OMAHA, Neb. - The Creighton women's basketball looks to continue their roll in the opening weeks of Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) as the Jays return to the road to face Wichita State (1/19) and Missouri State (1/21).
Creighton vs. Wichita State:
The Bluejays lead the all-time series with the Shockers, 31-22. Creighton has won seven of the last 10 meetings.
Last 10 Meetings with Wichita State:
2/8/09 W 49-47 in Wichita
3/13/09 W 49-41 in St. Charles $
1/7/10 W 89-48 in Omaha
2/7/10 W 59-48 in Wichita
3/13/10 W 76-59 in St. Charles $
1/19/11 W 50-48 (ot) in Omaha
2/25/11 L 51-60 in Wichita
3/11/11 L 52-58 in St. Charles $
1/8/12 L 58-65 in Wichita
2/2/12 W 61-59 in Omaha
$ - MVC Tournament game
Last Time vs. Wichita State W, 61-59 @ Creighton (2-2-12)
Creighton out-rebounded Wichita State by 25 and knocked off the first-place Shockers 61-59. Sophomore Carli Tritz led the Bluejays with 15 points and freshman Taylor Johnson added 12 points off the bench, including the final four points of the game for the Bluejays.
The Bluejays led 35-34 after Ally Jensen hit what proved to be the final three-pointer of the game for either side with 18:08 left in the game. Wichita State responded with a 7-0 burst to take a 41-35 edge. The Jays turned to a rarely used zone defense to confuse the Shockers. Creighton played mostly zone defense for the final seven minutes of the game, forcing the Shockers to commit three turnovers in the game’s final minutes.
Tritz led the Bluejays with 15 points, making all seven of her free throw attempts. The sophomore also added seven rebounds, three assists and two steals. Johnson made 4-of-9 field goals and 3-of-4 free throws to finish with 12 points.
About Wichita State
• Located in Wichita, Kan., Wichita State has an enrollment of 14,898.
• The Shockers finished 2011-12 with a 20-13 record and a 12-6 mark in the Valley. WSU returns eight letterwinners from last season, including three starters (Diamond, Gordon and Turner).
• Wichita State was picked to finish second in the MVC preseason poll.
Scouting the Shockers (9-6, 3-0 MVC)
After a slow start to the season (3-5), the Shockers have won six of their last seven games. The Creighton vs. Wichita State battle will feature the Valley’s final two unbeaten teams. The Shockers are a team driven by defense, limiting opponents to just 52.7 points in their first 15 contests. Like the Jays, Wichita State struggles on the boards as the Shockers have been outrebounded 517 to 502 this season. The straw that stirs the drink for the Shockers is senior Jessica Diamond. A preseason All-MVC selection, Diamond is averaging 14.3 ppg. The second leading scorer for WSU, Alex Harden, averages 7.5 ppg. Diamond opened MVC play by dropping 22 points on Missouri State on Jan. 3 and has raised her average to 16.3 ppg in conference play. Diamond’s speed allows her to penetrate, but she is also WSU’s best three-point shooter with 17 of the Shockers 46 treys on the year.
One of the more intriguing matchups in this contest will be the Shockers 3FG defense, which has held opponents to just a 27.7% (56-of-202) against the Jays ability to shoot from distance 149-of-365 three-pointers (38.1%).
Creighton vs. Missouri State:
The Lady Bears lead the all-time series with Creighton, 31-17. Creighton has split the last 10 meetings, but has not won in Springfield since 2009.
Last 10 Meetings with Missouri State:
3/14/08 W 56-49 in St. Charles $
1/8/09 W 92-63 in Omaha
2/6/09 W 74-61 in Springfield
1/9/10 L 67-82 in Omaha
2/5/10 L 64-70 in Springfield
1/27/11 W 62-53 in Omaha
2/27/11 L 65-73 in Springfield
1/5/12 L 60-70 in Springfield
2/24/12 L 55-63 in Omaha
3/10/12 W 56-47 in St. Charles $
$ - MVC Tournament game
Last Time vs. Missouri State W, 56-47 @ St. Charles (3-10-12)
Carli Tritz scored 27 of her career-high 29 points in the second half to outscore Missouri State herself and lead the Creighton women’s basketball team past the Lady Bears 56-47 in the semifinals of the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tournament at The Family Arena. Tritz outscored MSU 27-24 after halftime in the upset victory over the regular-season champions.
