Creighton Bluejays at Drake Bulldogs
Knapp Center • Des Moines, Iowa
Links: Audio (1180 AM) | Video | Live Stats
Series History: Drake leads 34-21
Last Meeting: Creighton won 58-51, Dec. 31, 2010 in Omaha
Knapp Center • Des Moines, Iowa
Links: Audio (1180 AM) | Video | Live Stats
Series History: Drake leads 34-21
Last Meeting: Creighton won 58-51, Dec. 31, 2010 in Omaha
• The game can be heard on KOIL AM 1180 in Omaha and online at www.koilam1180.com. Brad Burwell will call the action.
• Live stats for this game and select road games can be found on the CU athletics website at www.gocreighton.com.
• Sam Schuett is one of two players in school history with 1,000 points, 800 rebounds and 100 career blocked shots.
• Creighton tied a school-record with 12 blocked shots at Missouri State last Sunday.
• CU is looking to avoid losing three straight MVC games for the first time since 2008 and aiming to avoid losing its final three regular-season games for the first time since 1997.
• Creighton entered last week ranked 12th in the NCAA in turnovers with 14.1 per game, but committed 42 turnovers in its two losses.
• Kelsey Woodard now ranks third in CU history and eighth in MVC history with 255 career three-pointers, just three shy of sixth in MVC.
• CU is ending the regular-season with a road game for just the third time in nine seasons under Jim Flanery. The Jays are 5-3 in their regular-season finale under Flanery.
• CU is 33-18 (.647) in March under head coach Jim Flanery.
• Creighton has won five straight meetings with DU for the first time in series history.
Scouting the Bluejays
Creighton, which has finished second or higher in the MVC in five of Jim Flanery’s first eight seasons, is once again positioned to finish high in the standings ... After winning eight of nine games, the Bluejays enter the weekend on a two-game losing streak ... CU leads the MVC with 14.5 assists per game and is second in assist-turnover ratio (0.99) ... The Jays rank 23rd in the NCAA in fewest turnovers per game and 24th in assist-turnover ratio ... Senior Kelsey Woodard, who is one basket away from ranking ninth in CU history in scoring, leads the team with 13.5 ppg, 62 3FG and 89.5 free throw percentage ... Eight-time MVC Newcomer of the Week, Carli Tritz tops the team with 90 assists and 62 steals and is the top-scoring freshman in the MVC, averaging 10.9 points per game, including 11.6 ppg in Valley play ... First-team all-MVC forward, senior Sam Schuett (10.6 ppg) leads the team with 7.3 rebounds per game and her 856 career rebounds are tops among active MVC players ... Freshman Sarah Nelson has twice earned MVC Newcomer of the Week honors this year and senior sister Kellie Nelson leads the team with 28 blocked shots.
Scouting the Bulldogs
Drake is 8-9 in the MVC, including 5-3 at home after four straight Valley home victories ... The Bulldogs average 64.5 points and allow 65.6, shooting 41.9 percent from the field, 31.3 percent from three-point range and 73.5 percent to rank second in the MVC at the free throw line ... DU ranks last in the MVC in three-pointers per game (4.1) and blocks per game (2.4) ... Drake is led by two of the top-five scorers in the MVC, the Valley’s leading scorer Kristin Turk (19.9) – who ranks 14th in the NCAA – and Rachael Hackbarth (13.9) ... Turk is averaging 20.1 points in MVC play ... On the season Turk tops the team with 56 3FG, 85 assists and leads the MVC with 74 steals ... Hackbarth leads DU with 8.1 rebounds per game and 25 blocked shots ... Freshman Angela Christianson (8.5 ppg) has missed DU’s last eight games after getting hit by a car.
Jim Flanery (Creighton, 1987) is in his ninth season as head coach at his alma mater, where he has led his team to six WNIT postseason appearances and five 20-win seasons. He owns a career record of 170-113 (.601), for the highest winning percentage by a coach in program history. In 2003 he became the winningest rookie coach in school and MVC history and led the Jays to the 2004 WNIT Championship. Prior to serving as CU’s head coach, Flanery served as CU’s top assistant for a decade. Flan is 11-10 against Drake in his career. Amy Stephens (Nebraska, 1991) is in her eighth season at Drake and her 16th as a collegiate head coach. Stephens is 132-113 at Drake and 329-156 overall. She led DU to a share of the MVC regular-season title in 2007-08 and the MVC Tournament title in 2006-07. The Nebraska native was previously head coach at Division II Nebraska-Kearney.
