DES MOINES, Iowa - Drake snapped Creighton's five-game winning streak, handing the Bluejays a 54-50 loss at the Knapp Center in the regular-season finale Saturday afternoon. The Jays shot just 24.1 percent from the field in the first half and the Bulldogs shot 17 more free throws than the Jays in the game, as the Dogs completed the series sweep of the Jays.
The loss ends CU's regular-season with a 17-12 overall record and an 11-7 record in Missouri Valley Conference play. That 11-7 mark earns the Bluejays the No. 4 seed in the upcoming State Farm MVC Tournament in St. Charles. The Bulldogs finish in a three-way tie for fifth place at 9-9 in league play, moving to 15-14 on the season with the win.
Ally Jensen was the only player to score in double figures for the Bluejays, finished with 12 points by making 4-of-8 three-pointers.
Four Bulldogs scored in double figures, led by Carly Grenfell's 15. Rachael Hackbarth was held nine points below her average with just 10 points, but pulled in 18 rebounds for her NCAA leading 22nd double-double of the year.
Drake used a 21-2 first-half run to take control of the game, using the free-throw line to take the large first half lead. Both teams struggled to find their offense in the opening half, but the Bulldogs took advantage of 11 first-half fouls to make 13-of-13 shots at the free-throw line in the first 20 minutes.
DU shot just 8-of-27 from the field (.296) in the first half, while the Jays shot 24.1 percent (7-29) in the same span. CU misfired on their first 10 three-point attempts, before Jensen sank a triple late in the half. Drake owned a 31-15 lead at the break.
Creighton scored the first six point of the second half, hitting three buckets in the first 66 seconds to climb within 10 points and force a DU timeout. The Dogs would answer and lead by 13 with five minute off the clock in the second half and still had a double digit lead with 10 minutes to play.
A Jensen three-pointer with 6:48 left capped an 11-2 Bluejay run to bring the Jays back within one, down 44-43. CU had a chance to take the lead on its next possession, but Alexis Akin-Otiko missed her attempt and the Jays would never have a chance to gain the lead again.
Grenfell drained a clutch three-pointer with just over four minutes left, to answer a Carli Tritz bucket which again had cut DU's lead to one. DU led 49-45 and the Jays missed scoring chances on their next two possessions before Kyndal Clark hit what proved to be the game-clinching three-pointer from the corner with 2:41 left.
The Bulldogs outrebounded the Bluejays 44-27 and made 18-of-20 free-throws. The Bluejays, playing at Drake to conclude the regular-season for the second straight year, made just 2-of-3 free-thows in the loss. CU ended up with a higher shooting percentage (.356) from the field than the Bulldogs (.333), but could not overcome the rebounding and free-throw differences.
Jensen hit 4-of-8 three-pointers to lead the Jays with 12 points, one game after making all five of her three-point attempts. She now has 141 career three-pointers to rank 10th in school history. Tritz (6) and Sarah Nelson (4) combined for just 10 points, as Tritz led the Jays with seven rebounds and Nelson led the team with four assists.
Grenfell finished one point shy of her career-high with a game-high 15 points. She made 3-of-5 three-pointers. Amber Wollschlager enjoyed her Senior Day with 13 points and Clark ended with 11 points for DU. Hackbarth, who scored a season-low eight points in the first meeting with CU, finished with just 10 points, but snagged a game-high 18 rebounds.
The Bluejays will face fifth-seeded Northern Iowa (16-13, 9-9 MVC) to open play at the MVC Tournament Friday afternoon at 2:35 pm at Family Arena in St. Charles, Mo.