Bluejays Televised at UNI on Friday Night; at Bradley Sunday
Game #27 • at UNI • Friday, Feb. 24 • 8:35 pm
Game #28 • at Bradley • Sunday, Feb. 26 • 2:05 pm
Creighton Bluejays (15-11, 9-6 MVC)
at UNI Panthers (15-10, 8-6 MVC) Location: Cedar Falls, Iowa
Arena: McLeod Center (6,650) Audio (1180 AM) | Live Video (ESPN3) | Live Stats
TV: Fox Sports Net
Twitter: @GoCreighton, @CreightonWBB
Series History: CU leads 31-16; Series tied 11-11 in Cedar Falls
Creighton Bluejays (15-11, 9-6 MVC)
at Bradley Braves (14-12, 5-9 MVC) Location: Peoria, Ill.
Arena: Renaissance Coliseum (4,200) Audio (1180 AM) | Live Video | Live Stats
Twitter: @GoCreighton, @CreightonWBB
Series History: CU leads 35-8; CU leads 18-4 in Peoria
• Creighton at UNI will
be televised live on FS Midwest, FS Indiana, FS Kansas City, FOX
College Sports, Comcast SportsNet Chicago, DirecTV (671), Dish Network
(418), AT&T U-Verse (748) and online at ESPN3.com (outside of the
six MVC states).
• Creighton enters the weekend on its third three-game winning streak of the season (all in MVC play). The Bluejays are looking for their first four-game winning streak of the season.
• Sarah Nelson has recorded double-doubles in her last two games and four of her last five contests. She is averaging 18.8 points and 10.0 rebounds in her last five games.
• Sarah Nelson has 10 double-doubles this season, the most by a Bluejay in 24 years.
• Carli Tritz had 18 points, 8 rebounds and a season-high 7 assists, along with no turnovers in CU’s win over Indiana State on Sunday.
• Carli Tritz scored all of her team-leading 16 points in the second half against Illinois State last Friday.
• The Bluejays shot a season-high 53.8 percent from three-point range (7-13) and blocked a season-high nine shots in a 68-59 win over Illinois State last Friday.
• Ally Jensen (131) is one three-pointer shy of 13th and three shy of 11th place in CU history.
• Creighton enters the weekend looking to sweep the season series with both UNI and Bradley. The Jays haven’t swept both series in the same season since 2003-04.
Scouting the Bluejays
Creighton played the toughest non-conference schedule in the league, with its strength of schedule ranked 18th before the start of Valley play ... Nine of CU’s 12 roster spots are filled by underclassmen ... Creighton plays its final three MVC games on the road after going 7-2 at home in MVC play ... The Bluejays rank second in the league in defense (58.4 ppg) and are seventh in the MVC in offense (60.8 ppg) ... Despite ranking seventh in the MVC in scoring, CU is second with 13.1 assists per game ... Sophomore Sarah Nelson (13.4 ppg), a two-time MVC Player of the Week this year, leads the team with 10 double-doubles, 8.0 rebounds per game and 27 blocked shots ... Nelson has four double-doubles in her last five games and is averaging 18.8 points and 10.0 rebounds in her last five games ... Sophomore Carli Tritz (14.4 ppg) is averaging a team-leading 15.5 points in MVC play and leads the team with 3.6 assists and 1.7 steals per game ... Tritz is CU’s active career leader in points, steals, assists, free throws and free-throw attempts ... Junior Ally Jensen (8.3 ppg) leads the team with 52 three-pointers this year and 131 in her career.
Scouting the Panthers
Northern Iowa has lost three straight, all on the road ... UNI is 9-3 at home this season, including 5-2 in MVC play ... UNI ranks last in field-goal percent defense, as opponents shoot 40.8 percent against the Panthers ... UNI also ranks last in rebounding margin (-3.5) ... The Panthers lead the MVC turnover margin (+3.2) and three-pointers per game (6.8) ... Katelin Oney leads the team with 13.2 ppg and 51 three-pointers ... K.K. Armstrong (12.6 ppg) leads UNI with 3.8 assists and 2.1 steals per game ... Rachel Madrigal adds 12.4 ppg, 37 three-pointers and a team-high 33 blocked shots and 50.9 FG percentage ... Amber Kirschbaum (9.7 ppg) leads UNI with 7.4 rebounds per game, while she joins Oney, Armstrong and Madrigal in averaging double figures in MVC play.
