Sarah Nelson scored 18 points for the second straight Missouri Valley Conference game, but the Creighton women’s basketball team dropped its first MVC road game of the year 70-60 at Missouri State Thursday night. Carli Tritz scored 16 points and Alexis Akin-Otiko had 10 points off the bench in the loss.
Jaleshia Roberson scored a game-high 25 points, making 4-of-5 three-pointers in the first half for the Lady Bears. MSU out-rebounded the Bluejays 40-28 in the win as the Lady Bears moved to 9-4 on the year and 2-1 in MVC play. The loss drops Creighton to 0-2 in Valley action and below .500 on the year for the first time, falling to 6-7 overall.
The first half featured three ties and six lead changes, with Missouri State leading by as many as nine in the opening half. Creighton held its final lead of the first half, up 13-11 before the Lady Bears put together a 13-2 run to push ahead 24-15 with 7:19 left in the half. Creighton would get as close as three in the half before MSU carried a 33-28 lead into the break.
Creighton hit 12-of-24 shots in the first half, but was outscored 9-1 at the free-throw line and Roberson’s hot-shooting from beyond the arc carried the home team to the five-point edge.
The Bluejays scored the first eight points after halftime to stun the Lady Bears and take their largest lead of the game, up 36-33. Jordan Garrison, playing just 65 miles from her hometown of Osceola, Mo., hit back-to-back three-pointers to give the Jays a 34-33 lead and Nelson capped the 8-0 run with a bucket as MSU turned the ball over on three of its first four possessions after halftime.
Creighton led 38-35 before Missouri State rattled off eight straight points of its own and the Lady Bears led the rest of the way. Creighton stayed close, until MSU scored six straight points on free throws to push ahead 60-50 with 4:17 to play. The Jays would climb within five twice in the final minute of play, but late free throws lifted the final margin back to 10.