Creighton-Drake Series History
Drake owns the all-time series lead with Creighton 34-21 – the most played opponent in CU history. The Bluejays have won the last five meetings with Drake for the first time in series history. Creighton has won six of the last seven games with Drake. The Jays are looking for their third straight win in Des Moines (which would be a first), where they are 8-19 all-time.
Last Time Against Drake
Creighton won 58-51 over Drake on Dec. 31. The Jays led nearly the entire first half until Kristin Turk’s 35-foot bank shot at the halftime buzzer but the Bulldogs ahead 23-22 at the break. DU led by as many as six early in the second half, but the Jays overcame the lead to go ahead 48-40 with six minutes to play. Sam Schuett led all players with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Carli Tritz added 15 points and five steals. Turk finished with just 11 points on 10 attempts, and she had eight turnovers.
Individuals Against the Bulldogs
Ally Jensen excelled against Drake as a freshman, averaging 11.3 points per game while making 10-of-18 (.556) three-pointers in three games against DU last year. She scored a career-high 18 points and drained a career-best six three-pointers against DU in the MVC Tournament. Sam Schuett averages 11.1 points and 7.2 rebounds per game against DU, shooting 50 percent (35-70) from the field and 40 percent (12-30) from three-point range in nine career games against Drake. She is averaging 16.3 points and 8.5 boards against DU in the last four meetings. Kellie Nelson averaged 10.7 points and 4.7 rebounds per game against DU last year and averages 6.1 points and 3.7 boards vs. Drake in her career. Kelsey Woodard averages 7.6 points and 4.2 rebounds against DU in her career, shooting just 10-of-41 (.244) from three-point range in nine games against the Bulldogs.
Losing Streaks are Unusual
Creighton has lost back-to-back games for just the third time this season and the first time in MVC play since the start of the 2009-10 season. The Bluejays have not lost three straight games this year and have not lost three consecutive games since December 2009 (all three of those teams were ranked). The Jays haven’t dropped three straight MVC games since the 2007-08 season.
Some History to Avoid
Creighton is aiming to not only avoid its first three-game losing streak of the season and first in MVC play since 2007-08, but the Jays are hoping to avoid losing their final three games of the regular-season for the first time since 1997. That season, CU lost home games to Wichita State, Missouri State and Drake before losing in the first round of the MVC Tournament to end the season.
With 12 blocked shots at Missouri State last Sunday, Creighton tied a school-record for blocks in a game. The 12 blocks were the most in a game under head coach Jim Flanery, topping the previous high of 11 recorded in an overtime win at San Diego State on Dec. 22, 2003. The school-record of 12 blocks came originally against Western Illinois on Jan. 4, 1993.
Sam I Am
Sam Schuett notched the 100th block of her career at Missouri State last Sunday, making her just the sixth player in school history to reach that mark. The senior is in even more select company now, joining Creighton Hall of Famer Pam Gradoville as the only two players in school history with 1,000 points, 800 rebounds and 100 blocked shots in a career.
Woodard Shoots Higher
Kelsey Woodard made 5-of-10 three-pointers at Missouri State (Feb. 27), the third time this season and the 11th time in her career she has made at least five in a game. She now stands alone in third place in school history with 255 career three-pointers, which ranks eighth in MVC history – just one shy of Kourtney Mennen (INS) for seventh and three shy of Melody Howard (MSU) for sixth. Woodard has now played in 127 games in her career, ranked second in school history behind only Megan Neuvirth’s 130.
Good and Bad
Creighton entered last weekend on a three-game winning streak, having compiled impressive numbers within the streak, but then dropped a pair of games with some not-so-impressive statistics.
• The Bluejays averaged 13.7 turnovers per game in their three wins Feb. 12-19, but then turned the ball over 42 times in their two losses. Creighton’s 25 turnovers at Wichita State on Feb. 25 were its most turnovers in an MVC games since 27 against Evansville on Jan. 22, 2006.
• Creighton’s bench scored 34 points against Illinois State (Feb. 19) and out-scored the opposition’s bench 82-35 during its three-game winning streak (Feb. 12-19). But during its two losses it was out-scored 55-26 off the bench.
Flanery On Top of The Valley
Since taking over as the Bluejay head coach for the 2002-03 season, Jim Flanery has led the Bluejays to more Missouri Valley Conference wins than any other program in that span. See the chart below for records in regular-season MVC games since 2002-03.
MVC Records Since 2002-03
Records through March 2
School W-L Pct.