Scouting the Braves
Bradley is 3-2 in its last five games and has won four straight home games entering the weekend ... BU is 7-5 at home this year ... The Braves lead the MVC in free-throw shooting (.757) and are second in the league in scoring (68.6), three-point percentage (.342), rebounding (40.6) and blocked shots (4.6) ... BU ranks ninth in defense, allowing 65.9 points per game ... Leah Kassing leads BU with 14.2 points and 8.1 rebounds per game, with a team-high 51.2 field goal percentage and 30 blocks ... Katie Yohn (12.0 ppg) leads BU with 50 three-pointers and 34 steals ... Shronda Butts has twice been named MVC Newcomer of the Week and Catie O’Leary has also earned the honor.
• Jim Flanery (Creighton, 1987) is in his 10th season as head coach at his alma mater, where he has led his team to seven WNIT postseason appearances and five 20-win seasons. He owns a career record of 185-127 (.593). The winningest MVC coach in school history, his 114 MVC wins rank sixth in league history. The second-winningest coach in school history, he led the Bluejays 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 13-8 all-time against UNI and 14-5 against Bradley.
• UNI is coached by Creighton athletics Hall of Famer Tanya Warren (Creighton, 1988). Warren, one of two CU players with her number retired, is 83-69 (.546) in her fifth season as a collegiate head coach. Prior to UNI, Warren spent three seasons at Creighton as the associate head coach and was an assistant at UNI from 1995-2001.
• Bradley is coached by former UNO head coach Paula Buscher (Missouri State, 1986). Buscher, the dean of MVC coaches and the 2009 MVC Coach of the Year is 163-184 (.470) in her 12th season with the Braves, while she is 206-222 (.481) in her 15th year as a collegiate head coach.
Creighton-UNI Series History
Creighton owns the all-time series lead with UNI, 31-16, with the series tied 11-11 in Cedar Falls. Creighton snapped a four-game losing streak in the series with a 65-50 win last month in Omaha. The Bluejays have lost their last two trips to UNI, with its last win in Cedar Falls coming on Feb. 21, 2009, a 67-59 overtime win.
Last Time vs. UNI
Creighton never trailed and scored a season-high 37 points in the first half, en route to a 65-50 win over UNI last month. Four Bluejays scored in double figures, but Carli Tritz had her 11-game double-figure scoring streak end. Ally Jensen led the Jays with 14 points and DaNae Moore tied her then career-high 11 points. Sarah Nelson had 12 points and eight rebounds, while Taylor Johnson added 12 points off the bench. UNI shot just 30.8 percent from the field in the loss.
Individuals against UNI
Carli Tritz averages 10 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game against UNI. She scored 18 points at UNI last year and her career-high 10 rebounds came against the Panthers last year. Ally Jensen averages 5.5 points per game against UNI, but is shooting 40.9 percent (9-22) from three-point range against the Panthers.
Creighton-Bradley Series History
Creighton has dominated the all-time series with Bradley, as the Bluejays own a 35-8 lead. The Jays are 18-4 against the Braves in Peoria, with three of the four losses coming in three of the last four years. CU snapped a three-game losing streak in Peoria last year with a 72-50 win in its first game at Renaissance Coliseum. CU had an 18-game winning streak in the series snapped in 2006 and had a 17-game road winning streak in the series ended in 2008.
Last Time vs. Bradley
Carli Tritz scored a career-high 25 points to help hold off Bradley in a 72-68 win last month. CU led by 13 with less than four minutes to play before a 10-0 run by the Braves made the score 66-63 with less than a minute to play. The Jays hit their free throws to hold on for the win. DaNae Moore scored a career-high 12 points and added a season-high nine rebounds. CU out-rebounded the bigger Braves 40-32 and shot 45.6 percent from the field.
Individuals against Bradley
Carli Tritz averages 17.3 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game against Bradley, making 20-of-31 (.645) shots. She scored a career-best 25 against BU last month. Sarah Nelson averages 7.3 points and 4.3 rebounds against the braves after scoring 13 in the first meeting with BU this year. Ally Jensen averages 6.4 points and has made 8-of-30 (.267) three-pointers against the Braves. DaNae Moore scored two points against BU in her first six meetings with the Braves, before scoring a career-best 12 points on 6-of-9 shots last month in Omaha.
Sarah Nelson is averaging a double-double over her last five games, with 18.8 points and 10.0 points per game in that span. She has four double-doubles in her last five games and now has a team-best 10 double-doubles this year. Her 10 double-dimes are the most by a Bluejay since Creighton Hall of Famer Pam Gradoville logged 14 double-doubles during the 1987-88 season.
