OMAHA, Neb. - The Creighton women's basketball team enters its first BIG EAST WBB Tournament as the No. 3 seed on Sunday, March 9. The Bluejays first opponent is another BIG EAST newbie, #6 Butler at 2:30 pm.
Scouting Butler (15-14, 10-8 BIG EAST) Butler battled through a six-game stretch without leading scorer Daress McClung in the middle of the season and appear to be hitting their stride.
The Bulldogs have won three straight and four of their last five games. McClung is a dynamic forward that missed the first game with Creighton at Butler due to an injury. She leads the Bulldogs in scoring, 15.2 ppg, as well as rebounding (6.7 rpg).
As a team, the Bulldogs have frustrated Creighton with their defense. Butler has held Creighton to just 32% from the field in two games.
By contrast the Bulldogs have shot the ball at a 40% clip from the field against the Bluejays, including 41% (11-of-27) from beyond the arc.
Keys to the Game w/Butler:
Offensive Execution: Creighton shot just 32.3% over two games against Butler (41-of-127). Butler defense has been able to force the Bluejays’ offense to work the shot clock down and eventually fire a low percentage shot.
Sarah Nelson: Nelson simply was not herself in the game in Omaha on March 4 (1-of-10 from the field). Nelson is 6-of-25 against Butler (24%) and she is just 1-of-13 (7.7%) from three-point land this season.
Get contributions from Jensen, Kamphaus & Garrison: The Bluejay cannot rely soley on Fujan, Janning and Nelson.
Bluejays Haven’t Lost To Same Team Three Times Since 2005-06 Butler has taken the first two meetings with Creighton, but history may be siding with the Bluejays. Creighton has suffered three losses to the same team in a single season, just four times in program history. The last time coming to Indiana State during the 2005-06 season. Janning the BIG EAST Player of the Year Janning finished the regular season as the BIG EAST scoring champion, posting 548 points in 30 games (18.3 ppg). Janning also led the BIG EAST in FT% (.861), hitting 124 of 144 attempts, was second overall in three-pointers made (76) and eighth in the league in assists at 3.8 apg (115). The sophomore guard was one of eight conference players to eclipse the 30-point mark this season and one of just four to do it on multiple occasions, including a league-high point total of 38 against Georgetown on Feb. 5.
Fujan & Nelson Earn All-BIG EAST Second Team Fujan also shared the BIG EAST’s top spot for points in a game, dropping 38 on DePaul in Creighton’s 86-78 win over the conference champion on Jan. 4. Fujan closed out the regular season third in scoring for the Bluejays with 378 points and is second on the team in three-pointers with 46.
Nearing the top of Creighton’s charts in scoring, rebounding, blocked shots and games played, Nelson was dominant once again in her senior season. She leads Creighton in rebounds (238) with 7.8 per game, is presently second in scoring (12.7 ppg), second in assists (110) and leads the Bluejays with 34 blocked shots this season. In Tuesday’s game with Butler, Nelson became Creighton’s all-time leader in blocks with 153 in her career.
Lets go to the Replays The quarterfinals of the BIG EAST WBB Tournament will feature two replay of games that were played on March 4, the final day of the BIG EAST regular season.
#3 Creighton looks for a new outcome aginst #6 Butler, while #4 Villanova tries to duplicate its win over #5 Marquette on March 4.
The other two quarterfinal games may also feature replays from March 4 as #8 Georgetown could get another crack at #1 DePaul with a win over #9 Xavier. Also #10 Providence can earn a rematch with #2 St. John’s via a win over #7 Seton Hall. More on Tap for Janning Sophomore Marissa Janning became the fifth player in Creighton history to earn the conference Player of the Year award. Two of the other four went on to win the honor a second time.
Creighton Conference Players of the Year Pam Gradoville: 1988 - HCAC Kathy Halligan: 1990 - HCAC & 1992 - WAC Carrie Welle: 1997 - MVC Christy Neneman: 2002 & 2003 - MVC Marissa Janning: 2014 - BIG EAST
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