Hours after earning her third consecutive Big East Freshman of the Week honor, Sydney Lamberty helped the Jays achieve something they had not done in their previous 11 attempts.
Lamberty’s game-winning lay-up with eight seconds to play in overtime lifted Creighton to an 84-81 victory over the Kansas Jayhawks Monday night at D.J. Sokol Arena.
Prior to Monday’s win, the Jays’ last victory over Kansas was in 2004. Creighton had lost 11-straight in the series.
The freshman’s game-winner was not the only drama-filled moment of the game.
Trailing by three with less than three seconds to play in regulation, sophomore guard MC McGrory launched a three-pointer from the top of the key that rattled home as the buzzer sounded to send the game to overtime.
Monday’s game featured 12 ties and 16 lead changes.
All five Creighton starters finished with double-figure point totals.
Junior guard Marissa Janning led the way with 23 points.
Sophomore forward Brianna Rollerson ended with career-highs in points, rebounds and blocks. The Omaha Central graduate scored 16 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and had four swats.
Senior forward Alexis Akin-Otiko notched her first career double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
McGrory closed the game with a pair of free throws to give Creighton its final three-point advantage. The sophomore guard finished with 14 points and six boards.
Lamberty had 15 points, six rebounds and five assists.
Chayle Cheadle hit a three-point field goal as time expired in the first half to put Kansas on top 32-30 at the break, but the Jays used a 10-0 run to build a seven-point advantage five minutes into the second 20-minutes.
With all of the swings in momentum the Jays could have lost some confidence throughout, but they responded to everything Kansas threw their way.
“I never thought we were going to lose that game,” McGrory said. “Everyone was in it and focused.”
“Our energy was there the whole time,” Lamberty said. “No one ever let down.”
The Jays committed only six turnovers in 45 minutes of action.
Kansas had 16 giveaways that translated into 23 Creighton points.
Lamberty scored a career-high 20 points in Creighton’s 67-50 victory over cross-town rival UNO Saturday, helping her earn her third-straight Big East Freshman of the Week honor.
The Mavericks led by as many as eight in the first half, but Lamberty’s lay-up with 5:15 to play in the first half gave the Jays the lead for the remainder of the game.
Creighton outscored UNO 37-22 in in the second half and held a lead as large as 27.
The Jays led by two at the half, but Lamberty and McGrory, the heroes of Monday’s game, combined their efforts for an 11-0 run to open the second half of Saturday’s contest and put the Mavericks in the rear view mirror.
Through the first 12 games of the season, Lamberty is averaging 9.7 points and 4.1 rebounds per game and has a team-best assist-to-turnover ratio with 42 assists to only 10 turnovers.
In seven starts, the freshman guard is averaging 12.9 points, 5.1 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game.
On Monday, Lamberty became the first Creighton women’s basketball player to be named the Newcomer/Freshman of the Week three weeks in a row since Carli Tritz achieved that feat during the 2010-2011 season.
Janning, the Preseason Big East Player of the Year, leads the Jays scoring, averaging 16.6 points per contest and has a team-high 30 three-pointers.
Creighton enters the holiday break at 7-5 with all five of its losses against top-40 RPI teams (Wichita State, Connecticut, California, Seton Hall and Nebraska).
The Jays win over Kansas provided an early Christmas present for the squad.
“It’s a heck of a way to go into break and should give us a lot of confidence going forward,” head coach Jim Flanery said.
The Jays resume their Big East Conference schedule on Dec. 30 at home against Georgetown. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:05 at D.J. Sokol Arena.