Creighton is 4-0 on Fridays this season, including a win over UNI on Friday, Jan. 27. The Jays have also posted two big come-from-behind wins on Fridays this year, trailing by 12 in a 64-62 win at Indiana State and trailing by nine to Illinois State in last Friday’s 68-59 win over the Redbirds. CU won at North Dakota on a Friday to open the 2011-12 season.
Tritz Approaches Triple Double With No TOs
Sophomore Carli Tritz had perhaps her best all-around game of the season against Indiana State on Sunday. The guard led the team with 18 points and added eight rebounds and a season-high seven assists. Not only did she have a season-high in assists, it was the first time this season she did not commit a turnover in a game.
For just the second time this season, all 11 players scored in a game for the Bluejays in last Sunday’s 63-48 win over Indiana State. The only other game this year in which all 11 players scored was against No. 3 Notre Dame on Dec. 4.
Hawkeye State Natives
Creighton starts two Iowa natives and has four Iowans on the roster. Sophomore Carli Tritz (Sioux City) is looking for her first collegiate win in her home state, after losing at Drake and UNI last year. Junior Ally Jensen (Ames) is 1-3 in games played in Iowa, but has not won in Cedar Falls. Ally’s younger sister, freshman Sammy Jensen and Riley Norman (Des Moines) have yet to play a game in their home state. Head coach Jim Flanery (Guthrie Center) is also from the Hawkeye State.
Carli Tritz scored all of her team-leading 16 points in the second half of Creighton’s win over Illinois State (Feb. 17). It’s nothing new for Tritz, who scored 17 of her 19 points against Indiana State on Jan. 20 and did more of the same against Bradley last month. Tritz scored 19 of her career-high 25 points in the second half against Bradley on Jan. 29. At Illinois State (Jan. 22), Tritz made 8-of-8 field goals in the final 8:30 to scored 16 of her team-leading 18 points in the second half. On the season Tritz is averaging 8.7 points per game in the second half, compared to just 5.6 points in the first half. Tritz is shooting 50.0 percent from the field after halftime and just 39.9 percent in the first half.
Creighton shot a season-high 53.8 percent from three-point range against Illinois State (Feb. 17), making 7-of-13 shots in the win. The Bluejays also blocked a season-high nine shots, with Sarah Nelson blocking a career-high four in the game. Creighton’s 45 second-half points vs. ISU were also a season high. The Jays out-shot the best three-point shooting team in the NCAA, as ISU entered the game shooting 40.5 percent from three-point range on the season, but made only 4-of-15 (.267) in the game.
Not Half Bad
Creighton improved to 28-1 all-time under head coach Jim Flanery when shooting at least 50 percent from the field as the Bluejays shot a season-high 52.8 percent from the floor at SIU (Feb. 11). The Bluejays also scored a season-high 80 points at SIU, tying their highs for first-half (37) point totals on the season.
Creighton’s leading scorers, Carli Tritz (14.4) and Sarah Nelson (13.4) have been remarkable consistent this season, averaging a combined 27.8 points per game – or 44.7 percent of Creighton’s offense. Tritz has scored in double figures 20 times and Nelson 19 times. They are looking to become the first pair of Bluejays to average at least 13 points in a season since Angie Janis (18.5) and Kristi Woodard (13.5) in 2005-06.
Better Balance in Wins
• Carli Tritz and Sarah Nelson average 40.8 percent of CU’s points in wins, but score 51.4 percent of the team’s points in losses.
• Creighton’s third-leading scorer, Ally Jensen, averages 10.6 points per game in wins, but drops to just 5.3 in losses.
• In wins, four Bluejays are averaging at least four rebounds per game, helping the Jays to a plus-4.7 rebounding advantage.
• In losses, only Nelson (7.2) averages better than 3.7 rebounds per game, as CU has a minus-4.5 rebounding margin in defeats.
Sarah Nelson scored career-highs in back-to-back games last week, scoring 23 at Evansville before topping that with 25 points at Southern Illinois. It's the second time this season the sophomore has scored 20 points in consecutive games, becoming the first Bluejay since Angie Janis to score 20 in back-to-back games more than once in a season. She's the first Bluejay since Megan Neuvirth in 2009-10 to score 20 in consecutive games and the first Jay since Chevelle Herring in 2008-09 to score more than 23 in consecutive games. Her 25 points equal Carli Tritz for team-high honors on the season and the most points scored by a Bluejay over the previous three seasons.
