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OMAHA, Neb. - The Creighton women's basketball team hits the road for the final time during the regular season as the Jays face Northern Iowa (Feb. 21) and Bradley (Feb. 23) this week.

2/21 @ 7:00 p.m.: Creighton (18-6, 10-3) at Northern Iowa (12-12, 7-5)
Radio: KOZN AM 1620 (www.1620thezone.com)
2/23
@ 2:00 p.m.: Creighton (18-6, 10-3) at Bradley (10-13, 4-8)
Radio: KZOT AM 1180 (www.1620thezone.com)

Brad Burwell (Play-by-Play) & Glen Sisk (Color Analyst)
Live Stats: www.gocreighton.com
Twitter: @GoCreighton, @CreightonWBB

Video Stream Information
The Bluejays contest at Northern Iowa (Feb. 21) and at Bradley (Feb. 23) are available on the web via live video streaming at www.gocreighton.com.  The video stream is provided as part of a paid subscription to Neulion programming.

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

Creighton vs. Northern Iowa:
The Bluejays lead the all-time series with the Panthers, 34-16.  Creighton has won the last four meetings and hold a slim 12-11 edge in Cedar Falls.

Last Time vs. Northern Iowa:  W, 54-40 @ Creighton (1-25-13)
Both teams struggled through a defensive battle in the opening period with the Jays taking a 24-21 lead into halftime.  The second half was all Creighton.  The Jays opened the half on an 11-4 run, pushing their lead to double digits for the first time at 35-25 with 16:17 on the clock.  Four Bluejays scored during the run, led by four points from junior McKenzie Fujan.  Moments later a trey from junior Sarah Nelson pushed Creighton’s lead to its largest level of 12 points (43-31) with 11:31 left. 

The difference proved to be Creighton’s swarming defense in the final period as the Jays held Northern Iowa to just 5-of-27 (18.5%) in the final 20 minutes.

About Northern Iowa
•  Located in Cedar Falls, Iowa, Northern Iowa has an enrollment of 13,168.
•  The Panthers finished 2011-12 with a 19-15 record and a 9-9 mark in the Valley.  UNI returned six letterwinners from last season and welcomed back the 2010-11 MVC Player of the Year, Jacqui Kalin. 
•  Northern Iowa was picked to finish fourth in the MVC preseason poll.

Last 10 Meetings with Northern Iowa:
1/23/09    W    62-44 in Omaha
2/21/09    W    67-59 (ot) in Cedar Falls
1/24/10    W    62-58 in Omaha
2/21/10    L    57-73 in Cedar Falls
3/14/10    L    53-54 in St. Charles $
1/13/11    L    57-58 in Omaha
2/10/11    L    52-60 in Cedar Falls
1/27/12    W    65-50 in Omaha
2/24/12    W    74-48 in Cedar Falls
3/9/12    W    53-46 in St. Charles $
1/25/13    W    54-40 in Omaha
$ - MVC Tournament game

Keys to the Game w/Northern Iowa:
  • Executing Offensively: The Jays 54-40 win over the Panthers in Omaha was lowest point total Creighton allowed this season.  It was also the second lowest total Creighton delivered in a win.
  • Containing Kalin: Northern Iowa’s Jacqui Kalin leads the MVC with 19.5 points per game.  In the first meeting, the Jays limited her to nine points on 2-of-14 from the field.
  • Battle inside:  In the Jays last two contests the post play of Alyssa Kamphaus and Alexis Akin-Otiko has been impressive.  Kamphaus had a double-double against Missouri State, while Akin-Otiko led the Jays in every category versus Wichita State  The Jays had just 12 points in the paint against UNI in the first meeting.
Scouting the Panthers (12-12, 7-5 MVC)
Northern Iowa has won four of its last five, dropping only a 57-47 game at Wichita State (Feb. 8).  The Panthers have averaged over 75 points in those four victories.

Jacqui Kalin is the driving force for UNI, in addition to scoring (19.5 ppg) she leads the Panthers in assists (84) and has a knack for getting to the free throw line (115-for-122) where she rarely misses (94.3%).

Hannah Schonhardt and Jen Keitel have emerged as a secondary threats for UNI as the season has moved along.  Schonhardt had 23 points in a win over Evansville (Feb. 2), while controlled the board (10 rebounds) in a win over Bradley (Feb. 16).

