Women's Basketball to St. John's on Wednesday

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Senior McKenzie Fujan looks to continue her run through the BIG EAST after scoring 38 on DePaul, she heads to St. John's
Courtesy: Dennis Hubbard
OMAHA, Neb. - The Creighton women's basketball (9-6, 3-0 BIG EAST) team heads to St. John's on Wednesday, Jan. 8th, looking to remain unbeaten in the BIG EAST conference at 6 pm (CT).
1/8: at St. John’s (8-5, 1-1 BIG EAST) - 6:00 p.m. (CT)
Radio - 1180 AM: Glen Sisk (play-by-play)
ESPN3: Ralph Bednarczyk (play-by-play)
& Scott Greene (Color Analyst)
Video: http://espn.go.com/watchespn/index/_/id/1447661/Womens-College-Basketball-Creighton-vs-St.-John’s-(Exclusive)
Twitter: @GoCreighton, @CreightonWBB

Creighton vs. St. John’s:
DePaul and Creighton will meet for the third time on Wednesday, Jan. 8 and first since the two squads met in the NCAA Tournament on March 18, 2012.  The overall series is tied 1-1.

Series with St. John’s, Tied 1-1
Home: 0-0  Away: 1-0  Neutral: 0-1
Date    Result    Score/Site
11/28/97    W    72-66 in Jamaica, N.Y.
3/18/12 !    L    67-69 in Norman, Okla.
! - NCAA Tournament game

About St. John’s
  • Located in Queens, Illinois
  • Founded in 1870.
  • St. John’s has an enrollment of 19,047.
  • Known as the Red Storm.
  • St. John’s finished 2012-13 with an 18-13 record and an 10-4 mark in the BIG EAST.  
  • St. John’s returns eight letterwinners from last season, including three starters (Brown, Handford and McPherson).
  • The Red Storm were picked to win finish third in BIG EAST in the preseason poll.
  • St. John’s went to the NCAA Tournament last season, falling to Dayton, 96-90, in the opening round.

St. John’s Head Coach: Joe Tartamella (James Madison, 2001)
  • Record of 26-18 in two seasons as a head coach.
  • Served as an assistant at St. John’s for nine seasons (2003-12), beginning his tenure with the Red Storm as a graduate assistant in 2002.
  • Part of the Red Storm staff during five runs to the NCAA Tournament, including last season.  

Scouting St. John’s (8-5, 1-1 BIG EAST)
Expected to finish third in the BIG EAST, just behind DePaul and Creighton, St. John’s has gotten off to an 8-5 start.  The Red Storm opened the season with four straight wins, but dropped four of its next five to fall to 5-4.  

St. John’s rebouned with victories over Texas A&M, Seton Hall and Delware, but dropped its last contest at Xavier, 70-65.

In their two BIG EAST games, the Red Storm are averaging 68.5 points per game (67.5 overall).  St. John’s has a tendancy to turn the ball over, averaging 17.2 turnovers per contest.  

The three players to watch for the Red Storm are starters, Briana Brown (10.2 ppg), Aliyyah Handford (18.7 ppg) & Amber Thompson (7.1 ppg & 7.7 rpg).  Brown is averaging better than 12 points per game in BIG EAST play, while Thompson puts up just under a double-double in conference action with 23 points and 18 rebounds in two contests.

Keys to the Game w/St. John’s:
  • Block out on the boards: Over the last two games St. John’s has scored 86 points in the paint, including 28 second chance points.  Creighton must limit the Red Storm’s access to easy buckets by allowing just one shot.
  • Combat Thompson: Amber Thompson has 33 rebounds over her last three games.  She has also 37 points during that stretch.  Sarah Nelson is likely to draw the defensive assignment on Thompson, so making her work on the defensive end is critical.
  • Capitalize on turnovers: St. John’s gives the ball away close to 18 times per game, Creighton must take advantage by turning the additional possessions into points.

Home Winning Streak Against Conference Grows to 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.

Revenge on the Minds of the Bluejays
Nine players remain for Creighton from the team that just missed an upset win against St. John’s in the 2012 NCAA Tournament.  For the Red Storm five players remain including starters Thompson and McPherson.  Prior to the season the Bluejays were asked which game they were looking forward to the most, seven said St. John’s.

Fujan’s 38-Point Performance,  One for the Ages
Senior McKenzie Fujan etched her name in Creighton history as she lit up DePaul for 38 points to lead the Bluejays to a 86-78 win over the Blue Demon’s on Jan. 8.  Fujan’s effort ranks as the sixth highest point total by a Bluejay in a single game. Fujan finished the game 13-of-17 from the field (76%) and 6-of-8 (75%) from beyond the arc.

Most Points Scored in a Game
    1.    42    Connie Yori at Iowa State    12/12/82
    2.    41    Kathy Halligan at New Mexico St.    2/10/90
        41    Kathy Halligan at Brigham Young    2/17/90
    4.    40    Kathy Halligan vs. Wisconsin    12/9/90
     5.    39    Christy Neneman vs. Drake    3/9/02
    6.    38    McKenzie Fujan vs. DePaul    1/4/14
    7.    37    Pam Gradoville vs. Missouri    12/4/87
        37    Melissa Sanford vs. Oral Roberts    12/6/89
    9.    36    Carrie Welle vs. Northern Iowa    12/28/97  
        36    Carrie Welle vs. Southern Illinois    1/20/97

Fujan Becomes New Leading Lady at D.J. Sokol Arena
Fujan’s epic afternoon also set the arena record for most points scored by one player in D.J. Sokol Arena and tied the mark for most three-pointers in one game with six.

Most Points Scored
in a Game at D.J. Sokol Arena
    1.    38    McKenzie Fujan vs. DePaul    1/4/14
    2.    32    Angel Robinson (Marquette)      11/28/10
    3.    29    Marissa Janning vs. Drake    3/4/13
    4.    26    Marissa Janning vs. Missouri State    2/14/13
    T5.    25    Carli Tritz vs. Bradley    1/29/12
    T5.    25    Kelsey Woodard vs. Missouri State     1/27/11

Fujan Nabs Second Straight Spot on BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll
Senior McKenzie Fujan earned Creighton’s  her second consecutive selection to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll on Jan. 6. In two games, Fujan averaged 23.5 points to lead the Bluejays to wins over DePaul (86-78 on Jan. 4) and Georgetown (65-65 in OT on Jan. 1).  The previous week Fujan dropped 17 points, including a decisive three-pointer in the final minute to secure Creighton’s 65-58 win over Villanova in the Bluejays first conference game as a member of the BIG EAST.

Another Fujan Record
With 28 points in the second half, Fujan eclipsed teammate Carli Tritz’s 27 point outburst against Missouri State in the second half of the Missouri Valley Tournament Semifinals on March 10, 2012.  Fujan’s 28 points is the most scored by one player in a half under coach Flanery.
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