Nelson Scores More Than Half
Sarah Nelson scored more than half of Creighton’s points in a 48-45 loss at Evansville (Feb. 9), pouring in a career-high 23 points. She also added four assists to have a hand in 13 of CU’s 18 field goals in the loss. The last Bluejay to score more than half of her team’s points in a game was Sam Schuett. Schuett scored 22 of CU’s 42 points in a 42-41 win over Evansville on Feb. 13, 2010.
Crime is on the Rise
Sophomore Carli Tritz tied her season and career-high with six steals at Southern Illinois (Feb. 11). She leads the team with 43 steals on the season to move her to 110 swipes in her career. She has 19 steals in her last six games after collecting 24 steals in her first 19.
More from Moore
Senior DaNae Moore is enjoying a career year in her final season at Creighton. With three games still remaining in the regular-season, Moore already has career-highs in points, field goals, field goal attempts, field goal percentage, rebounds assists and steals. She tied her career-high with 11 points against UNI (Jan. 27), making 5-of-6 shots. She one-upped herself with a new career-high of 12 points on 6-of-9 shooting and a season-high nine rebounds in Creighton’s win over Bradley (Jan. 29).
Jensen Moving Up
Junior Ally Jensen needs one more three-pointer to tie Kristi Woodard for 13th in school history, while she is just three treys shy of an 11th-place tie with Chevelle Herring and Angela Timmons. Earlier this season she became the 16th player in school history to reach 100 career three-pointers when she hit her third trey at UTSA on Dec. 20.
Home is Where the Wins Are
Creighton is 22-5 (.815) all-time in MVC games played at D.J. Sokol Arena and the Bluejays are 33-9 (.786) overall in the third season at their new home. The Bluejays are 105-34 (.755) at home under Jim Flanery, including 71-19 (.789) in MVC play at home under Flanery.
Creighton is 33-9 all-time their new home. In those 42 games, the Jays have allowed less than 60 points points 30 times and under 50 points 11 times. Bluejay opponents are averaging just 55.6 points per game in the 42 games played inside D.J. Sokol Arena.
Cleaning the Glass
Creighton crushed Wichita State on the glass on Feb. 2, outrebounding the Shockers by 25 (47-22). The plus-25 margin was the largest rebounding margin recorded by a Jim Flanery coached team and was Creighton’s largest rebounding margin since outrebounding Indiana State by 26 on Feb. 11, 2001. The Bluejays were outrebounded by a combined 35 through their first three MVC games (-11.7 per game), all losses. Since then, the Bluejays have gone 9-3 and are plus 51 (+4.3 per game) on the glass.
Specialty Stat Improvements
Creighton has improved in all four “specialty stat” categories – points off turnovers, second-chance points, points in the paint and bench scoring – since MVC play began. The Bluejays are out-scoring their opponents in all the categories during conference play.
Statistic Non-Con MVC
Off Turnovers 15.4 (-2.0) 16.3 (+2.2)
Second Chance 8.9 (-0.3) 10.1 (+1.4)
In the Paint 23.3 (-6.3) 24.5 (+0.2)
Bench Scoring 16.6 (+0.5) 17.0 (+3.9)
Parentheses indicate opponent differential
Carli’s Career-High 25 Points
Sophomore Carli Tritz poured in a career-high 25 points against Bradley (Jan. 29), making 10-of-16 field goals and 5-of-7 free-throws in the win. Her 25 points – which topped her former mark of 23 against Kansas (Nov. 16) – equal the most scored by a Bluejay in a game over the previous three seasons, as Kelsey Woodard had a season-high 25 points in 2010-11 and Megan Neuvirth scored 25 points for a team-high in 2009-10. (Sarah Nelson has since scored 25 points in a game this season)
On Top of the Valley
Creighton has won more MVC games over the past 10 seasons than any other league foe. Since Jim Flanery took over in 2002-03, the Bluejays have posted 113 Valley wins. With 105 victories between 2002 and 2011, the Bluejays were the only Valley team to eclipse 100 conference wins in that nine-year span.
MVC Records Since 2002-03
(through Feb. 22)
School W-L Pct.
Creighton 114-63 .644
Northern Iowa 107-69 .608
Illinois State 107-69 .608
Indiana State 103-73 .585
Missouri State 102-74 .580
Drake 96-81 .542
Bradley 77-99 .438
Evansville 66-111 .373
Wichita State 65-111 .392
Southern Illinois 45-132 .254
Flan Makes History
Head coach Jim Flanery is one of seven coaches in league history with 100 wins in conference play. With Creighton’s win over Bradley on Jan. 29, Flan moved past his predecessor Connie Yori (now at Nebraska) for the school record and now ranks sixth in MVC history with 112 Valley wins.
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
Jim Flanery, CU 114 2002-pr.
