The Cougars finished 2012-13 with an 23-11 record and a 11-5 mark in the West Coast Conference (WCC).
BYU returns nine letterwinners from last season, including two starters (Beeston & Eaton).
The Cougars were picked to finish fourth in the WCC preseason poll, just ahead of Pacific and one point behind Saint Mary’s (SMC).
Creighton vs. BYU: Creighton and BYU have met 12 times, with the Bluejays getting the best of the exchange thus far, 7-5. Creighton has won the last two meetings, 92-63 in Omaha on Feb. 20, 1992 and a thrilling 65-62 (ot) game played last season on Nov. 28.
Series with BYU: Creighton leads 7-5 Home: 5-0 Away: 1-5 Neutral: 1-0 Date Result Score/Site 12/29/81 L 60-102 at BYU 1/28/88 W 83-69 in Omaha 3/5/88 L 78-87 at BYU 2/11/89 W 95-90 in Omaha 2/23/89 L 89-93 at BYU 2/1/90 W 89-74 in Omaha 2/17/90 L 90-104 at BYU 1/18/91 W 84-70 at BYU 2/16/91 W 85-71 in Omaha 1/25/92 L 73-78 at BYU 2/20/92 W 92-63 in Omaha 11/28/12 W 65-62 (ot) in Salt Lake City
Last Time vs. BYU: (11-28-12): W, 65-62 (ot) in Salt Lake City Down 35-19 at half, Creighton began to show some life in the opening moments of the second period led by the scoring of Jordan Garrison and Marissa Janning. Garrison opened the second half scoring with a three-pointer from the right corner and Janning connected on a traditional three-point play, but five points from the Cougars’ Lexi Eaton kept the deficit at 15, 40-25. Undaunted, Garrison and Janning each drilled another trifecta to bring it back to single digits at 40-31.
BYU answered with a 7-0 run to push the game back to a 15-point margin at 49-34 with 7:56 remaining. Over the ensuing four minutes Sarah Nelson, Carli Tritz and Ally Jensen, led the Jays on a 15-5 run to pull within just five at 54-49 with 3:10 left in regulation. The Jays’ defense continued to frustrate BYU down the stretch, forcing stop after stop. Tritz took advantage with a driving layup, then Janning connected on a four-foot running jumper as well as the bonus foul shot to tie the game at 54-54 with 2:12 to go. Down two in the closing seconds, Tritz and the Jays refused to give in, knotting the game again 12 seconds later on a driving layup.
With under a minute to go in overtime, BYU refused to let Tritz drive. Instead she kicked the ball out to Nelson on the right wing behind the NBA three-point line. The Omaha native raised up to can her first three-ball of the game to secure the win.
BYU Head Coach: Jeff Judkins (Utah, 1978)
Overall record of 261-126 all at BYU. Judkins is in his 13th season.
Played in the NBA for five years, playing for the Boston Celtics, Portland Trailblazers, Detroit Pistons and Utah Jazz.
He was a second-round pick of the Celtics in 1978, the same year the Celtics selected Larry Bird with the sixth pick overall..
Led BYU to the NCAA Tournament five times (2001-02, 2002-03, 2005-06, 2006-07 & 2011-12), highlighted by reaching the Sweet 15 in 2001-02.
Coached two players, Erin Thorn and Ambrosia Anderson, that went on to have WNBA careers.
Scouting the Cougars (7-0) BYU is receiving votes in the latest AP (1) and USA Today Coaches (28) Polls.
The Cougars are off to a 7-0 start, boasting victories over South Dakota State, UNLV, Boston College, Cal State Northridge, Washington State, Arizona & Nevada.
One key to BYU’s early season success has been the play of 6-7 center, Jennifer Hamson. A senior from Lindon, Utah, Hamson is averaging 18.3 points per game this season and has 66 rebounds (9.4 rpg). Hamson did not play in the Cougars and Bluejays meeting last season as the two-sport star was still committed to volleyball. Hamson opted to redshirt the 2013 volleyball season to focus on basketball.
The Cougars, however, are more than just Hamson. Sophomore Lexi Eaton has been equally impressive in the early going, scoring 15.0 ppg. Four Cougars are averaging better than 10 ppg this season, joining Hamson and Eaton are fellow starters Lexi Beeston (12.3) and Morgan Bailey (10.0).
BYU has been in control in virtually every game. The Cougars only game with less than a five-point margin was their 80-79 (ot) win against Boston College on Nov. 16.
In addition to scoring at a high clip (73.9), the Cougars have been dominating the glass with an average of 44.9 boards per contest.
Keys to the Game w/BYU:
Make Hamson defend: In the game with Nevada, Hamson was limited to 12 points and five rebounds as she battled foul trouble. Creighton must force Hamson to defend the post with Kamphaus and use Akin-Otiko as well as Rollerson to pull her away from the basket.
Get Nelson going: Sarah Nelson is a focal point for Creighton, when she plays well so do the Bluejays. Creighton must get Sarah a few easy looks early against BYU. For Nelson it is not just her point production, but her ability to find open teammates as the defense collapes to her.
Transition defense: This area is a double-edged sword. Creighton has to force BYU into turnovers, but the Cougars have taken care of the ball well this season. Last year in Salt Lake, Creighton struggled with the BYU pressure in the first half, yet the Bluejays turned the tables to claim the win in overtime.
Rebounding: BYU enters the matchup with Creighton +6.6 rebounds per game, by contrast the Bluejays are -3.0. Hamson gives the Cougars a size advantage, but Creighton cannot allow BYU to win the rebounding battle by double-digits.
378 Strong and Growing Creighton has won 15 straight home games, dating back to a 58-48 loss to Kansas on Nov. 25, 2012 - a span of 378 days. The longest home winning streak in school history spanned 44 games. The streak began Feb. 4, 1984 with a 67-53 win over Loras and extended to Dec. 4, 1987, when the Bluejays fell to Missouri, 93-82. That total was 1,400 days. Tough to Double-Up Over the past two years, since Jan. 1, 2012, Creighton is 12-4 after a loss. This includes the Bluejays opening season losses to #12 Oklahoma (11/10/12) and Drake (11/8/13). The Bluejays lost back-to-back games just once last season (2/8 at Indiana State & 2/10 at Illinois State).
Sweet Science of Sammy Junior Sammy Jensen has grown from a walk-on in her first season, to one of the first off the bench this year. The tenacious point guard has 40 assists in her career and is 23-75 (.307) from the field. When Sammy hits from the field, Creighton is 16-3.
It’s a Family Tradition Basketball is more than just a sport, its a family tradition for several of the Bluejays. Six of Creighton’s 14 players have either a sibling or a parent that played basketball at the college level.
Player Family Tie, College Alexis Akin-Otiko James (father), Oral Roberts Jordan Garrison Stefan (brother), Truman Marissa Janning Matt (brother), Northeastern Sammy Jensen Ally (sister), Creighton Taylor Johnson Morgan (sister), Iowa Sarah Nelson Kellie (sister), Creighton
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