LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Behind 17 points from senior McKenzie Fujan, the Creighton women's basketball team defeated UNLV to earn the Scarlet Division Championship of the Duel in the Desert Tournament on Saturday, Dec. 21.
With the win the Bluejays evened their record at 6-6, while UNLV fell to 3-9.
Creighton scored the first five points to claim an early 5-0 edge (16:42), UNLV responded with a 7-2 run to knot the game at 7-7. The two teams battled back and forth through much of the first half. Down 34-31 with just 12 seconds remaining in the half, Fujan raced the length of the floor to launch a trey. The shot fell just short but freshman Brianna Rollerson grabbed the rebound and quickly tossed in the putback to send Creighton into halftime down just one at 34-33.
The momentum of Rollerson's last second bucket carried over to the second period as the Bluejays used a 6-0 run to claim a 39-34 lead (18:43). UNLV answered with six straight of their own on three-pointers from Rmanii Haynes, but sophomore Marissa Janning responded with a trifecta for Creighton. Senior Alyssa Kampaus followed with a layup along the left block to put Creighton up 44-40 with 15:22 remaining.
Facing a 46-46 tie with 13:09 on the clock, Fujan took control of the game. The Weston native converted back-to-back short jumpers, then drilled a trey from the left wing. Building on Fujan's seven straight, junior Alexis Akin-Otiko knocked down a jumper and senior Jordan Garrison drained a 28-foot three-ball to cap Creighton's 12-0 run.
UNLV got no closer than nine the rest of the contest.
Fujan led Creighton with 17 points, while Nelson chipped in 15 points and Janning delivered 11.
Alana Cesarz and Danielle Miller led the Lady Rebels with 14 points each.
Following the Bluejays win, Nelson was named the MVP of the Scarlet Division following the contest, while Janning was also named to the All-Tournament Team. The three other players on the All-Tournament Team were UNLV's Miller, Clemson's Kelly Gramlich and Oregon State's Jamie Weisner.
Creighton has the next few days off for the holidays, then will return to action on Dec. 28 as the Bluejays open their inaugural season in the BIG EAST Conference by hosting Villanova at 2:05 pm