Connie Yori, CU 109 1992-02
Creighton overcame a 12-point second-half deficit to win 64-62 at Indiana State (Jan. 20), as Carli Tritz hit the game-winning basket with 2.0 seconds on the clock. It marked Creighton’s first win when trailing at halftime this year and its largest come-from-behind road win since 2008. The Bluejays have overcome three double-digit deficits for wins this year (Bowling Green, Indiana State, Wichita State). The Jays have trailed in 13 of their 15 wins this season, and been behind by at least eight points in six of their 15 wins.
More Information on Comebacks
Creighton’s win at Indiana State was its 19th victory under Jim Flanery when it trailed by at least 10 points in the game. It was CU’s largest comeback in two years, since overcoming an 18-point deficit against Northern Iowa on Jan. 24, 2010. Below are the top comebacks for CU since 2002-03.
Opponent, Deficit Final Date
vs. Indiana State, -19 69-65 3-9-07*
Northern Iowa, -18 62-58 1-24-10
Missouri State, -13 79-73 (ot) 1-6-08
at Evansville, -13 76-64 1-21-07
at Indiana State, -12 64-62 1-20-12
at South Dakota St., -12 76-69 3-20-08^
Illinois State, -12 80-77 (ot) 2-29-08
at Indiana State, -12 68-60 1-31-08
Illinois State, -12 77-72 1-10-04
* - MVC Tournament; ^ - WNIT
Sophomore Carli Tritz scored in double figures in 11 straight games (Dec. 8 - Jan. 22), the longest streak of her career and longest by a Bluejay since Sam Schuett had 15 straight games of at least 10 points during the 2009-10 season. Tritz is one of five players during the Jim Flanery era to put together 10 straight games of double-digit scoring, joining Laura Spanheimer, Angie Janis, Kristi Woodard and Schuett. She's the first sophomore to record such a streak under Flanery and the first to do so since MVC Player of the Year Christy Neneman did so in 2001-02.
10-Game Streaks of 10+ Points
Under Jim Flanery (since 2002-03)
Player, Yr. Streak Season
Angie Janis, Jr. 20 2004-05
Sam Schuett, Jr. 15 2009-10
Kristi Woodard, Jr. 15 2004-05
Angie Janis, Sr. 13 2005-06
Carli Tritz, So. 11 2011-12
Laura Spanheimer, Sr. 10 2004-05
Nelson in Elite Company
Sophomore Sarah Nelson leads the team with seven double-doubles this season. Against SIU on Jan. 14, she posted 11 rebounds, 10 points and a career-high five assists. With those five helpers, she joined Megan Neuvirth, Laura Spanheimer and Christy Neneman as the only Bluejays since 2002-03 to log at least 10 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in a game.
10+ Points, 10+ Rebounds, 5+ Assists
Under Jim Flanery (since 2002-03)
Player P-R-A Date, Opp.
C. Neneman 12-12-5 11-24-02, UMKC
L. Spanheimer 12-10-11 1-8-04, Ind. St.
L. Spanheimer 12-10-5 1-10-04, Ill. St.
L. Spanheimer 20-10-7 11-19-04, NW
L. Spanheimer 14-10-6 2-23-05, Bradley
M. Neuvirth 17-16-6 11-25-08, SLU
M. Neuvirth 18-14-5 12-21-08, Colo. St.
M. Neuvirth 10-12-6 1-16-10, SIU
S. Nelson 10-11-5 1-14-12, SIU
X-X First-Half Leads to X-X Finish
For the sixth straight season the Bluejays owned a winning record through the first half of MVC play. This marks the 17th time in 20 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.
Garrison Picks Spots, Hits Shots
Sophomore Jordan Garrison scored a career-high 11 points against Evansville (Jan. 12), making 4-of-5 shots from the field. She tied her career-high by making three three-pointers, finishing 3-for-4 from long range.
Bluejays Win Big
Creighton cruised to a 65-33 win over Evansville on Jan. 12. Here are some numbers to highlight the win.
• The 33 points were the fewest scored by a Bluejay opponent since Nebraska Wesleyan scored 31 on Nov. 28, 1978.
• The 32-margin of victory was Creighton’s largest of the season and the fifth time under Jim Flanery the Bluejays have won by at least 30 points. CU has twice defeated Wichita State by at least 30 points and owns large non-conference wins over North Dakota (+39) and Memphis (+33) under Flanery.
• The 32-margin of victory was the third-largest winning margin in MVC play under Flanery.
• The win marked the third straight season the Bluejays have beaten the Purple Aces by at least 26 points.
