Creighton (3-2) defeated Houston (1-4) 65-55 Saturday night at D.J. Sokol Arena behind 16 points from McKenzie Fujan.
Nine of the 10 Bluejays who saw action scored against their American Athletic Conference foe.
The Jays led 29-19 when the first half horn sounded, behind 42.3% shooting from the field. Jordan Garrison's three opened the scoring, and Creighton never relinquished the early lead. Marissa Janning had team-high six points in the opening half; she also had five rebounds. Defensively, CU held Houston to 34.6% shooting. The Cougars also went 0-for-3 from behind the arc.
Up 9-4 early, Creighton increased the advantage to 12 with an 11-4 run over next nine minutes. Houston got to within six points late in the half, but Janning hit four free throws in the final 56 seconds of the half, making it a 10-point lead.
The Bluejays wasted little time in the second half, opening with a 12-1 run that made the score 41-20. Fujan hit a three to cap the run. At one point, Houston was 3-of-13 from the field and started the half with a five-plus minute drought. Although CU didn't shoot the ball overly well in the first half, they were happy with the looks they got.
"We told each other in the locker room that if we just kept shooting, our shots would start to fall," said Fujan. "I got some good looks which happened to go in, but my teammates helped."
For most of the half, Creighton led by at least 20 points. The Cougars chipped away late in the game, ending on a 17-7 run. Although his team held on the victory, Creighton coach Jim Flanery wasn't entirely thrilled with his team's play.
"I'd like us to of finished the game out better than we did and defend better in the second half," said Flanery. "Offensively, we did alright against an unconventional zone that Houston was running."
Early in the second half, Fujan went to the free throw line and missed the first two chances at the stripe this season. The first snapped her string of 26-straight makes.
As mentioned, offense came from all over. Fujan's 16 led the team, while redshirt freshman Brianna Rollerson added 10. The Omaha Central graduate's play has pleased her coach.
"Brianna seems to find herself in the right spot on the court which leads to her making plays for us. We really like her instincts and are excited at how she can continue to improve this season," Coach Flanery said.
Janning finished with eight. Sarah Nelson and Lauren Works scored seven apiece 7. Jordan Garrison hit two triples, finishing with 6. Alyssa Kamphaus and Alexis Akin-Otiko each finished with 4, and Sammy Jensen rounded out the scorers with 3. Only Tessa Leytem went without points but did have two assists, a rebound plus a steal. The balanced effort pleased senior Sarah Nelson.
"It's good that everyone could be counted on instead of trying to find just one player to get points for us tonight," said Nelson.
Next up for the Bluejays is a matchup with the South Dakota Coyotes at 7:05 pm on Tuesday, November 26 at D.J. Sokol Arena.
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