KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Fresh off the first NCAA Tournament win since 1994, the Creighton women's basketball team will face No. 2 seed Tennessee on the Lady Vols home floor in the NCAA Second Round on Monday, March 25 at 6 p.m. (CT)
The Road So Far: No. 10 Creighton earned a 61-56 upset win over No. 7 Syracuse in the opening game on Saturday. Junior McKenzie Fujan led the Jays with a career-high 24 points, including 17 of the Bluejays’ 24 in the first half. No. 2 Tennessee posted a convincing 83-63 win over No. 15 Oral Roberts, led by 18 points from Meighan Simmons.
Creighton vs. Tennessee: Creighton and Tennessee have never met before. Head coach Jim Flanery is 0-3 against current SEC teams, 0-2 vs. Auburn and 0-1 against Missouri.
Common Opponents: Creighton and Tennessee did not share any opponents during the 2012-13 season.
Jays in the NCAA Tournament: Creighton is in the midst of its fifth appearance in the NCAA Tournament, also reaching the ‘Big Dance’ in 1992, 1994, 2002, & 2012. The Jays moved to 3-4 all time in the NCAA Tournament, Creighton’s last victory in the ‘Big Dance’ came in 1994. That season the Jays defeated No. 24 Bowling Green (84-73), then fell at No. 9 Texas Tech (75-65). Creighton’s other NCAA win came in 1992 over Long Beach State (79-66), before falling to Stephen F. Austin (75-74). Creighton has never won back-to-back games in the NCAA Tournament.
Creighton in Elite Company: Creighton is one of just five schools to advance to the round of 32 in both the men’s and women’s NCAA Tournaments. In addition to the Jays, California Kansas, Iowa State and Michigan State have had two teams reach the round of 32. This number could grow if the following women’s teams win their respective opening round on Sunday; Duke, Michigan and North Carolina.
Nelson Reaches 1,000: With her first three points on Saturday, junior Sarah Nelson became Creighton’s 25th player to reach 1,000 points. Nelson finished the game against Syracuse with 17 points, 14 coming in the second half. Teammate Carli Tritz also joined the 1,000 club earlier this season. Nelson is just the 13th Bluejay to reach 1,000 points in three seasons or less.
20-20 Junior McKenzie Fujan became just the second Bluejay to post back-to-back 20-point games this season, delivering 24 against Syracuse on Saturday after posting 22 in Creighton loss to Illinois State on March 16. The last player to put back 20 or more in consecutive games was freshman Marissa Janning on Jan. 27 (21 points vs. Bradley) and Feb. 2 (22 points at Drake).
Flanery Sets Career-High with 25th Win: Head coach Jim Flanery set a career-high with his 25th victory of the season, 61-56 over Syracuse on March 23. Flanery previous high of 24 wins came in 2002-03 & 2003-04. The Creighton record for victories in a single season is 28 (1991-92).
NCAA Three-Point Record: The Jays’ 298 three-pointers are a program record, besting the previous mark of 260 treys in 2003-04. Creighton’s total remains well away from the NCAA record of 342 set by Florida Gulf Coast in 2012.
Jays Prefer Neutrality: Creighton is 5-1 this season in neutral site games, defeating BYU, Miami (Ohio), South Florida, Southern Illinois & Syracuse. The Jays lone loss came to Illinois State. Creighton is holding opponents to 59.3 and scoring 67.3 in those neutral site contests.
Creighton Opponents at the NCAA Tournament: Six of the Bluejays’ opponents in 2012-13 also played on the first day of action in the women’s NCAA Tournament, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota State, South Florida and Wichita State. Those teams were a combined 4-2, the only losses coming from South Dakota State and Wichita State.
Flanery vs. Ranked Opponents Head coach Jim Flanery moved to 3-17 versus ranked opponents with their win over No. 22 Syracuse on Monday. Flanery and the Bluejays have won their last two contests against top-25 teams, downing Syracuse and No. 25 Nebraska (66-57) on Dec. 5, 2012.
Last Time vs. Top Ten Tennessee enters the Monday matchup with the Jays ranked No. 10 overall, the last matchup with a team in the top-10 for Creighton came against No. 3 Notre Dame on Dec. 4, 2011. Creighton fell to the Irish, 76-48, on that day, but the Jays outscored the Irish 37-35 in the loss.
Exorcising Memories of 2011-12 Largely the same team that fell in the final seconds to #14 St. John’s, 69-67, last season in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Bluejays made certain that history did not repeat itself this year, taking down the Orange. Both St. John’s and Syracuse were members of the Big East Conference when facing the Jays.
Making a Claim for the ‘New’ Big East Saturday’s matchup between Syracuse and Creighton offered a bit of added intrigue as the Orange are leaving the Big East Conference for the ACC next season. Creighton, meanwhile, announced early this week that the Bluejays will join the Big East on July 1, 2013. Similarly the Creighton’s men’s basketball team first round matchup came against Cincinnati. Both Bluejay squads earned hard fought victories over the exiting Big East teams.
Raining Threes: The Bluejays have made 10 three-pointers or more in 16 games this season, including 11 in Creighton’s win over Syracuse on Saturday. Creighton is 13-3 in those contests, falling to Minnesota (81-88 in double overtime on Dec. 30) and twice to Illinois State.
Janning One of Four Jays to top 400 points as a Freshman: Freshman Marissa Janning is just the fourth Bluejay in Creighton history to score at least 400 points in her freshman season. Janning enters play on Monday with 412 points this season. The other three to reach that milestone in their first year were Connie Yori (589 points in 1982-83), Shannon Struby (467 points in 1990-91) and Kathy Halligan (406 points in 1988-89).
Road Warriors Although Tennessee’s only home losses this season have come to top-five teams (Stanford & Notre Dame), the Jays have had more than a measure of success on the road in 2012-13. Creighton is 9-4 in true road games this season, including 3-1 in non-conference games. Creighton’s lone non-conference loss on the road was a double-overtime thriller at Minnesota. The Bluejays have drained 132 treys in 13 road games, 10.2 per game and are shooting 37.6% from beyond the arc in those contests.