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
Evansville 1-12-12 65-33 32
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
Bluejays Hit the Boards
Creighton snagged 50 rebounds in its win over SIU (Jan. 14). Sarah Nelson led the team with 11 boards, while three Jays tied or set a career-high for rebounds. McKenzie Fujan doubled her previous rebounding high, grabbing eight in the win. Alexis Akin-Otiko tied her career-best with seven boards. Sammy Jensen entered the game with three rebounds in 82 minutes played on the season before the 5-foot-5 freshman snagged a career-best five rebounds in 11 minutes against the Salukis.
Trail to Win
In 13 of Creighton’s 15 wins this year, the Bluejays have fallen behind in the opening minutes, only to come back and own a lead before halftime. Creighton, which never trailed in its win at Wyoming, led at halftime in its first eight wins of the season before overcoming a halftime deficit for a win at Indiana State (Jan. 20). A quick glance at some of CU’s deficits overcome for wins this year:
• Nov. 11 at UND, CU trailed by 6 just 90 seconds into the game, but led 34-28 at halftime and won 72-54.
• Nov. 13 at NDSU, CU trailed by 8 six minutes into the game, but led 28-24 at halftime and won 71-51.
• Dec. 18 vs. BGSU, CU trailed by 10 with 9:15 left in the first half, but led 26-25 at halftime and won 49-47.
• Dec. 20 at UTSA, CU trailed by 6, six minutes into the game, but led 23-18 at halftime and won 54-53.
• Jan. 14 vs. SIU, CU trailed by 8, five minutes into the game, but led 30-26 at halftime and won 66-59.
• Jan. 20 at Indiana State, CU trailed 36-27 at halftime and was down 57-45 with seven minutes remaining before using a 17-3 run, including 12 unanswered points, and the game-winning bucket with 2.0 seconds left to win 64-62.
• Feb. 2 vs. Wichita State, WSU went on a 14-0 run to take a 16-6 lead seven minutes into the game before the Jays bounced back to lead 30-29 at halftime and win 61-59.
• Feb. 17 vs. Illinois State, ISU led by nine in the first half and was up 29-23 at halftime before the Jays started the second-half on an 8-0 run and would win 68-59.
Alexis in Stitches
Alexis Akin-Otiko had an unfortunate ending to her best game in MVC play at Missouri State on Jan. 5. The freshman scored 10 points, making all five of her field goal attempts in Creighton's game at MSU, scoring in double figures for the second time this season. The rookie left the game with 2:47 remaining after colliding head-on with Lady Bear star Casey Garrison. Akin-Otiko needed four stitches to repair a cut under her right eye, while Garrison suffered a broken nose in the collision.
Jim Flanery coached in his 300th game as Creighton's head coach at Wichita State on Jan. 8. He joins Bruce Rasmussen as the only other coach in school history to reach 300 games as CU's leader. Rasmussen coached in 343 games in 12 seasons at Creighton, while Flan is now in his 10th season. Rasmussen, now Creighton’s athletic director, was 160-140 (.533) after 300 games, while Flanery went 176-124 (.587) in his first 300 games at CU.
Best Non-Conference RPI & SOS in MVC
• As it annually does, Creighton again played the strongest non-conference schedule in the MVC. When non-conference play concluded, the Bluejays’ strength of schedule (SOS) through Dec. 28 was 18. Only one other school in the MVC had an SOS in the top 100, as Illinois State’s SOS was 39 before Valley play began. The average strength of schedule for the nine other MVC teams was 174 – or 156 spots lower than Creighton’s.
• Creighton’s league-leading RPI was 49 before MVC play began. The Jays were one of four MVC teams in the top 100, with Missouri State (63), Bradley (82) and Illinois State (97) joining them.
No Bad Non-Conference Losses
One reason for Creighton’s high non-conference RPI and strength of schedule is the fact that the five teams Creighton lost to this year were a combined 52-4 in non-conference action. Colorado (11-0), Notre Dame (12-1), Nebraska (11-1), Kansas (11-1) and South Dakota (7-1) had impressive non-conference marks. Notre Dame is ranked second and Nebraska is ranked 16th in this week's AP poll.
Tritz Named All-Tournament
Carli Tritz was named to the UTSA Holiday Classic All-Tournament Team following her play at the event in San Antonio Dec. 20-21. Tritz scored 14 points against UTSA and followed with a game-high 18 points and five assists against Colorado to average 16 points per game at the tournament.
Concussions are Contagious?
