OMAHA, Neb. - The Creighton women's basketball team claimed a share of the MVC regular-season championship with a 61-42 win over Southern Illinois on Saturday, March 9.
With the win the Jays close their regular season at 23-6 overall and 15-3 in the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC). Southern Illinois, meanwhile, fell to 4-25 on the season and 1-17 in MVC action.
After falling behind 3-0 in the opening moments the Jays rattled off nine straight points and never looked back. Junior McKenzie Fujan got the Jays going with a three-ball from the left corner, then Creighton converted three consecutive layups by juniors Sarah Nelson, Carli Tritz and finally freshman Marissa Janning.
Up 11-7 moments later the Bluejays extended their lead to double-digits with an 8-0 burst. This time it was junior Jordan Garrison's trey that ignited the run. Junior Alyssa Kamphaus followed with a short jumper, then senior Ally Jensen celebrated senior day with a trifecta from the right wing to make it 19-7 with 10:31 left in the opening period.
Southern Illinois cut the lead to eight before halftime, but a running jumper from A. Jensen sent Creighton into halftime up 30-20.
Creighton held its lead near 10 points for the opening four minutes. Up 37-27 at the first media timeout of the second half (15:56), Creighton went on an 8-1 run to put the game away. Sophomore Alexis Akin-Otiko got the run started with two free throws. Following a free throw by the Salukis, Nelson dropped in an back-to-back jumpers, then Kamphaus delivered a hook shot to make it 45-28 with 11:56 remaining.
Southern Illinois got no closer than 15 the rest of the way as the Jays earned the 61-42 win.
A. Jensen and Nelson led Creighton with 11 points, while Kamphaus and Akin-Otiko finished with 10 points.
Senior Jasmin Corbin started the game for Creighton, despite still recovering from the torn ACL that she suffered on Nov. 25. Following the game, Corbin and A. Jensen were honored as the two seniors played in their final home game at D.J. Sokol Arena.
Creighton returns to the floor on Friday, March 15 in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. The Jays will face the winner of the first round matchup between No. 7 Evansville and No. 10 Southern Illinois. That contest will be played on Thursday, March 14 at 7:05 p.m.