Junior Carli Tritz became the 24th Bluejay to reach 1,000 points as the Creighton women’s basketball team defeated Northern Iowa, 73-66, on Thursday. The win lifted the Jays to 19-6 on the season and 11-3 in the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC), while Northern Iowa fell to 12-13 overall and 7-6 in the MVC.
Down 7-4 early in the contest the Jays sandwiched runs around a six point Northern Iowa burst to take 22-13 lead. Junior Sarah Nelson got the Jays rolling with a three-ball from the top of the key. Tritz followed with another trey from the right wing to give the Jays their first lead at 10-7. Moments later the third amigo in the junior class, McKenzie Fujan, converted a pass from Tritz to push the Jays’ lead to 12-7.
Northern Iowa answered with a 6-0 run of their own to retake the lead 13-12. Unphased the Jays dropped 10 more on the Panthers. This time it was junior Sammy Jensen with the first trifecta to give the lead back to the Bluejays, 15-14. Freshman Marissa Janning followed with a trey from four feet beyond the three-point line, finally Fujan and Janning drained two free throws each as Creighton extended its lead to nine points with 9:41 remaining in the half.
The Jays maintained the separation they’d work so diligently to create throughout the first half, taking a 43-37 into halftime. Both teams were en fuego from downtown in the first half. The Jays were 7-for-11 (64%), while Northern Iowa entered the break 6-of-11 (55%),
Northern Iowa chipped away at the Creighton lead throughout the second half, closing to within a bucket on two occasions, but each time the Jays were able to hold Northern Iowa off. The final Panther push came with just over six minutes remaining in the game. A 12-foot jumper by Brooke Brown made is a one possession game at 58-56.
The Jays returned to what they do best, draining threes. Following a missed layup, Tritz grabbed her own rebounds and found Janning at the top of the key for a wide open trey. Following a defensive stop, the Panther left Tritz open at the top of the key. The Sioux City, Iowa native made them pay with Creighton’s tenth three-pointer of the game to make it 64-56 with 3:55 left.
Tritz’s trifecta vaulted her over the 1,000 point threshold in just her 88th game as a Jay. Tritz became just the 24th Creighton player to reach the century mark. Tritz tied Kelsey Woodard (2007-11) as the 12th fastest to reach the feat in Creighton history as Woodard also did it in her 88th game.
Nelson led all scorers with 19 points in the game, while Janning finished with 17 points and Fujan tossed in 14.
Brittni Donaldson led the Panthers with 14 points.
Creighton returns to action on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 2:00 p.m. in Peoria, Ill. versus the Bradley Braves.