The Creighton women’s basketball team never trailed and fought through foul trouble to pick up its first victory of the season.
The Jays defeated the South Dakota State Jackrabbits 88-81 at the Frost Arena in Brookings, South Dakota on Tuesday.
In addition to being Creighton’s first victory of the season, the result also snapped the Jackrabbits’ 22-game home winning streak.
Creighton and South Dakota State combined for 49 fouls and attempted 71 free throws.
The Jays had three players foul out before the final media timeout.
Junior guard Marissa Janning was the first to exit after picking up her fifth foul with 5:47 to play. Following the foul, South Dakota’s Clarissa Ober hit a pair of free throws to trim the lead to two, the smallest margin in the second half.
Two free throws by sophomore forward Brianna Rollerson and a 3-pointer by senior forward Alexis Akin-Otiko extended Creighton’s lead to seven.
Rollerson and Akin-Otiko also fouled out, but the Jays had breathing room with a 10-point lead and three minutes remaining.
South Dakota State failed to draw closer than six during the final stage on Tuesday.
Creighton used an 8-0 to build a 16-point lead, 47-31, at the half.
Janning scored 18 points in the first half, including 4 of 4 from 3-point territory.
As a team, the Jays finished with nine 3-point field goals in the first 20 minutes.
Janning finished Tuesday’s game with a game-high 21 points. Rollerson and sophomore guard MC McGrory each added 13.
On Saturday, former Missouri Conference foe Wichita State used a late run to pull away in the season-opener for the Creighton women’s basketball team.
The Shockers went on a 19-3 run over a nine-minute time span to spoil the Jays’ hopes of a victory. Wichita State defeated the Jays 65-56.
Sophomore forward Brianna Rollerson’s lay-up gave the Jays a 42-40 lead with 11 minutes to play, but the Shockers built their largest lead of the game at 14, 59-45, with 2:53 remaining in the second half.
Wichita State’s defense forced 17 Bluejay turnovers, including six during its late push.
“When you’re turning the ball over in the first 15 seconds of the shot clock it’s because you’re trying to make a play that you can’t make,” coach Jim Flanery said. “And against a good defense you can’t do that.”
The Shockers finished with 12 steals compared to the Jays’ one.
The opening eight minutes of Saturday’s contest was a see-saw affair. Neither team held a lead of more than three points before the second media timeout.
The Shockers gained some room on the Jays, establishing a seven-point lead twice during the final 10 minutes of the first half.
“[Wichita State] was the team getting to loose balls and they were making high-energy plays in the first half,” Flanery said.
A pair of free throws by sophomore guard MC McGrory put the Jays within one with under a minute to play, but Wichita State took advantage of a pair of Creighton mistakes to take a five-point advantage into the locker room.
“The end of the first half killed us,” Flanery said. “We’re down one and all of a sudden [the lead] is five. We had a two-for-one situation and we gave up something easy, [and] then a turnover led to two more points.”
Senior guard Sammy Jensen capped an 8-2 spurt to open the second half, giving the Jays the lead, 33-32, for the first time since 6-4.
The teams traded baskets over the next five minutes, before Rollerson’s bucket propelled Creighton to its final lead of the game.
Janning led the Jays with 18 points and five rebounds. Rollerson and McGrory also finished in double-figures, with 11 and 10 points respectively.
Wichita State’s Alex Harden led all scorers with 28.
McGrory, Jensen, Janning, Rollerson and senior forward Alexis Akin-Otiko earned the start for the Jays.
Junior guard Taylor Johnson recorded points for the first time since March 18, 2012 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament against St. John’s. The Platte City native finished with six points and two rebounds in 15 minutes of action.
Freshman guards Jade Owens and Sydney Lamberty each tallied more than 10 minutes during their first game in a Bluejay uniform.
The Jays open the 2014-15 home schedule tonight against the No. 20 Utah Utes. Creighton is 3-2 in home-openers at D.J. Sokol Arena.
The Bluejays own a 57-13 record in five seasons at D.J. Sokol Arena, including a 13-2 performance last season.