OMAHA, Neb. - Behind 22 points from senior Sarah Nelson, the Creighton women's basketball team downed Minnesota, 63-52, on Saturday, Nov. 16.
The win lifted Creighton to 2-1 on the season, while Minnesota fell to 2-1 overall.
Down 4-3 in the opening moments, the Bluejays took the lead for good on the first of 11 three-pointers from Creighton. Nelson drained an open trifecta from just to the right of the top of the key to make it 6-4. Following a Minnesota turnover, fellow senior Jordan Garrison put down another three-ball from the corner to make it 9-4.
From there the Bluejays' flight was in high gear, Creighton pushed its lead to 12 points at 21-9 via an 8-0 run from the 11:08 mark to 7:32. Freshman Brianna Rollerson got the run started with a layup from the right side. A steal by sophomore Marissa Janning led to a three-pointer from junior Sammy Jensen, then Janning knocked down a 12-foot jumped to make it 20-9 with 10:08 left in the half. Nelson capped the run with one-of-two from the line with 7:32 on the clock.
The Golden Gophers battled back, cutting Creighton's lead to 26-20 with 3:13 in the half. The Bluejays, however, responded with a 10-2 run to close the half on three-balls from Garrison, freshman Lauren Works, two free throws from Nelson and a jumper by junior Alexis Akin-Otiko to send the Bluejays into halftime with a 36-22 edge.
Minnesota opened the second half with an interior bucket, but Creighton's Minnesota native (Janning) responded with a three from the top of the key to give the Bluejays their largest lead at 39-24 (19:06).
The Golden Gophers chipped away at Creighton over the next five minutes, cutting the Bluejay lead to single-digits at 39-30 with 14:47 left. Remembering how their 17-point edge on the Golden Gophers slipped away last season, the Bluejays were determined to prevent history from repeating itself on Saturday afternoon.
Nelson took the fight to Minnesota with a traditional three-point play to make it 42-30 (14:02). The battle went back-and-forth as the two teams traded buckets over the next seven minutes.
Leading 51-40 with 6:55 showing on the clock, scored on consecutive possessions to get as close as the Golden Gophers had been since the first half, 51-44.