McKenzie Fujan scored a career-high 24 points, to lead the Creighton women in a 61-56 first-round win over Syracuse on Saturday for their first tournament win since 1994. Sarah Nelson had 14 of her 17 points after halftime and Marissa Janning scored all 10 of her points in the second half.
Fujan shot 8 of 13 overall and 6 of 10 from 3-point range as Creighton (25-7) prevented Syracuse (24-8), the No. 7 seed in the Oklahoma City Regional, from earning its first NCAA tournament win in school history.
Syracuse rallied from a 10-point deficit in the last five minutes, but Elashier Hall’s attempt at a game-tying 3-pointer with three seconds left went off the right side of the rim with three seconds left. Nelson added two free throws with three-tenths of a second left.
Fujan led Creighton for most of the first half until her teammates responded by shooting 6 of 7 overall and 5 of 6 from 3-point range. She scored her team’s first 11 points and had 17 by halftime.
The 5-foot-11 guard is peaking at the right time, after entering the tournament averaging just 9.3 points. However, she scored a career-high 22 in a Missouri Valley Conference championship game loss to Illinois State and has carried that momentum over to the NCAA tournament.