Creighton 105-56 .652
Northern Iowa 97-63 .606
Indiana State 97-63 .606
Illinois State 96-64 .600
Missouri State 89-71 .556
Drake 88-73 .547
Bradley 71-89 .444
Evansville 64-96 .400
Wichita State 52-108 .325
Southern Illinois 42-118 .263
Flan Captures 100th MVC Win
Head coach Jim Flanery won his 100th career MVC game against Wichita State (Jan. 29), becoming the seventh coach in league history to reach that milestone.
Most MVC Coaching Wins (league games)
Name, School Wins Years
Cheryl Burnett, MSU 201 1988-02
Cindy Scott, SIU 199 1983-98
Jill Hutchison, ILS 170 1983-99
Tony DiCecco, UNI 117 1996-07
Lisa Bluder, DU 116 1991-00
Connie Yori, CU 109 1992-02
Jim Flanery, CU 105 2002-pr.
Another Winning Note for Flan
Jim Flanery captured his 170th career win against Illinois State (Feb. 19), tying his predecessor Connie Yori’s Creighton total. Yori tallied 170 wins in 10 seasons at Creighton, Flanery is in his ninth year. Current CU athletics director Bruce Rasmussen owns the school record with 196 career wins.
Creighton Coaching Wins
Name Wins Seasons
Bruce Rasmussen 196 12
Jim Flanery 170 9
Connie Yori 170 10
Gaye Kinnett 33 3
Eddye McClure 26 3
Howard Faber 11 1
March Happiness - Not Madness
Since 2001-02, the Bluejays have just one losing record in March – a 2-3 mark in 2007 despite a run to the MVC Tournament title game that year. In each of the past two seasons, the Bluejays have gone 5-2 in March and are now 33-18 (.647) all-time in March under Jim Flanery.
Creighton scored at least 70 points in three straight games on Feb. 12-19, the first time the Bluejays had scored 70 points in three straight games since Jan. 20-26, 2008. Prior to that stretch, the Jays hadn’t scored 70 points in regulation in three straight games since Nov. 19-24, 2007.
During Creighton’s most recent three-game winning streak, the Bluejays enjoyed their best shooting three-game span in six years. The Bluejays shot 48.3 percent (75-of-155) from the field in those three games, including 27-of-54 (.500) from three-point range. The Jays had not shot that well from the field over a three-game span since Jan. 30 – Feb. 4, 2005, when they shot 51.9 percent from the field in that stretch.
Schuett Doubles Up the MVC
Sam Schuett notched her fourth double-double of the year at Wichita State (Feb. 25), with 19 points and 10 rebounds. All four double-doubles have come during MVC play. She now has 17 career double-doubles, 15 of which have come against MVC teams – 13 in the MVC regular-season and two in the MVC Tournament. Her only two non-conference double-doubles came at UC Davis (Nov. 27, 2009) and Nebraska (Nov. 30, 2007).
Eight of Creighton’s first 12 MVC wins this season have come by double digits, including its largest winning margin for the Bluejays in MVC play this year, a 71-44 thrashing of Illinois State on Feb. 19. That 27-point margin of victory marked the fourth largest in MVC play under Jim Flanery.
Largest MVC Winning Margins
Under Jim Flanery (since 2002-03)
Opponent Date Score Margin
Wichita State 1-7-10 89-48 41
Wichita State 1-4-08 83-47 36
Missouri State 1-8-09 92-63 29
Illinois State 2-19-11 71-44 27
Evansville 1-6-11 81-55 26
Evansville 1-14-10 63-37 26
Creighton equalled its season-high with 12 three-pointers against Bradley (Feb. 12) and shot a season-high 57.1 percent from three-point range against the Braves. The Bluejays rank second in the MVC, averaging 6.5 three-pointers per game, but they are averaging 8.0 three-pointers per game over their last five contests.
Creighton has won at least 20 games in each of its previous three seasons. In school history, every time the Jays have won 20 games in a season, it has come in groups of at least three – winning at least 20 in three straight years (1985-87), four straight years (1991-94), three straight years (2002-04) and now again in three straight (2008-10). The Bluejays have won 20 games in five of Jim Flanery’s first eight seasons as head coach. Flan is looking to become the first Bluejay head coach to lead a team to four straight 20-win seasons, as Connie Yori and Bruce Rasmussen split the previous four-consecutive 20-win season streak (1991-94).
