Sunday afternoon, the Creighton (14-10, 8-4 BIG EAST) women's basketball team could not overcome a cold shooting first half in an 80-66 defeat to the DePaul Blue Demons (19-5, 10-2 BIG EAST).
McKenzie Fujan, who was saddled with foul trouble in the first half, led the Bluejays with 18 points in the defeat.
In the first 20-minutes, it was a combination of cold shooting (22.6 percent and 0-of-10 from three), turnovers (11) and fouls (13) that resulted in a 38-21 DePaul advantage at the half. Despite the setbacks, Creighton trailed by single digits most of the half, before the home team built a double-figure lead.
Trailing 24-18, the Blue Demons finished on 14-3 run, which included a 3-pointer just before half, increasing the deficit 17 points. Fujan, despite three fouls, led the team with six points, and Sarah Nelson contributed four of her own.
Creighton didn't go away, as they mounted a comeback and cut the deficit to single digits midway through the second half. With 9:23 left, a Nelson three from the top of the key trimmed the margin to five points. That was the closest the Jays would get.
Like the end of the first, DePaul closed with a flurry by ending the game on a 22-13 run, which resulted in the 80-66 victory. The loss puts the Bluejays three games behind St. John's and two behind DePaul in the BIG EAST standings.
The Jays were 10-0 this season when each of the "big 3,"Fujan, Marissa Janning and Nelson scored in double-figures. Fujan, who led the team, was followed by Janning's 16 and Nelson's 14.
Offensively, it was a tale of two halves. The Jays couldn't buy a basket in the first, but made 48.6 percent of their shots after the break, including 6-of-11 from three-point range. DePaul flexed their muscle in the paint, outscoring CU 40-26. The Blue Demons also used their advantage on the inside to get to the free throw line 31 times.
Next up for Creighton will be the annual "Play4Kay" game on Saturday at 2:05 pm at D.J. Sokol Arena with Providence coming to town. Fans unable to attend can listen to Brad Burwell and Rob Simms describe the action on 1180 KZOT Zone2.
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