Jays' WBB Hold Off Evansville, 74-69 in Overtime
OMAHA, Neb. - Down 67-64 with 1:36 remaining in overtime, the Creighton women's basketball team rattled off 10 of the final 12 points to hold off a spirited effort from Evansville Aces, earning a 74-69 win.
The win moved Creighton to 22-6 on the season and 14-3 in the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC). Evansville, meanwhile, fell to 8-20 overall and 6-1 in MVC play.
Down three with under two minutes left in overtime, senior Ally Jensen breathed new life into her teammates with the game-tying trey from the left wing. Moments later the Purple Aces committed a turnover and junior Sarah Nelson drilled another three-ball, this time on the right wing to make it 70-67 with 43 seconds remaining. Creighton forced Evansville into another turnover on the next possession and A. Jensen drained two free throws to ice the game.
Down 5-0 early on, Creighton connected on another 10-2 run to claim a 10-7 edge. Janning dropped in the first bucket of the contest on a back-door layup, followed by a trifecta from A. Jensen. After an Evansville bucket, Nelson connected on a layup and a three-ball to complete the run.
Evansville, however, responded with the next five points to reclaim the lead (12-10) and went on to push its lead to five at 20-15 with 8:02 remaining. The Purple Aces held a 26-22 edge in the closing seconds of the opening period, but a fall away jumper by junior McKenzie Fujan sent the Jays to halftime riding a wave of momentum.
Despite the momentum at the end of the half, it was the Purple Aces jumping out early in the second period. Evansville extended its lead to 33-27 by the first media timeout with 15:50 remaining.
Facing their largest deficit of the contest, the Bluejays rallied with seven straight points to take their first lead since early in the first half. Fujan got the Jays rolling with a three-pointer from the right corner, then junior Carli Tritz grabbed a steal and turned it into two free throws. Another steal by Tritz resulted in a layup to give Creighton a 34-33 lead at the 14:49 mark.
The Purple Aces answered with 11-2 run to take a 44-36 edge with 11:07 remaining. Tritz rallied her team one more time with a triple from the right wing, followed by a layup from Nelson and a three-ball by Fujan to knot the contest at 44-44.
The teams exchanged blows back and forth into the final minute. With the game on the line, Janning nailed her first three of the game to give Creighton a 57-54 edge with 32 seconds remaining. Evansville, however, got the equalizing trey from Samantha Heck at the top of the key to send it to overtime.
Nelson led the Jays with 20 points and 11 rebounds to collect her 16th career double-double, her fifth of the season. Four other Jays posted double figures as Fujan had 13 points, Janning added 12, A. Jensen posted 11 and Tritz had 10.
Evansville got a game-high 21 points from Heck and 16 from Chelsea Falkenstein.
Creighton launched a Creighton and Missouri Valley Record 44 three-pointers, connecting on 13 in the game (30%). Evansville, meanwhile, was 10-of-18 from beyond the arc (56%).
Creighton closes the regular season on Saturday, March 9 as the Jays host Southern Illinois at 2 p.m. in D.J. Sokol Arena. Following the game seniors Ally Jensen and Jasmin Corbin will be honored at the Bluejays' senior day.