Trailing 16-4, Sarah Nelson led the Bluejays on a 12-0 run with five of her nine points to tie the game at 16 with 7:18 left in the opening period. Creighton grabbed its first lead moments later on a slashing layup with 3:33 by Jordan Garrison, but MSU scored the final five points of the half to take a 23-20 lead into the break.
Down 28-25 early in the second, Tritz led the Jays on a 7-0 run to charge out to a 32-28 lead with 12:18 left. Up 35-31, Tritz scored the next 17 points for Creighton over a nine-minute span to lift the Bluejays to a 52-43 lead with under a minute left.
Tritz’s career-high 29 points were the most scored by a Bluejay since Dec. 13, 2008 when Chevelle Herring scored 31 against Kansas. She had eight of Creighton’s 10 second-half field goals and 27 of CU’s 36 points after the half. The sophomore also led the team with four assists.
About Missouri State
• Located in Springfield, Mo., Missouri State has an enrollment of 23,071.
• The Lady Bears finished 2011-12 with a 24-9 record and a 14-4 mark in the Valley. MSU returns eight letterwinners from last season, including three starters (Buer, Edie and Shorter).
• Missouri State was picked to finish fifth in the MVC preseason poll.
Scouting the Lady Bears (8-7, 0-3 MVC)
Missouri State has opened the Valley season with three straight road losses, but Creighton knows all to well that an 0-3 start can be overcome. The Jays started the 2011-12 Valley season, 0-3, and went on to win the MVC Tournament. The Lady Bears biggest struggle this season has been a lack of defense. Missouri State is allowing 73.7 points per game this season and 77.0 in MVC action. Before facing off with the Jays in a MVC-TV game on Monday, Jan. 21, the Lady Bears will host Drake on Saturday, Jan. 19.
Missouri State is led by senior post players, Whitney Edie and Christina Shorter. The duo are averaging a combined 16.6 ppg and 16 rpg. Edie leads MSU with 14.7 ppg and 8.5 rpg, while Shorter leads the squad in FG% at 52.1 (62-of-121).
Jays Crack AP Top 25 for Second Time in 2012-13
For the first time since the preseason AP poll on Oct. 27, the Bluejays appeared in the poll with one vote in the latest poll (Jan. 14). Creighton also nabbed one vote in the preseason poll, prior to that the Jays earned two votes on March 10, 2003.
Eight of the Bluejays 12 wins this season have come away from home. Creighton is presently 5-1 in true road games and 3-0 in neutral site contests. The biggest difference has been the Jays scoring offense away from home. In six contest in D.J. Sokol Arena, Creighton is averaging 59.7 points, away from their home arena the Jays are putting up 71.7 ppg in nine contests.
Jays Flying High as a Unit
Creighton University has been on an amazing run in the sports of men’s soccer, volleyball, men’s basketball and women’s basketball over the past nine months.
Since March 4, 2012, Creighton is a remarkable 40-1-1 against other Valley schools. The lone loss was in volleyball (at Southern Illinois), while the lone tie came at Drake in men’s soccer.
If it Ain’t Broke
The Jays have had the fortune of using the same starting five (McKenzie Fujan, Ally Jensen, Carli Tritz, Sarah Nelson and Alyssa Kamphaus) in each of Creighton’s 15 games. Ironically, the Creighton men’s basketball team has also used the same starting unit in every contest (Austin Chatman, Jahens Manigat, Grant Gibbs, Doug McDermott and Gregory Echeniuque).
Tritz closing in on 1,000
Junior Carli Tritz is on a milestone chase of her own. Tritz currently has 947 points in her three year career, with 53 more she’ll become the 24th Bluejay to reach 1,000 points.
NCAA Rankings (As of 1/14)
Creighton currently ranks as the second most prolific three-point shooting team in the NCAA, averaging 9.3 treys per contest. The Jays trail only Missouri, who is knocking down 9.5 per contest. Creighton’s 3-point percentage is also among the best at eighth (38.1%).
Category Rank Actual
3-Point FGs Per Gm 2 9.3
3-Point % 8 38.1
Assists Per Gm 21 16.8
Assist/Turnover Ratio 15 1.14