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The Creighton women's basketball team hosts the Providence Friars on Saturday, Feb. 15 in the Bluejays Pink Game at 2:05 pm.
Courtesy: Eric Francis

WBB Hosts Providence for Pink Game on Saturday, Feb. 15

OMAHA, Neb. - The Creighton women's basketball team hosts the Providence Friars on Saturday, Feb. 15 in the Bluejays Pink Game at 2:05 pm.
2/15: - 2:05 p.m. (CT)
Providence (6-18, 1-12 BIG EAST) at Creighton (14-10, 8-4 BIG EAST)
Radio - 1180 AM:
Brad Burwell (play-by-play) & Rob Simms (Color Analyst)
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Twitter: @GoCreighton, @CreightonWBB
Series History: Creighton leads, 2-0
Last Time Out: L, 66-80 at DePaul, 2-9-14
Down 38-21 at halftime, the Creighton women’s basketball team pulled within 58-53 before falling to DePaul 80-66 on Sunday, Feb. 9.

The loss dropped the Bluejays to 14-10 on the season and 8-4 in BIG EAST play, while DePaul moved to 19-5 overall and 10-2 in conference play.

A 7-31 (23%) shooting performance in the opening period, including 0-10 from beyond the arc led to a 38-21 halftime deficit.  In spite of their shooting challenges, the Bluejays were down just 21-18 with 4:10 remaining in the first half.  DePaul, however, closed the period on a 17-3 run.

Down 52-36 with 13:10 remaining, Creighton mounted a furious charge.  Freshman MC McGrory got the Bluejays off with a traditional three-point play, followed by a pull-up jumper to make it 52-41. Following a DePaul layup, senior Sarah Nelson answered with an interior bucket and sophomore Marissa Janning drained a trifecta to get the Bluejays within eight at 54-46 (11:11).

Another DePaul bucket made it 56-46, but Janning continued the Bluejays’ surge with a driving layup. DePaul got an eight-footer from Chanice Jenkins, but senior Jordan Garrison beat the Blue Demons back on defense for a wide open layup to make it 58-50.  After a defensive stop, Nelson delivered a trey from the top of the key to make it 58-53.  

Creighton had two chances to make it a one possession game, but were unable to get any closer as DePaul scored the next 10 points.

McKenzie Fujan led the Bluejays with 18 points.  Janning and Nelson also posted double figures with 16 and 14 respectively.

Providence vs. Creighton:
Providence and Creighton will meet for the second time this season, the first in Omaha on Saturday, Feb. 15.  The two squads have met two previous times, with Creighton taking both contests.

Series with Providence
Home: 0-0  Away: 1-0  Neutral: 1-0
Date    Result    Score/Site
3/21/87    W    91-89 in Amarillo @
1/1/14    W    97-65 in Providence
@ - WNIT Tournament game

First Meeting: Janning Drops 34 as Bluejays’ WBB Downs Providence, 97-65
Creighton W, 97-65 (1-11-14)
The Bluejays committed to pounding the ball inside early as seniors Sarah Nelson and Alyssa Kamphaus scored Creighton’s first three baskets.  Providence, however, answered each time tying the game at 6-6 for the third time.

Creighton responded by getting Janning an open look from outside the arc along the right elbow.  The Minnesota native delivered and a foul was called away from the ball on Providence.  Given another possession, Nelson took advantage with her third bucket of the game to give the Bluejays an 11-6 edge with 16:04 remaining in the half.

Out of the first media timeout, Providence hit consecutive treys to take a 12-11 lead, it would prove to be the only lead the Friars held. Janning answered with a three-ball of her own to put Creighton back in front at 14-12.

The game remained close late into the opening period.  Leading 23-22 (8:18), Creighton used an 18-5 burst to build some separation.  Janning and Kamphaus led the charge with a combined 12 points, during the run.  The Bluejays went on to push their lead to 17 at half, 51-34, behind a layup from senior McKenzie Fujan and two free throws from Nelson.

