Morgan Turner splits the defense

Redshirt-junior forward Morgan Turner drives and scores a floater against Nebraska-Kearney on Oct. 23 at D.J. Sokol Arena. Turner finished the game with 12 points and eight rebounds.

The Creighton Women’s basketball team is ready to get back on the court for the 2018-19 season and reload for competition again  after a veteran-heavy team led the Jays to a 19-13 record and the second round of the NCAA tournament last season. 

The Bluejays will face the tough task of replacing five graduating seniors; including starting point guard Sydney Lamberty who was instrumental to last season’s success, averaging 11.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game.

If having to replace five graduating seniors wasn’t challenging enough, the Jays are also dealing with key injuries.

Junior forwards Jaylyn Agnew and Ali Green, as well as junior guard Olivia Elger, are all working their way back from injury and not expected to be at 100 percent by the start of the season. Senior guard Jade Owens, who hasn’t played in over two years because of a nagging back injury, is also expected to be limited by soreness during the first few games of the season.

Despite all of the uncertainty surrounding the team with the injuries and a less than certain starting five, the Bluejays were picked to finish fourth in the Big East preseason poll as voted by coaches in the conference.

The Jays can credit their selection in the top four of the conference preseason poll to the fact that they will be returning a trio of starters from last season, including their top two scorers in senior forward Audrey Faber (14.8 points per game) and Agnew (14.5 points per game).

Both Faber and Agnew are expected to have standout campaigns for the Bluejays this season if they can stay healthy.

Both of them made the women’s basketball All-Big East second team last year and have a chance to make the first team this upcoming season if the Jay’s success continues.

Faber was also named as a 2019 Katrina McClain Award candidate, a list comprised of the anticipated top-20 power forwards in all of NCAA Division I women’s basketball. Coach Jim Flannery will be returning to his familiar spot on the Creighton bench for the 17th season.

Flannery has led the Jays to back-to-back NCAA tournaments and is looking to take his team to the big dance for the third consecutive season.

Should the Bluejays make the NCAA tournament this season, it would be the first time in program history that Creighton has made three straight appearances. 

While the Jays don’t officially tip off the 2018-19 season until Nov. 7 when they host South Dakota at D.J. Sokol Arena, Creighton has already given fans a taste of what’s to come when it hosted Nebraska-Kearney for a preseason exhibition on Oct. 23.

Creighton defeated the visitors 100-68, thanks to a combined 44 points from senior guard Brooke Kissinger and Faber. In addition to Kissinger and Faber, four other Bluejays finished in double figures.

Creighton reached 100 points only once last season, a game that had 20 more minutes of game time, as the Bluejays beat Drake in four overtimes by a 108-100 final score.

Freshman guard Payton Brotzki had 14 points against UNK, while redshirt-junior forward Morgan Turner added 12 points and sophomore guards Temi Carda and Tatum Rembao scored 21 points combined.

The team managed to put up 100 points in the first season of the game designed to be one to shake the rust off, not see the full-flow of an offense in gear. Combined with how the Bluejays played mostly short-handed thanks to missing several key players from last year, and the result was extremely encouraging for the future of this team and their potential to top the Big East and make noise in the NCAA Tournament.

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