Tritz Sets (and adds to) MVC Record
Freshman Carli Tritz has been named the MVC Newcomer of the Week eight times this season, setting an MVC record by breaking the former mark of six honors set by teammate Kelsey Woodard in 2007-08. Tritz’s most recent honor came on Feb. 21 after she averaged 11.5 points, 4.0 assists and 3.0 steals per game against Indiana State and Illinois State last week. The rookie guard has been honored on Nov. 29, Dec. 13, Dec. 27, Jan. 3, Jan. 10, Jan. 31, Feb. 14 and Feb. 21.
Tritz in Double Figures
Carli Tritz has scored in double figures 18 times during her freshman season, the most by a Bluejay rookie during Jim Flanery’s tenure, surpassing the 15 double figure games Kelsey Woodard posted as a rookie in 2007-08. Prior to Tritz, the last freshman to notch more than 15 double figure scoring games in a season was Laura Spanheimer with 21 in 2001-02.
Stop at 60
Creighton is 32-2 over the last two seasons when holding opponents under 60 points and just 7-19 when opponents score 60 or more. In 21 of Creighton’s first 29 games played at D.J. Sokol Arena, the Bluejays have held opponents below 60 points, with 20 of those games resulting in a win (only loss was 58-57 to UNI earlier this season). The Jays’ have allowed 60 points in only one of their last 18 MVC wins – the 71-62 win over Indiana State on Feb. 17.
Home is Where the Wins Are
Creighton is 24-5 (.828) all-time at D.J. Sokol Arena, with a 12-2 record this year after posting a 12-3 home record last year. The Bluejays are now 96-30 (.762) at home under Jim Flanery (since 2002-03), including 64-17 (.790) in MVC play at home under Flanery. Creighton has won 35 of its last 42 home games, with two of those seven losses coming at Qwest Center Omaha.
Defense at D.J.
With a 12-2 mark in their home arena this year, the Bluejays are 24-5 all-time at D.J. Sokol Arena. In those 29 games, the Bluejays have allowed less than 60 points points 21 times – including 11 of 14 games this year. Bluejay opponents are averaging just 55.4 points per game in the 29 games played inside D.J. Sokol Arena, while the Jays are averaging 65.4 points per game in their new home venue.
Our Freshmen Are Good
Carli Tritz (8) and Sarah Nelson (2) have both earned multiple MVC Newcomer of the Week honors this year, with Tritz setting a league record with her seven honors. The freshman duo has now won 10 of the 15 Valley Newcomer of the Week awards this season.
Nelson Newcomer of the Week (x2)
Sarah Nelson was named MVC Newcomer of the Week for the second time this season on Feb. 7 after averaging 9.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. She had 14 points and a career-high three blocked shots in playing a career-best 35 minutes against Evansville (Feb. 5). She was named the MVC Newcomer of the Week on Jan. 24 after averaging 14 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.5 steals per game. The freshman had a career-high 17 points in 14 minutes at Illinois State (Jan. 20).
Schuett Reaches 800, Ranks Third at CU
With 856 career rebounds, Sam Schuett has become just the fourth player in school history and the 22nd player in MVC history to reach 800 career boards. She recently moved past Creighton Hall of Famer Shannon Struby’s 824 to rank third in school history in rebounding. She is the active MVC leader in career rebounds, as she now ranks 15th in league history in rebounding.
Woodard Cracks Two Top Ten Lists
Kelsey Woodard has moved into the Creighton career top-10 in scoring and the MVC career top-10 for three-point field goals. Woodard’s 1,458 points stand alone in 10th and are just one shy of CU Hall of Famer Shannon Struby (1,459) for ninth place. Her 255 career three-pointers (which rank third in CU history) rank eighth in MVC history.
Ahead at Half
The Bluejays are 14-0 when leading at halftime this year and have now won 18 straight games when leading at the half. Creighton has trailed at halftime in 10 games this year, but has come-from-behind to win three of those games – equalling the number of wins it had when trailing at halftime last year (3-8).
Fast Start Leads to Nice Finish
Creighton scored a season-high 44 points in the first half of its 68-56 win over Missouri State (Jan. 27). The Jays led 44-23 at the break for their largest halftime lead of the season.
Kelsey Woodard poured in a season-high 25 points against Missouri State (Jan. 27), equalling the highest scoring game by a Bluejay over the past two seasons. Her 25 points also established a D.J. Sokol Arena high for a Bluejay. The senior drained 5-of-10 three-pointers in the win. Woodard has made five threes in a game three times this season and has now made at least five triples in a game 11 times in her career. She has scored 20 points in a game five times this season and 13 times in her career.
