The Creighton women’s basketball team posted a 2-1 record in the Lone Star Showcase over Thanksgiving weekend to improve to 4-2 on the season, but also lost senior guard Marissa Janning to injury.
The Bluejays flew to a 91-66 win over East Carolina on Thanksgiving night before falling 75-52 to No. 19 Northwestern on Friday. The team closed the weekend with a 66-60 overtime victory over Eastern Washington.
The best battle of the weekend was saved for last as the Bluejays and Eagles went back and forth before the Jays eventually held on in overtime. It was the fourth game in five days for the team.
“On the third day we’re going to be fine, because I don’t see a lot of teams that are going to be deeper than us,” coach Jim Flanery said before the tournament.
Depth played well for the Jays, who competed in their first overtime game of the season.
The Eagles came out ready, taking an 18-9 lead at the end of the first quarter after the Jays scored the game’s first eight points. Creighton quickly retaliated and posted a 23-9 second quarter to take a 32-27 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Freshman forward Audrey Faber led the way for the Jays with 10 points.
The Eagles regained the lead in the third quarter and went into the final quarter with a one-point lead. The Jays started the quarter with an 8-2 run to take a 51-46 lead. The Eagles clawed back and held a four-point lead with just more than one minute to play.
Two free throws from sophomore guard Sydney Lamberty and a layup from junior guard Lauren Works sent the game to overtime.
The Eagles shot 14.3 percent from the field while the Jays shot 75 percent from the free-throw line in the extra period as the Jays went on to win 66-60.
Faber finished with 21 points while Lamberty added 13 points and four rebounds. Janning — who left in the fourth quarter with an apparent injury — finished with eight points and five rebounds.
Janning, the 2014 Big East player of the year, fractured the fibula in her left leg and is expected to miss six to eight weeks, according to Omaha World-Herald staff writer Steven Pivovar.
Works finished with nine points. Sophomore guard Jade Owens added seven points and seven steals. The Jays forced 19 turnovers, racking up 14 steals.
On Friday the Northwestern Wildcats improved to 5-0 after jumping out to an early lead and never letting the Bluejays close the gap.
The Bluejays didn’t score for nearly six minutes as the Wildcats pounced to an early 13-0 lead. At halftime the Jays trailed 40-24 after going 3-of-16 from 3-point range.
The Bluejays finished the game shooting 32.8 percent from the field and 21.4 percent from distance. Janning led the team with 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds.
Junior guard MC McGrory added nine points and four assists. Freshman forward Ali Greene grabbed four offensive boards and finished with five total rebounds. Faber scored eight points and led the Jays with six assists.
In the team’s first game of the tournament the Bluejays handed undefeated East Carolina its first loss of the season in a 91-66 blowout. Four Bluejays scored in double digits as the team shot 60.7 percent from the field.
“There are just so many people that you have to guard,” Janning said. “[Opponents] just have to worry about so many people.”
Faber once again led the way with 25 points while Janning added 18 points and a team-leading seven assists.
“She [Janning] is going to get the other team’s best defender and they’ll take away shots,” Flanery said. “But, she’s got enough options to be able to throw the ball to once she puts the ball on the floor that I know she can be really effective that way.”
The tournament took place in Austin, Texas and marked the middle of an eight-game road trip for the Bluejays. Road matchups against Kansas, Nebraska and Utah remain before the Jays’ next home game on Dec. 12.
Flanery noted the difficulty of the long stretch of road games, but said that there is no team better suited to go through the stretch.
“I did a poor job of scheduling,” Flanery said. “The great thing is we’re a deep team.”
After a matchup with Kansas on Wednesday night the Jays will battle in-state foe Nebraska on Sunday afternoon in Lincoln.
The Huskers were undefeated before falling to No. 1 Connecticut 88-46 this weekend.
Preseason Big Ten Freshman of the Year Jessica Shepard is leading Nebraska (4-1) with 20.6 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. A graduate of Fremont High School, Shepard was ESPN’s No. 3 player in the nation — the highest ranked recruit in Nebraska history.
Creighton and Nebraska will meet at 2 p.m. on Sunday.