Well no, but two Bluejay freshmen missed time with concussions in December. Taylor Johnson missed three games (Dec. 18-21) with concussions symptoms, due to a concussions suffered in practice the week before playing Bowling Green on Dec. 18. Sammy Jensen then suffered a concussion while taking a charge in Creighton’s game at UTSA (Dec. 20). Both freshmen returned to action in Creighton’s MVC opener.
Bluejays Lose Norman Again
For the second straight season Riley Norman will not appear in a regular-season game for the Bluejays. The Des Moines native suffered a torn ACL during preseason practices prior to her freshman year in 2010-11 and missed the year. The forward underwent surgery for a separate knee injury on Dec. 22 and will miss all of the 2011-12 season because of the injury.
Freshman Makes History
Taylor Johnson became the first freshman in school history to make at least four three-point field goals in consecutive games earlier this year when she drained four against both NC State (Nov. 27) and at Wyoming (Dec. 1). The rookie has found her shooting touch, as she has gone 11-of-27 (.407) from long range after starting her career 1-of-14 (.071) from beyond the arc. She was the first Bluejay to make at least four threes in consecutive games since Kelsey Woodard did so in the final two games of the 2008-09 season.
3-Point Streak Snapped
Creighton had made at least five three-pointers in its first 11 games this year before it made a season-low three and shot a season-low 15.8 percent (3-19) from long range against Drake on Dec. 31. The 11-straight games with five threes was CU’s longest streak since making five threes in 12 straight games between Jan. 8 – Feb. 20, 2004. The Bluejays ended last season having made at least five three-pointers in their final eight games as the Jays set a school-record with 19 consecutive games with at least five threes.
Creighton went 4-2 on the road in non-conference action this season after posting a combined 2-8 record in non-conference road games over its previous two seasons. Creighton captured its first winning record on the road in non-conference play since Jim Flanery’s first season in 2002-03 when the Bluejays went 6-2 in non-conference road games (3-2 in the regular-season and 3-0 in the WNIT). The Jays were 2-2 in non-conference road games in 2004-05 and 4-4 on the non-con road in 2003-04.
Tritz Reaches 400 Points Rapidly
With 13 points against South Dakota (Nov. 22), sophomore Carli Tritz eclipsed 400 career points in just her 35th career game. She became the fastest Bluejay to reach 400 points since Becky Flynn scored her 400th career point in her first game as a sophomore in 1993. Flynn reached 400 points in her 29th career game. If you’re curious about other recent Bluejays to quickly reach 400 – Christy Neneman (37), Kelsey Woodard (38) and Laura Spanheimer (39) – were all edged out by Tritz.
Flan Schedules the Big Boys (or Girls)
Creighton played five games against teams from BCS conferences this season, continuing a trend head coach Jim Flanery started when he took over in 2002-03. The Bluejays have played 66 games against BCS schools in that span, 26 more than the next closest MVC school – Drake (40). Flanery’s 19 wins against BCS schools in that span are nine more than the next closest MVC school in that span – Illinois State (10). In fact, Flan has more wins against BCS conference (ACC, Big East, Big 10, Big 12, Pac 12, SEC) schools since he took over than Bradley has games played (17) against BCS schools.
MVC vs. BCS since 2002-03
School Games Wins
Creighton 66 19
Illinois State 32 10
Drake 40 9
Missouri State 32 7
Indiana State 20 6
Northern Iowa 37 4
Wichita State 21 4
Evansville 20 3
Bradley 17 3
Southern Illinois 22 0
Nelson: 2-Time MVC Player of the Week
Whatever the opposite of a sophomore slump is, Sarah Nelson is doing it. The sophomore was named the MVC Player of the Week twice in the first three weeks of the season, earning the honor on Nov. 28 following a week in which she averaged 16.5 points and 13.5 rebounds and set career-highs for rebounds and points in a game. Nelson turned in a career-high 17 rebounds against South Dakota (Nov. 22) and followed with a career-high 22 points against NC State (Nov. 27). She made 9-of-10 shots against the Wolfpack and to finish the week 14-of-20 (.700) from the field.
• Nelson also earned MVC Player of the Week honors after the opening week of the season when she averaged 14.5 points per game and made 12-of-16 shots (.750) from the field in road wins at North Dakota and North Dakota State.
• Nelson is the first Bluejay two be named MVC Player of the Week twice in one season since Megan Neuvirth in 2008-09.
• Nelson is the first Bluejay to be named MVC Player of the Week twice in the same month since Christy Neneman in February 2002.
• Nelson scored in double figures in her first six games this year after never scoring 10+ in consecutive games at all as a freshman.