Creighton Values Its Possessions
Despite losing its starting point guard, Creighton remains among the NCAA elite in fewest turnovers per game. The Bluejays rank 23rd in the NCAA this week, averaging just 14.6 turnovers per game. In each of the previous two seasons, the Jays have also finished in the top-25 nationally in fewest turnovers per game, ranking 22nd last year and eighth during the 2008-09 season. The Jays committed a season-low six turnovers at South Dakota (Dec. 2), tied for the fewest committed under head coach Jim Flanery.
Creighton played its first overtime game of the year and the first overtime game in D.J. Sokol Arena history in a 50-48 win over Wichita State on Jan. 29. The win moved Creighton to 12-7 in overtime games under Jim Flanery. The Jays have won their last four overtime games and won their last four overtime games in conference play.
Creighton posted a season-high 15 steals against Southern Illinois (Feb. 3), its most steals since in a game since March 5, 2009. DaNae Moore had a career-high five steals and Ally Jensen swiped a career-best four steals in the win, while seven Bluejays had at least one steal in the win. All 11 active Bluejays played at least 10 minutes in the blowout win.
In two games this season, a pair of Carli Tritz free throws late in the game have provided the winning margin for the Bluejays. Tritz not only made the game-winning free throws with 4.2 seconds left in overtime to give the Jays a 50-48 win over Wichita State (Jan. 29), but she also made the game-tying free throws with 11.5 seconds on the clock in regulation against the Shockers. In the second home game of her career, Tritz’s free throws with 14.3 seconds left lifted the Jays to a 63-61 win over now nationally-ranked Marquette (Nov. 28).
Leading vs. Losing
Creighton never trailed in its win over Southern Illinois on Feb. 3, the fourth time this season the Jays have not trailed in a home game. Of Creighton’s 24 wins at D.J. Sokol Arena, seven of them have come with the Bluejays never playing from behind. The Jays have won more games (7) where they have never trailed at their new home, than they have lost at D.J. Sokol Arena (5).
X-X First-Half Leads to X-X Finish
Creighton started MVC play with a 7-2 record for the third straight season. The previous five times CU had at least seven wins in the first half of conference play, it finished first or second in the league. This marks the 16th time in 19 seasons as a member of the MVC that the Jays have posted a winning record through the first half of the league schedule. CU had an identical first and second-half MVC record in 2007-08 and 2008-09, but has not had a better second half record than first half since 2002-03 – its last regular-season championship.
MVC MVC MVC
Season 1st Half Overall Finish
2010-11 7-2 12-5 ??
2009-10 7-2 13-5 2nd
2008-09 7-2 14-4 2nd
2007-08 6-3 12-6 4th
2006-07 5-4 8-10 6th
2005-06 4-5 5-13 T-9th
2004-05 8-1 13-5 T-2nd
2003-04 8-1 15-3 2nd
2002-03 6-3 13-5 T-1st
2001-02 8-1 16-2 1st
2000-01 5-4 11-7 4th
1999-00 4-5 7-11 6th
1998-99 5-4 9-9 7th
1997-98 7-2 11-7 3rd
1996-97 4-5 7-11 8th
1995-96 6-3 10-8 T-4th
1994-95 6-3 12-6 4th
1993-94 8-0 14-2 2nd
1992-93 7-1 12-4 T-2nd
Longest MVC Home Stand Since 1999
Creighton went a perfect 4-0 during its longest conference home stand since 1999, between Jan. 27 and Feb. 5. Prior to this year, the Jays last played four straight Valley games at home Jan. 21-31, 1999. Earlier this season, CU logged a four-game home stand which served as its longest since that 1999 stint.
Give and Take
Taking hasn’t been a problem for freshman Carli Tritz this season, as she quickly established herself as one of the top defenders in the MVC – her 62 steals on the year lead the team and rank third in the league. But her giving has recently been on the rise, as evidenced by her career-high eight assists against Missouri State (Jan. 27). Tritz leads the team with 90 assists this season, but 59 of those assists have come in CU’s last 14 games. She is averaging 4.2 assists per game in her last 14, after dishing 31 assists through her first 14 games – 2.2 per contest.