The intermission did nothing to slow down Creighton’s run as the Bluejays scored 10 of the first 12 points in the second half, including seven more by Janning.  Up 61-36 with 18:17 showing on the clock, the Bluejay advantage was trimmed to 15 with 11:41 left (67-52).  The Bluejays put the game away with a layup from Kamphaus, a trifecta by Nelson and a pull-up jumper from Janning to make it 74-52.

Janning’s 34 point outburst eclipsed her previous career-high of 29, finishing 13-of-17 from the field and 6-of-9 from beyond the arc.  Fujan chipped in 18, while Nelson and Kamphaus each posted 11 points in the win.

Providence’s Alexis Harris led the Friars with 17 points.

As a unit, the Bluejays finished the game a season-high 62% from the field (37-of-60).

About Providence
  • Located in Providence, Rhode IslandFounded in 1917.
  • Providence has an enrollment of 3,810.
  • Known as the Friars.
  • Providence finished 2012-13 with an 7-23 record and a 2-14 mark in the BIG EAST. 
  • Providence returns seven letterwinners from last season, including two starters (Iiskola and Rule).
  • The Friars were picked eighth in BIG EAST in the preseason poll.

Providence Head Coach: Susan Robinson Fruchtl (Penn State, 1992)

  • Record of 13-41 in two seasons as a head coach at Providence. Overall mark of 87-124 in seven seasons, the first five coming at Saint Francis.
  • Led Saint Francis to the regular-season and Northeast Conference (NEC) tournament titles in 2011, earning NEC Coach of the Year honors at the completion of the 2011.
  • Robinson Fruchtl spent eight seasons as an assistant coach at Penn State University (1993-98, 2004-07).
  • An All-American and Wade Trophy recipient, she closed her playing career with 2,253 points.

Scouting Providence
(6-18, 1-12 BIG EAST)
Providence enters Saturday game with the Bluejays in the midst of a season-low eight game losing skid.  The Friars are 1-12 in BIG EAST action, nabbing their lone win over Georgetown, 70-61, on Jan. 15.  
Providence’s has a high-powered offense that boasts the top two point totals in the BIG EAST this season, scoring 109 and 104 points in its opening two games.  In conference play, however, the Friars have seen their average drop to 67.2.

Minnesota native Tori Rule and freshman Alexis Harris are the driving forces for the Friars.  Rule, who was a club teammate of Creighton’s Marissa Janning, is averaging 15.6 ppg in BIG EAST action. Harris, meanwhile posts 15.0 ppg and 9.3 rpg in conference play.  

Turnovers and poor rebounding have been the issue for Providence as the Friars have lost the battle of the boards by just under nine per game in conference (-8.7 per game).  in addition, Providence has committed 207 turnovers in 13 BIG EAST games (15.9).

Keys to the Game w/Providence:

  • Take Advantage of extra possessions: Providence’s issues on the glass and with turnovers lead to extra possessions for its opponents, the Bluejays must capitalize on this.
  • Attack Harris: The Friars lone post presence is Alexis Harris.  If Creighton can neutralize Harris, via foul trouble or double teams, it gives the Bluejays a significant advantage.
  • Force Beal into Mistakes: During the first meeting, the freshman point guard sat on the bench for a significant portion of the second half.  Creighton must use its experience to frustrate the young point guard.

Uniforms Changes for Pink Games
Two Bluejays will wear alternate numbers during the Feb. 15 contests as Creighton wears its pink uniforms.

#45 Alexis Akin-Otiko will wear #44, while
#2 Tessa Leytem will will #20.

Creighton’s Pink Game  Returns on Feb. 15
The Creighton University women’s basketball program will show its support of the American Cancer Society and the Play4Kay foundation on Saturday, February 15, 2014 when it hosts Providence at 2:05 pm in its annual Pink Game.

Fans are encouraged to wear pink to promote cancer awareness and participate in the Pink Out, and the first 1,000 Bluejay fans will receive a complimentary pink t-shirt courtesy of Alegent Creighton Health and Methodist Estabrook Cancer Center. The Bluejay players will be wearing pink jerseys and warm up shooting shirts in support of the nights events.

Any proceeds from fundraising efforts are donated to the American cancer society to be used for local efforts.

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