Nelson Grabs 17 Rebounds
Sarah Nelson had the best rebounding game by a Bluejay since 2003 on Nov. 22 when she pulled down 17 rebounds against South Dakota. The 17 boards were not only a career-high, but they were also a D.J. Sokol Arena record. The 17 caroms were the most by a Bluejay since two-time MVC Player of the Year Christy Neneman snagged 17 rebounds against Indiana State on Feb. 27, 2003. The 17 rebounds are tied for the 10th-most in a single game in school history.
3s by the Dozen
Creighton made a season-high 12 three-pointer in its 74-67 win over NC State (Nov. 27). The game marked the 20th time under Jim Flanery the Bluejays have made at least 12 triples in one game, moving Creighton’s record to 16-4 (.800) under Flan when making at least 12 threes. The Jays are now 34-11 (.756) under Flan when making 10 or more three-pointers in a game.
Career Highs All Around
The Bluejays had four players score career-high point totals in their 74-67 win over NC State (Nov. 27), led by Sarah Nelson’s 22 points. Taylor Johnson entered the NC State game with 13 points scored in her first four collegiate games before snapping out of her shooting funk by hitting 4-of-10 three-pointers and finishing with 15 points. Junior Jasmin Corbin scored a career-high nine points, making a career-best 6-of-6 free throws, and sophomore Jordan Garrison finished with a then career-high nine points by making 3-of-5 three-pointers in her first career start. Junior Ally Jensen dished a career-high seven assists – three more than her previous career-best – while she also equalled her career-high with six rebounds against the Wolfpack.
Not So Rocky Road
The Bluejays won their first two road games of the season for the first time since 1995. Creighton opened the season with consecutive road wins in its first two games for the first time in school history. Prior to its 72-54 win at North Dakota to open the year, Creighton had not won its first road game of the season since 1999 and had not won a season-opener on the road since 1998.
Bluejays Blowout Bison
Creighton blasted North Dakota State 71-51 on Nov. 13, the Bluejays’ first 20-point non-conference road win since a 78-56 win at Colorado State on Nov. 24, 2007. It marked just the third non-conference road win of at least 20 points under head coach Jim Flanery, with the first coming on Dec. 20, 2002 – 80-57 at UC Irvine.
Creighton opened the season with a 72-54 win at North Dakota, earning head coach Jim Flanery his 171st career victory. That win moved him ahead of his predecessor Connie Yori (170) alone into second place on the CU career victories chart. He now trails only Bruce Rasmussen’s (currently Creighton’s AD) 196 wins for tops in school history.
Creighton Coaching Wins
Name Wins Seasons
Bruce Rasmussen 196 12
Jim Flanery 185 10
Connie Yori 170 10
Gaye Kinnett 33 3
Eddye McClure 26 3
Howard Faber 11 1
We’re Still Young
One season after half of the roster was made up of freshmen, the 2011-12 roster consists of 12 players, nine of which are underclassmen. The Bluejays have one senior (DaNae Moore), two juniors, five sophomores, three true freshmen and one redshirt freshman on the roster.
Creighton’s Sister Act Continues
One of the three freshmen on this year’s team is Sammy Jensen, the younger sister of junior Ally Jensen, continuing the recent trend of sisters playing for the Bluejays. Last year, Kellie and Sarah Nelson played alongside each other. Before the Nelson’s played together, the last recorded sister duo to play on the same Bluejay basketball squad was Peggy and Patty Bierle during the 1978-79 season. Kelsey Woodard (2007-11) followed older sister Kristi (2002-06) and Laura Spanheimer (2001-05) followed in the steps of her older sister Krissie (1997-01) to solidify this basketball program as true family environment.
Five of Creighton’s 12 players on this year’s roster are from Nebraska – Omaha products Jasmin Corbin (Millard West) and Sarah Nelson (Westside), Seward High graduate Alyssa Kamphaus, Wahoo Bishop Neumann product McKenzie Fujan and Alexis Akin-Otiko out of Bellevue West.
The Bellevue Bloodline
Freshman Alexis Akin-Otiko continues a trend at Creighton which began in 2002-03. Akin-Otiko attended Bellevue West, following in the footsteps of former Bluejays and fellow Bellevue West Thunderbirds Kristi and Kelsey Woodard. Kristi played for the Jays from 2002-06 and Kelsey played from 2007-11, meaning one T-Bird has been on the roster every year since 2002-03 – with the exception of 2006-07. CU has had at least one player from Bellevue on the roster every season for the last decade, as Chevelle Herring, a Bellevue East product, played from 2005-10.