Two Rookie Starters
Creighton has started two freshmen – Carli Tritz and Sarah Nelson – in eight games this season, marking the first time since the 2006-07 season that the Bluejays had started two freshmen in a game, as Megan Neuvirth and Sam Schuett were both starters in the 2007 MVC Tournament championship game at Drake. But it served as the first time under Jim Flanery that two true freshmen were in the starting lineup (Neuvirth was a redshirt in 2006-07). Prior to this season, the last time two true freshmen had started a game at Creighton was Feb. 11, 2001 when Dayna Finch and Christy Neneman started in a 77-52 home win over Illinois State.
Nelson, Tritz Make History
Not only have the freshman duo of Sarah Nelson and Carli Tritz started together in eight games this season, but the pair are the first set of Bluejays to win the MVC Newcomer of the Week award in the same season. Prior to this season, only Megan Neuvirth (2006-07) and Kelsey Woodard (2007-08) had won the award for the Bluejays – which started during the 2003-04 season.
Cold Weather Means Hot Basketball
Creighton went 6-2 in January to move its record to is 52-20 (.722) in January games under head coach Jim Flanery, by far his most successful month. The Jays are 32 games over .500 in January games under Flanery, while they are a combined 25 games over .500 in the other four months on the basketball calendar.
Creighton No. 17 in Mid-Major Top 25
Creighton has been ranked in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 poll all season and is ranked 17th in the most recent poll (March 1). Missouri State was ranked 24th last week, marking the seventh Mid-Major Top 25 foe this year for CU – the Jays are 3-4 against the Mid-Major Top 25 this year. Illinois State was ranked in the poll during both of CU’s games with the Redbirds and Northern Iowa was ranked 16th when the Jays played at UNI (Feb. 10). CU topped then eighth-ranked Missouri State on Jan. 27. Two of CU’s first three games were against Mid-Major top-10 teams, as the Jays knocked off eighth-ranked Liberty and lost at fifth-ranked Bowling Green. Bowling Green was also receiving votes in the AP Top 25 and the USA Today/ESPN Top 25 to start the season. Creighton peaked with a No. 10 ranking in week nine.
Tritz is Tops
Carli Tritz is the leading scorer in the MVC among all freshmen and newcomers, averaging 10.9 points per game to rank 17th overall. Her 11.6 points per game in MVC games ranks 14th. The rookie ranks third in the MVC with 62 steals on the season. Against Bradley (Jan. 15) she was tops on the team with 17 points, eight rebounds, five assists and three steals one game after establishing career-highs with 10 rebounds against UNI (Jan. 13). She dished a career-high eight assists against Missouri State (Jan. 27).
The Kamphaus Dozen
Freshman Alyssa Kamphaus scored a career-high 12 points, making all five of her field goal attempts, while playing just seven minutes in her MVC debut at Evansville (Jan. 6). Included in the five makes for the rookie center, was what she claims to be the first three-pointer she has ever made in a game in her life.
Garrison Makes Debut
Freshman guard Jordan Garrison did not play in Creighton’s first 12 games, after not dressing for the first 11 because of a stress fracture in her left leg. She dressed, but did not play, against Drake (Dec. 31), before finally making her collegiate debut at Evansville (Jan. 6). The rookie misfired on her first three-point attempt but knocked down her second try for her first career points.
Tritz MVC Debut, Second to One
Carli Tritz scored 15 points in her MVC debut against Drake on Dec. 31. The 15 points in her MVC debut mark the second highest scoring game by a Bluejay in her first Valley game in school history. The only other Bluejay rookie to score more in an MVC debut was Missy Miller with 23 points on Jan. 7, 1993 in Creighton’s first ever MVC game. Freshman Becky Flynn also scored 14 points in that same game in 1993, while Laura Spanheimer scored 14 points against SIU on Dec. 30, 2001 in her first Valley game. Tritz also grabbed six rebounds and five steals against Drake.
Non-Con Strength of Schedule is Tops
As it annually does, Creighton again played the strongest non-conference schedule in the MVC. Through non-conference games played on Dec. 28, the Bluejays’ strength of schedule (SOS) was 39. Only one other school in the MVC had an SOS of better than 131 – Missouri State’s 88. In fact, the other nine teams in the MVC had an average SOS of 182 – 143 spots lower than Creighton’s.
Carli Doesn’t Play for You
Carli Tritz ranks third in the MVC with 62 steals this year and swiped at least one steal in each of her first 16 career games and has led the team in steals in 15 games. Tritz swiped a career-high six steals at Indiana State (Jan. 22). She topped the team with five steals against Marquette (Nov. 28) and Drake (Dec. 31), becoming the first Bluejay freshman to record five steals in a game since Megan Neuvirth had five in the 2007 MVC Tournament championship game against Drake.