Creighton vs. Bradley:
The Bluejays lead the all-time series with the Braves, 37-8, including the last five meetings.  Creighton holds a 19-4 edge in Peoria. 

Last Time vs. Bradley: W, 79-67 @ Creighton (1-27-13)
Down 32-25 moments late in the first half, Creighton responded with an 18-1 run including four trifectas to take a 43-33 lead. with under a minute remaining in the first half. 

Bradley scored the final four points of the period to send the game to halftime with Creighton holding a 43-37 edge. Creighton finished the first half 8-of-15 from beyond the arc (.533), while Bradley was 4-of-8 (.500) themselves.

Bradley would close to within five (58-53) with just under 10 minutes remaining, but the Bluejay trio of Tritz, Janning and junior Sarah Nelson held the Bradley at bay.  Nelson scored five of her seven points in the final ten minutes, while Tritz had six of her nine down the stretch.

The Jays finished the game, 14-of-28 (.500) from beyond the arc.

About Bradley
•  Located in Peoria, Ill., Bradley has an enrollment of 6,000.
•  The Braves finished 2011-12 with a 18-16 record and a 7-11 mark in the Valley.  Bradley returned eight letterwinners from last season, including 2011-12 All-MVC Freshman Team member Shondra Butts.
•  Bradley was picked to finish sixth in the MVC preseason poll.

Last 10 Meetings with Bradley:
1/26/08    W    72-69 in Omaha
2/23/08    L    51-52 in Peoria
1/25/09    W    61-46 in Omaha
2/19/09    L    67-75 in Peoria
1/22/10    L    57-63 in Omaha
2/19/10    L    62-72 in Peoria
1/15/11    W    73-58 in Omaha
2/12/11    W    72-50 in Peoria
1/29/12    W    72-68 in Omaha
2/26/12    W    68-59 in Peoria
1/27/13    W    79-67 in Omaha

Keys to the Game w/Bradley:
  • Controlling the Pace: Over the past six games the Braves have gone to a five guard lineup that likes to run.  Creighton, meanwhile, is placing more emphasis on post play. 
  • Three-pointers: The Jays were 14-of-28 from beyond the arc in the first meeting, keying an 18-1 run in the first half that changed the game.  Bradley was just 5-of-12.
  • Bisping vs. Nelson:  Bradley’s Brooke Bisping drew the bulk of the defensive responsibility for Sarah Nelson in the first meeting.  Bisping stands just 5-7.

Scouting the Braves (10-13, 4-8 MVC)
Bradley has won three of five since the last matchup with the Jays, including a 75-55 win at Wichita State on Feb. 10.  The loss of post presence Kelly Frings has forced the Braves to use a five guard lineup and to push the pace. 

First year head coach Mike Brooks continues to search for the right mix as the Braves have used several starting lineups, only Kelsy Budd has started all 23 contests this season and all but Taylor Shull and Fantasia Vine (nine players) have started at least one contest.

Three players to watch for the Braves are sophomore Shronda Butts (team-high 12.7 ppg), junior Catie O’Leary (11.2 ppg and 7.0 rpg) and senior Brook Bisping (4.4 ppg and 3.1 rpg).  This trio scored 37 of the Braves 67 points in the first meeting.  Bisping proved the most difficult with 12 points and 10 rebounds. 

Flanery against the Panthers
Coach Flanery has faced Northern Iowa 24 times as a head coach, holding an 15-9 mark against the Panthers. Flanery is 5-5 in 10 trips to Cedar Falls.

Flanery against the Braves
Coach Flanery has faced Bradley 20 times as a head coach, holding an 15-5 mark against the Braves. Flanery is 7-3 in 10 trips to Peoria.
 
Akin-Otiko Sends Shockwaves to Wichita State
Sophomore Alexis Akin-Otiko provided a dominant performance in Creighton’s 56-46 win over Wichita State on Feb. 16.  The Bellevue, Neb. native led Creighton in points (13), rebounds (8), assists (3), steals (2) and blocks (2).  Nine of Akin-Otiko’s 13 points came in the final nine minutes to secure the win.  Akin-Otiko tied career-highs in assists, steals and blocks, while setting a new career-best in rebounds.



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