EVANSTON, Ill. - The Creighton women's basketball season came to an end Thursday night with an 89-63 loss to Northwestern at Welsh-Ryan Arena in the first round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament. Carli Tritz led the Bluejays with 14 points and DaNae Moore scored a career-high 11 points, but the Jays couldn't overcome the hot-shooting of the Wildcats. Northwestern knocked down 10-of-19 three-pointers and shot 55.2 percent from the field in the 26-point win.
The loss, Creighton's fifth straight, ends its season at 18-13, while the Wildcats improved to 19-13 on the season and a perfect 9-0 at home in non-conference play.
The Wildcats never trailed in the game, scoring the first four points en route to a 13-4 opening run in the game's first 3:06. After missing their first three-point attempt of the game, the Wildcats hit their next four attempts from long range and rode the hot hand of Kendall Hackney. The honorable mention all-Big Ten performer hit her first five field goal attempts of the night and had eclipsed her season average of 11.3 points before eight minutes had ticked off the game clock.
While NU's shots were falling, the Bluejays couldn't keep up, missing numerous open looks from beyond the arc. The Jays received first-half three-pointers from Moore, Ally Jensen, Jasmin Corbin and Jordan Garrison, but the starting trio of Tritz, Kelsey Woodard and Sam Schuett combined to go 0-for-10 from long range in the first half. Creighton made only 4-of-17 (.235) three-pointers in the first and and shot just 30.6 percent (11-36) from the field in the opening 20 minutes.
The Wildcats led 42-27 at the half, closing the half on a 16-4 run. NU shot better than 51 percent from the field and made 4-of-6 threes in the first half.
Creighton could get no closer than 12 points in the second half, as the Wildcats continued their offensive onslaught. NU shot nearly 60 percent in the second half to finish the game 55.2 percent from the field. The Wildcats became the first team since Wichita State on March 3, 2001 to make 10 three-pointers against the Bluejays, finishing 10-of-19 (.526) from long range.
Hackney finished with 21 points, making 9-of-12 shots, including 3-of-6 from downtown. National Player of the Year candidate Amy Jaeschke posted a double-double in the first-half and finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds, while Meshia Reed chipped in 16 points for the victors. NU out-rebounded the Jays 41-33 and swiped eight steals in the win.
Tritz scored 10 of her team-high 14 points in the second half, making 6-of-13 shots from the field in the game. Moore scored in double figures for the first time in her career, finishing with 11 points and five rebounds. She hit 4-of-5 shots, including two three-pointers to double her season total from beyond the arc. Schuett led the Jays with nine rebounds in her final collegiate game.
Schuett, Woodard and Kellie Nelson played in their final game Thursday night, with Woodard tying Megan Neuvirth's school record with 130 games played. The Jays will return nine players and bring in two scholarship freshmen for the 2011-12 season.
NOTES: Creighon was appearing in its fourth straight WNIT, joining only Kansas and Florida Gulf Coast in making that claim ... CU has appeared in seven of the last nine WNITs, joining Charlotte as the only teams to accomplish that feat ... CU is now 13-8 all-time in the WNIT, but 6-6 in true road games ... CU is 3-3 all-time against Northwestern, with all three losses coming in Evanston ... Creighton lost five straight games to end the season, its first five-game losing streak during a winning season ... CU had not ended the season on a five-game skid since 1989 ... The Bluejays went winless in March (0-3) for the first time since 2001 ... Entering the game, active Bluejays had shot 35-of-65 (.538) from three-point range in the WNIT, before making only 7-of-27 (.259) tonight ... Creighton finished the year with 202 three-pointers made, eclipsing 200 for the fourth straight season and the sixth time in head coach Jim Flanery's nine seasons. Before Flanery, CU had just two seasons with at least 200 triples ... Woodard finished third in school history and sixth in MVC history with 261 career three-pointers ... Woodard finished with 1,480 points to rank ninth in CU history ... Schuett ended her career tied for 14th in MVC history and alone in third in CU history with 881 career rebounds ... Nelson ends her career ranked seventh in school history with 88 career blocks, while Schuett finished with 102 blocks to rank fifth ... Tritz scored in double figures for the 21st time this season, tying Laura Spanheimer for the most by a Bluejay freshman since 2001-02.