Woodard Named MVC Player of the Week
Kelsey Woodard was named the MVC Player of the Week on Dec. 27 after her performances against North Dakota and Kansas. Woodard averaged 20 points and 3.0 assists per game, making 50 percent of her field goals (14-28) and three-pointers (5-10) in the two contests. It was her second career Player of the Week honor, and first since Feb. 4, 2008.
Bluejays Establish Highs
Creighton enjoyed its highest scoring game in more than seven years on Dec. 20, cruising to a 96-57 win over North Dakota. The 96 points were the most scored by the Jays since winning 96-86 at Siena on March 22, 2003. In addition to the season-high point total, the Jays also put up season-highs in field goals (33), field-goal percentage (.611), three-pointers (12), assists (24), blocked shots (9) and points in the paint (40). CU’s 96 points, 33 field goals and 55 points in a half (2nd) all established D.J. Sokol Arena records as well.
In addition to the multiple team season-best numbers against North Dakota (Dec. 20), several individuals also set career highs in the win. McKenzie Fujan scored a career-best nine points, making 4-of-6 shots. Jasmin Corbin led the team with a career-high five assists.
Scoring in the 90s
Creighton’s 96 points in its win over North Dakota (Dec. 20) were the most points scored by the Bluejays in a game since a 96-86 win at Siena on March 22, 2003 in the WNIT. It was the first time the Jays had scored 90 points since a 92-63 win over Missouri State on Jan. 8, 2009. The Jays improved to 8-0 when scoring at least 90 points under Jim Flanery.
If the Schuett Fits
Sam Schuett joined some elite groups of players during Creighton’s game with Nebraska (Dec. 8), becoming the 23rd player in school history to surpass 1,000 career points and the seventh player to reach 700 career rebounds. She is the fourth CU player to have both 1,000 points and 800 rebounds in a career.
Kelsey Can Shoot
Kelsey Woodard is one of 23 players in school history with 1,000 career points. Woodard is the second-most accurate free-throw shooter in school history (.855), trailing only her sister Kristi (.862) in that category. She is ranked third in school history and eight in league history with 255 career three-pointers.
Flan Schedules the Big Boys (or Girls)
With Creighton’s win over Marquette on Nov. 28, head coach Jim Flanery now has twice as many wins against BCS schools than the next closest MVC school since his first campaign in 2002-03. Flanery’s 18 wins against BCS schools in that span are twice as many as Drake (9). In fact, Flan has more wins against BCS schools in that span than Bradley has games played (16) against BCS schools. His 18 wins also equal the number of games played by Evansville, Indiana State and Wichita State against BCS schools in that same span. Creighton’s has played 60 games against BCS programs since 2002-03, the next closest MVC school is Drake, which has played 38 games in the same span.
MVC vs. BCS since 2002-03
School Games Wins
Creighton 60 18
Drake 38 9
Illinois State 26 8
Missouri State 29 7
Indiana State 18 6
Northern Iowa 34 4
Wichita State 18 4
Evansville 18 3
Bradley 16 2
Southern Illinois 21 0
Tritz or Treat
Freshman Carli Tritz scored a game-high 21 points against Nebraska (Dec. 8) to become the first Bluejay rookie with a 20-point game since Kelsey Woodard scored 29 against South Dakota State on March 20, 2008. Tritz scored at least 10 points in four straight games (Nov. 20 - Dec. 8), the longest streak by a CU freshman since Sam Schuett scored 10+ points in five straight in 2007. The guard made 4-of-6 three-pointers against Nebraska.
Home Winning Streak Snapped
Creighton’s loss to Nebraska (Dec. 8) snapped its nine-game home winning streak – the Bluejays’ longest since winning 23 straight at home between the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons.
Creighton’s bench out-scored the opponent’s bench in 10 of its first 11 non-conference games and before its game at No. 18 Notre Dame (Dec. 11), the bench had out-scored the opponent’s bench in each of its first seven games. The Irish reserves out-scored CU’s bench 34-11. Before that game, the CU bench had out-scored opponents 170-84, highlighted by a 22-0 edge against Marquette (Nov. 28).
Low Scoring Win
Creighton defeated Liberty 40-35 to open the season at the Sheraton Raleigh Wolfpack Invitational on Nov. 12. The 40 points were the fewest scored by the Bluejays in a win since a 40-23 victory over Doane College (Neb.) on Feb. 21, 1977 and the fewest scored overall by the Jays since a 50-35 loss to Eastern Michigan on Dec. 21, 2000. The 35 points for Liberty where the fewest it had scored in a game since Dec. 29, 1993.
