Lady Bears Win Battle With Bluejays, 73-65

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Carli Tritz had 13 points and 4 assists in the loss.
Courtesy: Eric Francis
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Kelsey Woodard's second dazzling shooting performance against Missouri State this season wasn't enough to lead the Bluejays to a victory Sunday afternoon at JQH Arena, as the Lady Bears knocked off the Creighton women's basketball team 73-65 in the regionally televised contest. Woodard led all players with 22 points, making 5-of-10 three-pointers for the second time this season against MSU, while she also finished with a season-high nine rebounds in defeat. 

The loss gives Creighton consecutive Missouri Valley Conference losses for the first time this season and drops the Bluejays to 18-10 overall and 12-5 in MVC play.  The Lady Bears won on Senior Day, improving to 19-9 overall and 10-6 in conference action.

The Lady Bears scored the first four points of the game and built to an early five-point lead before the Bluejays battled back.  Down 13-8, the Jays scored seven straight points and took the lead on a Carli Tritz three-pointer with 10:20 left in the opening half.  The first half was tightly contested, featuring 10 ties and four lead changes.

Creighton's last lead of the game was at 32-30 after a Woodard jumper, but the Lady Bears would score the final five points of the first half to carry a 35-32 lead into the break.

Missouri State's leading scorer and reigning MVC Player of the Year Casey Garrison did not make a field goal in the first half, going 0-for-7 from the field, but Christiana Shorter had 10 points and five rebounds in the opening half for MSU.  Senior Kendra Roberts, who averages just over three points per game, added nine points in the first half.

After MSU went up by six less than a minute into the first half, the Jays stayed within five points until an 11-2 Lady Bear run appeared to give the home team all the momentum.  Creighton used its three-point shooting to climb back into the game, as Woodard made three triples and Jasmin Corbin canned one to get the Bluejays back within three.

The 15-6 burst by the Bluejays took just over two minutes and the Jays had moved the score to 57-54 in favor of Missouri State with more than 10 minutes to play.  A Tritz jumper with just over five minutes to play got the Jays within two, down 62-60.  The Jays had opportunities to get closer, but could not capitalize on their chances.  Trailing by two, Kellie Nelson missed the front end of a one-and-one, MSU answered with a bucket and the Jays were never within one possession for the final four minutes.

Creighton was out-rebounded by Missouri State 45-42, including 20 offensive boards by the Lady Bears which they turned into 18 points.  MSU out-scored the Jays 34-18 in the paint as well.  Creighton was whistled for 24 fouls, sending MSU to the line for 35 attempts, as the Lady Bears went 24-of-35 (.686) at the stripe, compared to just 13-of-20 (.650) for the Jays.

The Jays blocked a season-high 12 shots, including four from Kellie Nelson in just 13 minutes of play.  But for the second straight game, the Bluejays turned the ball over more than their opponent, giving the ball away 17 times, compared to only 11 MSU turnovers.

Woodard finished with a team-high 22 points and season-high nine rebounds before fouling out in the final minute.  She made 5-of-10 three-pointers to go 10-for-20 from beyond the arc against MSU this year.  The Jays hit eight threes in the game, but missed several open looks from deep as well, shooting just 30.8 percent (8-26) from long range.  Tritz was the only other Jay in double figures, finishing with 13 points and team-leading four assists.

Shorter led the Lady Bears with 16 points and added nine rebounds, five coming on the offensive glass.  Garrison finished with 13 points, but was just 5-of-19 from the field and the nation's leading free-throw shooter, made only 3-of-6 shots at the line.  Garrison did lead all players with 10 rebounds for the double-double.  Roberts and Jaleshia Roberson each added 11 points off the bench for the home team.

Creighton wraps up the regular-season with its third straight road game at Drake next Saturday, as the Bluejays again will play at a Senior Day game for an opponent.  The Jays and Bulldogs will tip at the Drake Knapp Center at 2:05 pm next Saturday to cap the regular-season.

NOTES: With her blocked shot in today's game, Sam Schuett joins CU Hall of Famer Pam Gradoville as the only two players in school history with 1,000 points, 800 rebounds and 100 career blocked shots ... Schuett is the sixth player in school history with 100 blocks ... Creighton 12 blocked shots were its most in a game under Jim Flanery, topping the 11 the Jays had at San Diego State on Dec. 22, 2002 ... Woodard now ranks alone in eighth in MVC history and third in school history with 255 career three-pointers ... Woodard has now played in 127 career games, Megan Neuvirth (130) is the only player in school history to play in more.
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