OMAHA, Neb. - The Creighton women's basketball team opens its inaugural BIG EAST conference schedule on Saturday, Dec. 28 at home against the Villanova Wildcats (9-1, 0-0 BIG EAST) at 2 p.m. in D.J. Sokol Arena.
Villanova vs. Creighton: Villanova and Creighton will meet for the first time on Dec. 28, 2013. Creighton will return the game, battling the Wildcats on their home court on Feb. 1, 2014.
Located in Villanova, Pa.
Founded in 1842.
Villanova has an enrollment of 6,584.
Known as the Wildcats.
Villanova finished 2012-13 with an 21-11 record and an 9-7 mark in the BIG EAST.
Villanova returns six letterwinners from last season, including two starters (Burford and Holeman).
The Wildcats were picked to finish fourth in BIG EAST preseason poll.
Villanova Head Coach: Harry Perretta (Lycoming, 1978)
Record of 647-405 in 36 seasons, all at Villanova.
Perretta led Villanova to its 10th NCAA Tournament appearance last year, the Wildcats 11th postseason appearance in the last 14 years.
The 21 wins represents the 15th 20-win season for Perretta and the Wildcats.
On Nov. 12, 2011, he earned his 600th career victory with a 76-47 victory at Iona. Becoming the 35th coach in the history of women’s basketball at any level to reach the 600-win plateau, including the 22nd Division I coach to accomplish the feat.
He is also just the seventh Division I coach to win 600 games at one school.
Scouting Villanova (9-1, 0-0 BIG EAST)
Despite using five unique starting lineups in 10 games, the Wildcats have been one of the most consistent teams in the BIG EAST through non-conference play. Villanova won its first seven contests, before dropping a game to Saint Joseph’s on Dec. 7. Since then the Wildcats have rebounded with victories at La Salle and at Temple. Villanova is 5-0 on the road this season and 8-0 away from home, with three neutral site wins.
The key to the Wildcats success has been diversified scoring and taking care of the basketball. Villanova has had at least two players score in double-figures in every game. The Wildcats have had three or more reach double digits in all but two contests. Villanova has won the turnover battle in all but one game, the loss to Saint Joseph’s.
Senior guard Devon Kane leads the Wildcats in scoring with 114 points (11.4 ppg) in ten contests. However, three other players average better than 10.0 points per game as the Wildcats average 70.0 per contest as a team.
Keys to the Game w/Villanova:
Force Turnovers: Villanova has 181 assist to just 92 turnovers. The Wildcats committed 17 in an overtime win at Lehigh and 13 in their loss to Saint Joseph’s.
Make Kane give up the ball: Senior guard Devon Kane has 45 assists and just 12 turnovers. She was the lone guard to start in Villanova’s last game, thus the Bluejays must force the ball out of her hands.
Crash the Boards: Despite starting four players at or above 6’0’’, Villanova is not a dominant rebounding team. The Wildcats are averaging just 37.8 rebounds and are giving up the same number.
Sarah Nelson: Coming off the MVP nod in the ‘Duel in the Desert’ Tournament, Nelson must continue to give the Bluejays a driving post presence to create passing lanes for Creighton’s motion offense.
Nelson Earns MVP of ‘Duel in the Desert’ - Scarlet Division Senior Sarah Nelson was named the MVP of the ‘Duel in the Desert’ - Scarlet Division as she led Creighton to the Division Championship with wins over Oregon State (70-62 on Dec. 19) and UNLV (66-56 on Dec. 21). Nelson torched the Beavers for 25 points in the Bluejays’ opening game and delivered 11 & 15 points in the following contests. She also averaged 8.3 rebounds per game in the three game tournament.
‘Duel in the Desert’ Scarlet Division Champions The ‘Duel in the Desert’ Tournament featured eight teams in two distinctive pods. Creighton is with Clemson, Oregon State and UNLV in the Scarlet division. The Gray division is comprised of DePaul, Louisiana-Monroe, Pittsburgh and Washington.
For the second consecutive season the Bluejays emerged from the tournament play preceding the holiday with a championship as Creighton finished 2-1. The Bluejays took the championship by virtue of a head-to-head win over Oregon State, who also finished 2-1.
DePaul won the Gray Division with a 3-0 record, giving the BIG EAST a sweep of the ‘Duel in the Desert’ Tournaments.
‘Duel in the Desert’ Scarlet Division All-Tournament Team In addition to Nelson as the MVP, sophomore Marissa Janning was also named to the All-Tournament Team following the ‘Duel in the Desert’. Joining the two Bluejays on the All-Tournament Team UNLV’s Danielle Miller, Clemson’s Kelly Gramlich and Oregon State’s Jamie Weisner.
Scarlet Division All-Tournament Team Sarah Nelson, Creighton - (MVP) Marissa Janning, Creighton Kelly Gramlich, Clemson Jamie Weisner, Oregon State Danielle Miller, UNLV
Birthday Bank is Open Freshman Lauren Works celebrated her 19th birthday on Thursday, Dec. 19th with a bit of flare as the Lincoln native helped Creighton down Oregon State, 70-62. Works contributed four points, including a three-point shot in the first half that just beat the shot clock. It was the second time this season that Works has banked in a trey as the shot clock expired.
Nelson’s Performance Earns Creighton’s First Nod on the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll Nelson’s performance in the ‘Duel in the Desert’ Tournament was also recognized by the BIG EAST Conference as Nelson was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll on Dec. 23, the first Bluejay to achieve such recognition.
MBB: Creighton vs. North Carolina Central Highlights (11/23/14)