Sarah’s Solid Start
Freshman Sarah Nelson led the Bluejays with 14 points and 10 rebounds against North Carolina State (Nov. 13). The double-double was the first by a Bluejay freshman since Kelsey Woodard logged her only career double-dime on Jan. 6, 2008 against Missouri State. The rookie led the team in rebounding in three of CU’s five games and earned her first career start against North Dakota State on Dec. 18.
Woodard Named All-Tournament Team
Kelsey Woodard led the Bluejays with 10 points per game at the Sheraton Raleigh Wolfpack Invitational, earning her all-tournament recognition at the event. Against Liberty, she drained three three-pointers in the second half to account for all nine of her points and to help CU come from behind and win. She added two more threes and 11 points in the championship game against North Carolina State.
Schuett Lowe’s Senior CLASS Candidate
Sam Schuett has been named one of 30 candidates nationally for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award which honors seniors for their efforts on and off the court. CLASS stands for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School and to be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in community, classroom, character and competition. Schuett graduated magna cum laude with a degree in accounting in May, has served on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, ranked 12th among CU’s 232 student-athletes in community service hours last year and is a first-team all-conference player on the court.
Flock of Freshmen
Half of the Creighton roster is made up of freshmen this season. The six-member freshman class equals the largest rookie class in the nine-year tenure of head coach Jim Flanery, as the 2005-06 team also had six freshmen. All six Bluejay rookies this season are on scholarship, marking the first time since the 1997-98 season that Creighton has at least six freshman on scholarship.
Creighton’s Sister Act
One of Creighton’s six freshmen is Sarah Nelson, younger sister of Bluejay senior Kellie Nelson, continuing a recent trend of sisters playing for the Jays. Current senior Kelsey Woodard followed in the footsteps of older sister Kristi (2002-06), while Laura (2001-05) and Krissie (1997-01) Spanheimer also had a family tradition at Creighton. The Nelsons however, are just the second recorded sister duo to play alongside each other at Creighton, joining Peggy and Patty Bierle in 1978-79.
Norman to Redshirt
Freshman forward Riley Norman will take a medical redshirt this season after suffering a torn right ACL during preseason work outs. The rookie had surgery on Oct. 18 to repair the knee, which she also injured at the end of her senior year of high school.
For the fourth consecutive season, at least half of Creighton’s roster is from Nebraska. Last year the Bluejays started five Nebraskans in 29 of their 32 games, marking the first time in recorded history the Jays had an all-Nebraska lineup in one game - let alone 29. Seven of Creighton’s 12 players on this year’s roster are from Nebraska – Omaha products Jasmin Corbin (Millard West), Kellie Nelson (Westside), Sarah Nelson (Westside) and Sam Schuett (Millard West), Bellevue native Kelsey Woodard (Bellevue West), Seward High graduate Alyssa Kamphaus and Weston native by way of Wahoo Bishop Neumann, McKenzie Fujan.
Another Tough Schedule
Creighton again plays the toughest non-conference schedule in the MVC, as eight of the Bluejays’ 11 non-conference games are against teams which appeared in the postseason last year, including a pair of NCAA Sweet 16 teams. CU hosted 2010 Sweet 16 participant Nebraska on Dec. 8 and then played at Sweet 16 team Notre Dame on Dec. 11. Liberty, Bowling Green and NC State all played in the NCAA Tournament last year. Wyoming, Marquette and Kansas played in the WNIT last year.
The Bluejays have been picked to finish third in the MVC preseason poll as voted on by league coaches, media and SIDs. CU received seven first place votes, second only to preseason favorite Missouri State’s 27. The Jays earned 328 points in the poll, just one behind second-place Northern Iowa. The Jays have finished even or higher than their predicted finish in six of Jim Flanery’s first eight years at the helm.
Updated & Extended Coverage
Fans will notice Creighton home games not only have a new live stats platform, but will also benefit from Creighton’s change to BCS Stats. The new live stats provider allows fans to follow the live action on their mobile device at www.gocreightonstats.com. Fans can also find more info on Bluejay athletics on Facebook at the “Official Creighton Athletics Page” and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/gocreighton. The women’s basketball team also has its own Facebook page, with inside glimpses into the program. Fans can also read assistant coach Carrie Moore’s blog “Tuesdays With Moore” each Tuesday on www.gocreighton.com.