 17 points, while Nelson cleared the glass with 10 rebounds.

St. John’s vs Creighton Series:
St. John’s and Creighton will meet for the second time thid season and the third time overall on Sunday.  St. John’s owns a 2-1 series edge, courtesy of the 67-48 win over the Bluejays on Jan. 8 in New York.

Series with St. John’s
Home: 0-0  Away: 1-1  Neutral: 0-1
Date    Result    Score/Site
11/12/97    W    72-66 in Jamaica, N.Y.
3/18/12 !    L    67-69 in Norman, Okla
1/8/14    L    48-67 in Queens, N.Y.
! - NCAA Tournament game

First Meeting: St. John’s 67, Creighton 48 (1-8-14)
Turnovers plagued the Bluejays in the opening half as Creighton committed 11 in the opening period, leading to 15 St. John’s points.  Creighton fell down 9-2 in the opening seven minutes and trailed 35-17 at the intermission.

After shooting 4-of-19 (21%) in the opening frame, the Bluejays got their offense rolling early in the second period.  Creighton scored on three of its first four possessions in the second period, cutting the deficit to 13 at 37-24 with 17:52 remaining.  

Creighton got as close as 12 at 41-29, but the Bluejay run was short lived as St. John’s answered with a 10-0 response to make it 51-29 (11:10). Creighton trailed by as much as 25 (63-38) with 4:37 left, before falling 67-48.

Sophomore Marissa Janning led the way with 16 points, while junior Alexis Akin-Otiko posted 12 points.

Four players finished in double-figures for St. John’s led by 16 points from Danaejah Grant.

About St. John’s

  • Located in Queens, IllinoisFounded in 1870.
  • St. John’s has an enrollment of 19,047.
  • Known as the Red Storm.
  • St. John’s finished 2012-13 with an 18-13 record and an 10-4 mark in the BIG EAST. 
  • St. John’s returns eight letterwinners from last season, including three starters (Brown, Handford and McPherson).
  • The Red Storm were picked to win finish third in BIG EAST in the preseason poll.
  • St. John’s went to the NCAA Tournament last season, falling to Dayton, 96-90, in the opening round.

St. John’s Head Coach: Joe Tartamella (James Madison, 2001)

  • Record of 37-19 in two seasons as a head coach.
  • Served as an assistant at St. John’s for nine seasons (2003-12), beginning his tenure with the Red Storm as a graduate assistant in 2002.
  • Part of the Red Storm staff during five runs to the NCAA Tournament, including last season.  

Scouting St. John’s (19-6, 12-2 BIG EAST)
St. John’s seperated themselves from the rest of the BIG EAST during the first half of play, going 8-1 through the turn of conference play.  

Aliyyah Handford made her presence felt for the Red Storm this season, leading the team with 16.1 points per game.  In the first matchup, however, the Bluejays held Handford to just five points.

Against Creighton it was the play of Amber Thompson (11 points & 12 rebounds) and  Denaejah Grant (16 points) that truely hurt the Bluejays.

Defensively the Red Storm rank second in the NCAA in three-point defense, behind only La Salle.  

Keys to the Game w/St. John’s:


  • Stay within the offense.  A significant portion of Creighton’s offense is the three-point shot.  The Bluejays must continue to take open looks and use their motion offense to offset the length of the Red Storm that allows them to be so successful against the three.
  • Make an impact in the paint: In the first meeting Amber Thompson was dominant in the paint with 11 points and 12 boards.  Alyssa Kamphaus and Sarah Nelson need to neutralize Thompson and get off to a fast start for the Bluejays to open up shots from outside.
  • Ball Security:  Creighton committed 17 turnovers and had just eight assists in the first matchup.  The Bluejays have to take better care of the ball and allow the offense to create shots, thus increase the assists.  

Jensen Spurned Musketeer Club
Dared to shoot by Xavier as the Muskeeter defense helped off, junior Sammy Jensen made Xavier pay with a career-high 17 points on 5-of-11 shooting from beyond the arc.    

Sweet Science of Sammy
Junior Sammy Jensen has grown from a walk-on as a freshman, to earning a spot in the starting lineup this  season.  When Sammy hits from the field, Creighton is 24-6, including 11-1 in games at D.J. Sokol Arena (the only loss came in a game with #3 Notre Dame in 2011-12).  Since Sammy joined the starting lineup on Dec. 19, Creighton is 12-5.  


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