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Coming off a 97-65 win at Providence (Jan. 11), the Creighton women's basketball team hosts Xavier on Jan. 15 in D.J. Sokol Arena.
Courtesy: Steven Branscombe

Women's Hoops Hosts Xavier on Wednesday, Jan. 15

OMAHA, Neb. - Coming off a 97-65 win at Providence (Jan. 11), the Creighton women's basketball team hosts Xavier on Jan. 15 in D.J. Sokol Arena.

1/15: - 7:05 p.m. (CT)
Xavier (7-9, 2-2 BIG EAST) at Creighton (10-7, 4-1 BIG EAST)

Radio - 1180 AM: Glen Sisk (play-by-play)

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Twitter: @GoCreighton, @CreightonWBB

Xavier vs. Creighton Series:
Xavier and Creighton will meet for the first time on Wednesday, Jan. 15.  

About Xavier

  • Located in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Founded in 1831.
  • Xavier has an enrollment of 6,620.
  • Known as the Musketeers.
  • Xavier finished 2012-13 with an
  • 13-16 record and a 7-7 mark in the Atlantic-10.  
  • Xavier returns five letterwinners from last season, including three starters (Crittendon, Hawkes and Wanninger).
  • The Musketeers were picked to finish ninth in BIG EAST in the preseason poll, just ahead of Seton Hall.

Xavier Head Coach (Interim): Brian Neal (Northern Kentucky, 1991)

  • Record of 7-9 serving as the interim head coach for the Musketeers this season. Neal replaced Amy Waugh, who resigned after a two-year tenure with the Musketeers.
  • Neal, who spent the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons as an assistant with Xavier, will be in his first season as a Division I head coach. Prior to joining Xavier, Neal was head coach of Thomas More’s women’s program for seven years.
  • Neal posted a 171-31 (.847) overall record in seven seasons at the helm of Thomas More (TMC).
  • He recorded six consecutive 20-win seasons at TMC and guided the Saints to five consecutive Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) championships.
  • Neal is a four-time recipient of the PAC Coach of the Year Award (2006, 08, 10, 11) and was twice named the Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year (2008 and 11).

Scouting Xavier: (7-9, 2-2 BIG EAST)
Xavier has been an up and down team through the opening portion of the 2013-14 season.  The Musketeers have some impressive wins at Michigan (79-75 {OT} on Nov. 13), over Kansas (64-59 on Nov. 29) and St. John’s (70-65 on Jan. 5), but also suffered a four-game losing streak (at Wright State,  Cincinnati, Indiana and DePaul).  

A trio of Musketeers lead the offense as Shatyra Hawkes averages 14.6 ppg, while Ashley Wanninger (11.9) and Jenna Crittendon (11.4) are also in double figures.

Without a true center, Xavier prefers to play up tempo.  The Musketeers force 16.9 turnovers per game, but committ 16.3 per contest.  

The Musketeers can be challenged on the glass, averaging just 36.1 rebounds per game.  In BIG EAST play, that number has dipped to 32.5.  

Keys to the Game w/Xavier:

  • Get Nelson and Kamphaus involved early: The recent road trip for the Bluejays showed Creighton’s ability to dominate a game (Providence) if the posts are involved early.  The result of increased spacing for the guards led to Janning’s 34-point effort.
  • Attack the Offensive Glass: Xavier allows just under 12 offense rebounds per game.  Creighton must take advantage and pick up easy second chance points.
  • Transition Defense: This is an key in most contests, but Xavier will try to push the ball in transition to score easy buckets.  The Bluejays must limit this area as they did against DePaul & Villanova.

Imitation is the Most Sincere Form of Flattery
Marissa Janning took this phrase litterally as her stat line (13-of-17 from the field & 6-of-9 from three-point range) at Providence is striking similar to that of McKenzie Fujan against DePaul (13-of-17 from the field {76%} and 6-of-8 {75%}).  The difference comes at the charity stripe. Fujan was 6-of-6, while Janning went 2-for-2.

Fujan and Janning First Tandem to Post 34+ Points in a Season Since 1990-91
Marissa Janning (34 at Providence, 1-11-14) and McKenzie Fujan (38 vs. DePaul, 1-4-14) became the first Bluejay tandem to top 34+ points in a single season since the feat was accomplished by Kathy Halligan (40 vs. Wisconsin, 12-9-90) and Shannon Struby (34 vs. San Diego State, 2-23-91) in the 1990-91 campaign.

Missed it by That Much
Janning’s 34-point effort at Providence came up just one bucket short of cracking Creighton’s Top-10 single-game performances.  Janning is part of a five-way tie for 12th overall. 

Something About the Friars
Creighton and Providence have met twice all-time, each game producing a Bluejay victory as well as a 30+ point performance by a Creighton player. In addition to Janning’s 34-point effort, Tanya Warren put up 35 points in Creighton’s 91-89 win over the Friars on March 21, 1987 in the WNIT Tournament.  

Home Winning Streak Against Conference Sits at 12
Creighton opened its tenure in the BIG EAST the way the Bluejays closed their time in the MVC, beating conference opposition at home.  With the 86-78 win over DePaul, Creighton has won its last 12 games in D.J. Sokol Arena against conference opponents.  The Bluejays last conference loss at home was on Feb 4, 2012 to Missouri State, 63-55.

From Five Years to Seven Days
After waiting over five years between Chevelle Herring’s 31-point game on Dec. 13, 2008 vs. Kansas and McKenzie Fujan’s 38-point outbust vs. DePaul on Jan. 4, 2014 it took just seven days for another Bluejay to join the 30-point club.

Herring’s Influence?  Last Three 30+ Point Scorers on Creighton Bench
With Herring in her first season as an assistant coach for the Bluejays, the last three players to reach the 30-point barrier all reside on the Bluejay bench (Fujan, Janning & Herring).

30-30 Club Grows
Marissa Janning (34 at Providence, 1-11-14) and Doug McDermott (MBB, 35 vs. Xavier, 1-12-14) each dropped 30+ points in victories for the Creighton women’s & men’s basketball squad.  Earlier this season it was McKenzie Fujan (38 vs. DePaul, 1-4-14) and McDermott (30 at Seton Hall, 1-4-14).

Janning Earns BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll
Sophomore Marissa Janning earned her first selection to the BIG EAST Honor Roll on Jan. 13, averaging 25.0 points and 4.0 rebounds for the Bluejays against Providence
(W, 97-65 - 1/11/14) and at St. John’s (L, 48-67 - 1/8/14).  

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