The Gophers were up by 11 points early before Creighton used a full-court trapping press to slow the game down, and it worked well in the first half. Minnesota turned the ball over eight times in the first half and held just a 36-35 halftime lead. The Bluejays closed the first half with a 26-6 run, and Neneman's layup six minutes into the second half tied the game at 50.
Minnesota then went on a 9-0 run, capped by a basket from Liz Podominick off a feed from McCarville for a 59-50 lead. The Bluejays climbed to within 59-55 on Laura Spanheimer's 3-pointer, but couldn't get any closer.
Kelly Roysland's jumper and two free throws by Whalen capped a 13-2 run to put the Gophers ahead 70-57 with 6:11 remaining. Whalen made all 14 of her free-throw attempts, tying a school record, and added seven assists.
Roysland added 10 points for the Gophers.
"We came into this game knowing we would be pressured," said Golden Gopher head coach Pam Borton, who collected her 100th career coaching win with the victory. "Creighton is a tough, hard-working team. We held our composure throughout the game and made a few adjustments at half to take some pressure off a few players."
One of those adjustments was to get the ball into the hands of their All-American. Whalen responded with 19 second-half points, without committing a turnover.
Whalen finished with seven rebounds and seven assists in addition to her game-high 30 points.
The Gophers shot 64.0% (16-25) in the second half with several points from McCarvlle, adding up to Minnesota's 48-22 advantage in points in the paint. "In the second half we knew we had to be more aggressive, and our guards did a great job getting me the ball at key moments," said McCarville.
McCarville's double-double is her third of the season and 19th of her career.
The win was also Minnesota's 14th straight victory in Williams Arena, tying the school record set from February 1980 to March 1981.
Minnesota's next action is Sunday, when the Gophers travel to Kansas City to face UMKC. The Kangaroos are 2-3 this season.