Buoyed by a 22-point effort in the second period, the Creighton women's basketball team defeated Villanova 47-44 on Friday, Feb. 3.
The win pushed the Bluejays to 16-6 on the season and 10-2 in BIG EAST play, while Villanova fell to 11-11 overall and 6-5 in conference action.
Defense dominated the opening period of play as the two teams were a combined 4-of-27 (14.8%) from the field in the first quarter. Creighton's first bucket of the game came with 1:17 left in the first from freshman Jaylyn Agnew. Despite the poor shooting effort, Creighton's defense kept the Bluejays in the game, down 7-2 after one.
Seeing Agnew's bucket fall through the hoop settled her teammates, allowing Creighton to go on a 17-5 run to seize control. Following Agnew's bucket, senior Brianna Rollerson delivered back-to-back buckets in the lane to make it 7-6. After a three-ball by the Wildcats, Creighton went 3-of-4 from the line, then got a trey from senior Lauren Works to take a 12-10 lead.
Villanova pulled even with a layup from Bridget Herlihy, but sophomore Audrey deliver a trey, grabbed a steal and finished with a layup to cap the run. Creighton pushed it lead to seven in the final minute of the half and took a 24-17 lead into the locker room at the break.
Despite the struggles in the opening frame, Creighton head coach Jim Flanery remained upbeat with his team at the opening media timeout.
"I told the team in all the years I've been a coach, I've never had a team not score for an entire game," said Flanery. "The key to the game was our defense in the opening quarter; we were only down five at the end of the quarter which gave us confidence that we could come back."
Creighton maintained a small window of separation in the third, but consecutive buckets by the Wildcats closed the game to 32-27 (1:00). Rollerson and Faber responded with buckets in the final minute to send the contest to the fourth, 36-27.
Works pushed the Bluejays edge to double-digits on a three-ball from the wing (39-27). With the game in the balance, the Wildcats fought back with eight straight. Leading by just four (39-35) with 7:28 left, fifth-year senior Marissa Janning rattled off seven consecutive points for Creighton to keep Villanova at arm’s length. Janning's last bucket came with 3:08 remaining to push the Bluejays out to a 46-39 edge. Creighton went on to earn the 47-44 victory, despite the Wildcats hoisting a last second heave that could have forced overtime.
Faber led Creighton with 14 points and seven rebounds, while Rollerson and Works each finished with nine. Villanova's Adrianna Hahn finished with a game-high 15 points in the loss.
The Bluejays remain on the road Sunday as Creighton battles Georgetown at 12:00 pm (CT).
Courtesy of Creighton Athletics