Creighton overcame an 18-point second-half deficit to snap a two-game home losing streak, topping Northern Iowa 62-58 at D.J. Sokol Arena Sunday afternoon. Fifth-year seniors
Megan Neuvirth and Chevelle Herring led the charge, with Neuvirth scoring 15 of her game-high 20 points after halftime and Herring scoring all 12 of her points after the half. The duo accounted for seven of Creighton’s final eight field goals and 19 of its final 23 points in CU’s largest deficit overcome for a win this year.
Creighton (11-6, 6-2 MVC) was down 18 with 14:09 left and still trailed by double figures with just over six minutes to play. Down 48-34 with 8:17 to play, the Bluejays scored nine consecutive points to trim the UNI (7-11, 3-4 MVC) lead to five and cut it to 49-45 with just over five minutes to play after a Neuvirth pulled down a rebound on the defensive end and dribbled the length of the floor for a fastbreak layup.
UNI was up 55-49 with 3:14 to play when the Bluejays put together a 10-0 burst to take their first lead since the first two minutes of the game. Neuvirth assisted two of the three field goals during the run and made a three-pointer of her own. Her trey with 1:15 to play brought the score to 55-54 UNI and Herring drained a clutch three-pointer with 31 seconds left to give the Jays a 57-55 edge. She added to that lead with a pair of free-throws with 18 seconds left.
The Panthers did not go quietly, as Jacqui Kalin drained a three with 14 seconds to play. The Jays would in bound the ball to Sam Schuett, who was fouled, and calmly sank her 38th and 39th consecutive free-throw attempts to move the score to 61-58, while Neuvirth capped the scoring by splitting a pair of free-throws with six seconds left after stealing the inbound pass following Schuett’s free-throws.
The unlikely win came after CU’s lowest scoring first-half of the year, as the Jays trailed 33-17 at the break. The Bluejays turned the ball over 12 times in the first 12 minutes of the game, leading directly to 16 UNI points. The Panthers built their lead on the strength of their three-point shot, making 7-of-11 triples in the first half.
Creighton reversed the trend in the second half, forcing 14 UNI turnovers after the half to help it to its game-closing 28-10 run. In the second half alone, the Jays out-scored UNI 17-5 in points off turnovers, out-rebounded the Panthers 23-11 and out-scored the visitors 45-25.
Neuvirth would finish with her third double-double of the year, scoring 20 points to go along with 10 rebounds, three steals and two assists. Herring, in her first game off the bench this season, scored 12 points, making 2-of-4 three-pointers in the win. The point guard’s 12 points marked her first double-figure scoring game in her last 12 contests.
Schuett moved her school record free-throw streak to 39 straight makes by going 5-for-5 at the stripe, while adding her team-leading fifth double-double of the year at 14 points and 11 boards. She also added three steals and two assists.
Kalin topped UNI with 17 points, making 4-of-7 three-pointers. UNI’s Katelin Oney chipped in 15 points off the bench, making all three of her three-point field goal attempts (all in the first half). Lizzie Boeck had 10 points and a team-best five assists and six rebounds for the Panthers.
Creighton out-rebounded the Panthers 41-25, while limiting UNI to just 16 field goal attempts in the second half.
The Bluejays conclude their longest home stand of the year when they play host to Drake (11-7, 4-4 MVC) next Friday. The rivalry game will be televised live on Fox Sports Net at 7:35 p.m.