Saturday afternoon, the Creighton women (9-6, 3-0 BIG EAST) returned home against the DePaul Blue Demons (10-4, 1-1 BIG EAST) and treated fans to a thrilling 86-78 come-from-behind victory.
McKenzie Fujan fueled CU by scoring a career-high 38 points. The senior scored 28 of her team's 57 points in the second half.
In addition to Fujan, the Jays also got double figure scoring from the two other members of the Jays "Big 3" with senior Sarah Nelson and sophomore Marissa Janning each contributing 15 points each. Jordan Garrison, another senior, scored 11 points off the bench.
The first half started with both teams holding the lead in the first six minutes. With Creighton trailing 10-9 with 14:10 left in the opening period, DePaul went on a 14-0 run and led 25-10 with 8:32 remaining. CU was able to chip into the deficit, trailing by just eight going into the locker room at 37-29.
Creighton was outscored 24-6 in the paint and 14-6 off turnovers, but owned an 8-3 margin in second-chance points in the opening 20 against the Blue Demons. Garrison scored seven and Alexis Akin-Otiko added two to help CU's bench players outscore DePaul's before halftime.
It only took about three-and-a-half minutes and an 11-1 run for the Bluejays to trim the deficit to one at 41-40. On the next possession, Lauren Works hit a three pointer that put the hosts up two points with 16:04 remaining. After the Blue Demons tied the game at 43, the Jays went on a 6-0 run and never gave up the lead.
Fujan buried a three with 4:41 remaining to give CU its biggest lead of the game at 76-66. The closest DePaul got the rest of the game was eight a couple times down the stretch. Creighton went 6-of-6 from the charity stripe with Janning, Garrison and Fujan helping to close out the team's third straight conference win.
The second half comeback was fueled by 67.9 percent shooting and 6-of-8 makes from beyond the arc, compared to shooting 33.3 percent from the field and 29.4 percent from three in the first. Unlike the first half, CU forced more turnovers and lead 13-10 in points off turnovers and 7-0 in bench points, while only getting outscored 24-18 in the paint.
For the second time this week Nelson compiled a double-double, adding 12 rebounds to her 15 points. She also went 7-of-11 from the line. As a team, the Jays out-rebounded their visitors from Chicago 39-38 in the game, which included a 28-22 edge on the defensive glass.
The star of the game was Fujan who scored 10 points in the first half, making 4-of-5 shots including 2-of-3 from deep. In the second, she was 9-of-12, 4-of-5 from three-point distance while making 6-of-7 free throws for her 28 points. All in all, her numbers were 13-of-17 and 6-of-8 from three with six points from the line in her 38-point outing.
Next up will be two road games beginning Wednesday at St. John's with tipoff at 6 p.m. central and concluding Saturday at Providence at 1 p.m.. Both games can be heard on 1180 Zone2 and 1620thezone.com.
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