Despite a 25-point effort from freshman Audrey Faber, the Creighton women’s basketball team fell to South Dakota, 74-68, in the opening round of the WNIT on Wednesday, March 16.
The loss ended Creighton’s season at 17-18, while South Dakota advances to face Minnesota in the second round of the WNIT later this weekend at 27-6.
After a scoreless opening couple of minutes, Faber settled her squad with two trifecta and an assist to get the Creighton offense rolling. Faber’s confidence quickly spread as the rest of the team began to chime in. Down 10-8 with 4:53 left in the first quarter, junior MC McGrory started a 10-2 run to push the Bluejays out to an 18-12 edge in the closing minute of the period. Sophomore Sydney Lamberty and McGrory each contributed five points during the run, via a mid-range jumper and a trey.
South Dakota briefly regained the lead early in quarter number two with a 5-0 burst, but the Bluejays responded with five straight themselves on a layup and a three-pointer from McGrory to get Creighton back out to a 24-20 advantage (5:29). Creighton pushed its lead to as much as six points twice in the quarter and took a 33-30 edge into halftime.
The Coyotes took control of the game in the third quarter as South Dakota used a 16-3 run to claim its largest lead of the game, 46-36 (3:12). Down 48-38 moments later, Creighton showed the fight that Bluejay fans have seen all season long by closing the quarter with a 10-2 run to make it a two-point contest heading to the final frame. Junior Lauren Works got the run started with a trifecta from the top of the key. Following a defensive stand, freshman Ali Greene chipped in a 10-footer, then Works dialed long distance once more to make it 48-46 (0:44). After two South Dakota free throws pushed it back to a 50-46 Coyote lead, a Lamberty finger roll gave the momentum to the Bluejays for the final 10 minutes.
South Dakota asserted itself once more in the opening five minutes of the fourth period, extending its lead to 62-53 (5:16). The Bluejays had one final push left, getting back-to-back buckets from Lamberty and McGrory to make it 62-57. Creighton got as close as three at 69-66 (1:49) and again at 71-68 (0:34), but the deficit proved too much to overcome.
Faber’s 25 points led all scorers, while Lamberty finished with 15 points in the loss. South Dakota had five players finish in double figures, led by 17 from Tia Hemiller.