An 11-0 run midway through the second half helped Kansas claim a 64-58 victory over Creighton on Wednesday night. The game was played at Qwest Center Omaha, just the second women’s game ever held at the venue which opened in 2003. Kelsey Woodard scored better than 20 points for the 10th time in her career, leading all players with 21 for the Bluejays.
Kansas improved to 11-1 on the season with its third straight win, while Creighton had a two-game win streak snapped and concluded non-conference play with a 6-5 record.
Creighton fell behind 7-2 in the opening minutes before Kansas used a 13-2 run to push ahead 20-8. The Jays fought back, closing the gap to seven points and trailed 29-22 at intermission. Woodard led Creighton with nine points in the first half, while Angel Goodrich had 10 points for Kansas.
Creighton scored the first nine points of the second half to take its first lead of the game at 31-29. Carli Tritz started the surge with a lay-up off a nice pass from Woodard. Woodard then drained a three-pointer, and Kellie Nelson scored inside to forge the game’s first tie. A Woodard score in the paint at the 17:26 mark gave the Jays their first edge.
The Jays would extend their lead to 37-33 on an old-fashioned three-point play by Sam Schuett, what proved to be the only points of the game for the fifth-year senior. Consecutive scores by Kansas forward Carolyn Davis knotted the score at 39-all with 10:06 to play. Keena Mays followed with a trey and two straight scores by Aishah Sutherland were part of a 11-0 run that gave a 46-39 lead back to the Jayhawks. While Kansas put together its run, Creighton would turn it over four straight trips without getting a shot.
Creighton trailed 60-52 with 55 seconds left before one last frantic push. Woodard scored inside, and the Jays would force a turnover on the inbounds pass. Tritz scored a lay-up to make it a four-point deficit, only to have Kansas guard Angel Goodrich beat the Bluejay press and convert a breakaway lay-up to end the threat. After two free throws by Monica Engelman, Woodard closed the scoring with a jumper that rolled in at the buzzer.
Woodard led Creighton with 21 points, making nine of her career-high 20 field goal attempts. The senior his 3-of-6 three-pointers to move into 15th all-time in MVC history with 216 career triples. Tritz had 10 points, six rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals for the home team. Schuett topped the team with eight rebounds. Creighton shot 37.7 percent from the field and outscored the Jayhawks bench 16-6.
Kansas was led by 18 points and eight rebounds from Davis, as 14 of her points came in the second half. Davis, who entered the game ranked second in the NCAA in field goal percentage, made 6-of-7 shots from the field to pace the team. Sutherland (14) and Goodrich (12) also finished in double-figures. Kansas shot 44.8 percent, far below its 50.7 percent average that ranked third nationally entering the contest. Kansas, which was outrebounding teams by 11.4 caroms per game, won the glass battle 37-35.
Creighton will have more than a week off before starting Missouri Valley Conference play on Dec. 31 with a 3:05 pm game at D.J. Sokol Arena against league rival Drake.