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Junior Sarah Nelson leads the Jays to Indiana State and Illinois State this weekend.
Courtesy: Eric Francis

At the MVC Turn Jays, Set Sights on Indiana State and Illinois State

OMAHA, Neb. - The Creighton WBB team hits the MVC turn at 16-4 overall and at 8-1 in conference.  The Jays begin round two of MVC action at Indiana State (Fri. Feb. 8) and Illinois State (Sun. Feb. 10).

2/8: Creighton (16-4, 8-1) at Indiana State (12-8, 4-5)
Radio: KOZN AM 1620 (

2/10: Creighton (16-4, 8-1) at Illinois State (13-8, 5-4)
Radio: KZOT AM 1180 (

Brad Burwell (Play-by-Play) & Glen Sisk (Color Analyst)
TV/Video & Live Stats:

Twitter:, @CreightonWBB

Live Stats Information:
All of Creighton’s games this season will have free live stats.  Visit and click on the Live Stats tab near the top of the page on the left for the link to the exact URL.

About Indiana State
•  Located in Terre Haute, Ind., Drake has an enrollment of 12,114.
•  The Sycamores finished 2011-12 with a 15-16 record and a 9-9 mark in the Valley.  ISU returns seven letterwinners from last season, including two starters (Whitley and Munn). 
•  Indiana State was picked to finish seventh in the MVC preseason poll.

Creighton vs. Indiana State:
The Bluejays lead the all-time series with the Sycamores, 34-12.  Creighton has won 11 of the last 12 meetings, including a 69-50 win in Omaha on Jan. 13.  Head coach Jim Flanery is 15-8 in his career against the Sycamores, including 5-5 in Terre Haute.

Last 10 Meetings with Indiana State:
1/31/08    W, 68-60
3/2/08    W, 87-74
1/3/09    L, 54-56
3/5/09    W, 54-35
12/31/09    W, 55-44
3/6/10    W, 66-53
1/22/11    W, 62-53
2/17/11    W, 71-62
1/20/12    W, 64-62
2/19/12    W, 63-48
1/13/13    W, 69-50
Bold = Home Game

Keys to the Game:

  • Three-point Shoooting:  Creighton leads the nation in three-pointers per game.  The Jays knocked down 10 treys in the first meeting.
  • Rebounding.    Indiana State has a 745-665 edge in total rebounds this season and  Creighton has struggled at times in this area. In the first meeting, the Jays won the glass 34-29.
  • The impact of Anna Munn.  An injury kept Munn on the bench in the first meeting between these two teams.

Scouting the Sycamores (12-8, 4-5 MVC)
Since falling to Creighton three weeks ago the Sycamores have dropped three of five, but Indiana split two difficult road games last weekend at Missouri State (W, 71-67) and at Wichita State (L, 46-53). 

Anna Munn, who did not play due to injury in the first meeting with the Jays, leads Indiana State with 15.5 ppg (294 points on the season).  Munn is the Sycamores best weapon beyond the arc, shooting 32% (54-of-170).  

About Illinois State
•  Located in Normal, Ill., Illinois State has an enrollment of 20,502.
•  The Redbirds finished 2011-12 with a 19-13 record and a 13-5 mark in the Valley.  ISU returns 10 letterwinners from last season, including pre-season All-MVC selection Jamie Russell. 
•  Illinois State was picked to finish third in the MVC preseason poll.

Creighton vs. Illinois State:
The Bluejays lead the all-time series with the Redbirds, 30-16.  Creighton has won 19 of the last 21 meetings in Omaha, including the last five. Head coach Jim Flanery is 16-8 in his career against the Redbirds, including 5-5 in Normal.  Sunday’s game in Normal will be a Pink game in support of breast cancer.

Last 10 Meetings with Illinois State:
3/15/08    L, 60-68
1/1/09    L, 43-63
3/7/09    W, 65-62 (ot)
1/2/10    W, 69-44
3/2/10    W, 60-57
1/20/11    L ,57-70
2/19/11    W, 71-44
1/22/12    L ,66-79
2/17/12    W, 68-59
1/11/13    W, 64-45
Bold = Home
    Italics = MVC Tournament

Keys to the Game:

  • Janae Smith and Candace Sykes:  Creighton held Smith and Sykes to a combined 6-of-21 (.285) from the field in the first meeting.  For Illinois State to be successful, Sykes must be an outside threat.
  • Who wins the paint.  The Jays doubled up the Redbirds in the first meeting (36-18).  Just as Sykes must deliver outside, Smith must be a force on the interior.
  • Dialing Long Distance.  Illinois State held Creighton to just six trifectas in the first matchup, the Jays must shoot better than 6-of-20 from beyond the arc.

Scouting the Redbirds (13-8, 5-4 MVC)
Illinois State is coming off a disappointing performance last weekend, falling at Wichita State (66-54) and at Missouri State (91-76). 

The Redbirds, however, are a different team at home.  Illinois State is 8-4 in Normal, Ill., including 4-1 against the Valley.  The lone loss came to Evansville (71-57) on Jan. 17. 

The trio of Jamie Russell, Candace Sykes and Janae Smith are the heart of Illinois State.  Russell and Smith are starters, while Sykes provides the punch of the bench.  These three players have provided over 60% of Illinois State’s points this season, led by 307 points from Smith.’s Calls Nelson Near Perfect
In the Feb. 6th Mid-Major column on, Graham Hays spent several lines discussing Nelson’s 19-point, seven rebound, seven assist performance against Drake on Feb. 2.  The Omaha native finished the game with the Bulldogs 8-of-9 from the field and added three blocks as well as a steal.

Jays Fourth in ESPN Mid-Major Top 10
Creighton was tabbed fourth in the updated ESPN Mid-Major Poll on Feb. 6.  The Jays peaked at number three on Dec. 27, after earning the ESPN Team of the Weekend on Dec. 9.  Creighton’s loss on Jan. 19th at Wichita State dropped the Jays to fifth in Hays’ poll.  The Bluejays first appeared in the poll on Dec. 13.

20-20 Vision
The Bluejays saw two players top 20 points or more in a game for the first time since March 21, 2009 as freshman Marissa Janning (22) and junior McKenzie Fujan (20) reached the mark in the Jays’ 98-71 win at Drake.  Junior Sarah Nelson finished just outside the 20-point plateau with 19.

Winning Season
Creighton’s win at Drake on Saturday guaranteed the Jays would post a winning season for the sixth consecutive season and the ninth time in head coach Jim Flanery’s 11 seasons. At 16-4 the Bluejays are looking for more, eyeing Flanery’s highest win total of 24 (2001-02, 2002-03 & 2003-04). 

With 98 points in their win over Drake on Feb. 2, Creighton tied the highest point total reached in head coach Jim Flanery’s 11 seasons.  It was just the tenth time that a Flanery led team scored 90 points or more, equaling the 98 points scored by his team on Jan. 18, 2003 in a 98-75 win over Evansville.  Creighton has not lost when scoring 90 under Flanery. 

Jays Earn AP Top 25 Vote for Third Time
The Feb. 4th Associated Press (AP) poll saw Creighton receive one vote for the third time.  Unfortunately each of the preceding two times the Jays were mentioned in the AP poll (Jan. 14 & Preseason) Creighton has dropped its next contest. Prior to this season, that last time the Jays had appeared in the AP poll was on March 10, 2003, with two votes.

The Company We Keep:  Top-30 RPI Schools
Five NCAA DI schools can boast a top-30 RPI men’s and women’s basketball team.  Those schools are: Colorado, Connecticut, Duke, Oklahoma and Creighton.

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