The Creighton women’s basketball team had a chance to lose concentration while having a week between games, preparing for a team tied for the worst record in the Big East standings. Jim Flanery’s squad proved it did not lose any attention to detail, showing up Sunday primed to extend its winning streak to six games.
“For being off for a week I thought we were pretty sharp,” Flanery said. “During this time of the year when you have a team that’s got a lot of practices between a game and a game, sometimes it’s easy to lose focus; especially a team that had played really well.
“We performed well today because we had the right approach all week in practice.”
The Bluejays tied a season-high 3-point total with 14, had 22 assists and forced 22 turnovers in their 84-57 victory over the Providence Friars in front of 1,412 fans at the 2015 Pink Out game.
“At the beginning of the season we may not have stayed as focused as we should have, but I think this week we did a good job,” junior point guard Marissa Janning said.
The Jays improved to 8-6 in Big East play and moved into a tie for fourth in the conference with Butler and St. John’s. Providence dropped to 2-12.
Sophomore guard Lauren Works led the 3-point barrage with a career-high five 3s for a career-high 15 points.
Works said she was calm throughout the game and continued to shoot the ball.
“I honestly wasn’t thinking very much when I [shot the ball],” Works said.
Works broke her previous career-high 3-point total at the 7:15 mark in the first half with her third 3 of the afternoon.
“You want a shooter who doesn’t blink if they miss one or two and who doesn’t think about shooting it if they’re open,” Flanery said. “She doesn’t over-think things.”
Many of Works’ 3-pointers came as a result of Providence’s press. The Bluejays broke the Friars’ full-court pressure and connected with Works in the baseline corner for all three of her first-half makes.
“When we come out of a full-court press we usually have numbers,” Janning said. “[The opponent] will try to drop back and take middle or maybe a post on the block; so it’s usually the corner person that’s always open or maybe a kick-back if we drive.”
Before Sunday’s contest, Works had not attempted more than four 3-pointers during a game this season.
“We like to play [Works] a little bit more against teams that press because we feel that she is that kid who is one, a little better ball-handler through press than you might think, and two, she can knock down shots at the back of the press without hesitating,” Flanery said.
Creighton also finished with 22 assists on 29 made baskets. Freshman Jade Owens led the Jays with a career-high six assists. Works and Janning each tallied four.
Janning also matched Works with five 3-pointers of her own and finished with a game-high 25 points.
Sunday marked the eighth time Janning surpassed the 20-point plateau this season.
Similar to Providence, Creighton applied its own defensive pressure and forced the Friars to commit numerous miscues in the backcourt.
Providence entered D.J. Sokol Arena averaging 18 turnovers per game.
Creighton led 42-25 at the half.
Janning closed out first 20 minutes with 11 of the final 15 points for the Bluejays. She matched her season average with 16 points in the first half.
The Jays go from hosting the worst team in the conference to welcoming the league’s best; the DePaul Blue Demons.
The Blue Demons defeated St. John’s 82-55 on Sunday to take a half game lead on second-place Seton Hall.