Junior Sarah Nelson delivered a dominant performance with 10 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists to lead the Creighton women’s basketball team a 64-45 win over Illinois State on Friday, Jan. 11.
The win lifted Creighton to 11-3 on the season and 3-0 in Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) play. Illinois State, meanwhile, fell to 10-5 overall and 2-1 in MVC action.
Down 5-2 in the opening moments, the Jays used an 18-4 run to seize control of the game. Nelson got the Jays going with a short jumper, then junior Alyssa Kamphaus connected on a turn around layup to give the Bluejays a 6-5 lead at 18:25. Buckets by Nelson and junior Jordan Garrison pushed Creighton’s lead to 10-6, then freshman Marissa Janninggot into the act. Janning delivered Creighton’s ensuing five points to make it 15-7, finally sophomore Sammy Jensenand Alexis Akin-Otiko closed out the run as six different Jays combined to give Creighton a 20-9 lead with 11:18 on the clock.
Illinois State responded with a run of their own, pulling with three at 20-17. Nelson, however, ignited another Bluejay run with an interior layup. Creighton went on to score 15 of the final 19 points of the half, taking a 35-23 lead into the half.
The Jays’ stifling defense allowed Creighton to push its lead to as much 23 points on three separate occasions in the second half. The Jays went on to claim the 19-point win, holding a double-digit lead throughout the final period.
Creighton held Illinois State to just 29% from the field (17-of-59), including a paltry 26% (8-of-31) in the closing frame.
Janning finished with a game-high 11 points, while Nelson delivered her third double-double of the season with 10 points and 12 rebounds. Nelson was just three assists of becoming the first Bluejay since 2004 to record a triple-double. The last player to do so was Laura Spanheimer with 12 points, 10 rebounds, 11 assists against Indiana State Jan. 8, 2004.
Illinois State was led by Janae Smith, who finished with nine points and nine rebounds.
Creighton returns to action on Sunday, Jan. 13 as Creighton hosts Indiana State at 2 p.m. in the D. J. Sokol Arena.