The Creighton women's basketball team suffered a 64-61 overtime loss to Illinois State in the semifinals of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament on Saturday, March 16.
Creighton closed out the regular-season with a 24-7 record, while Illinois State advanced to face Wichita State in the MVC Championship on Sunday, March 17 at 2 p.m.
A difficult first half resulted in a 29-18 deficit, but the Bluejays came back with a flurry to open the second period.
After trading buckets in opening seconds, Creighton went on a 22-4 run to earn a 42-35 lead. Senior Ally Jensen drilled a three-ball in the left corner to start the Jays' comeback, then junior McKenzie Fujan took over. Fujan converted a running jumper from the right wing, followed by a trey from left wing. She converted another 10-footer to pulled the Jays within three at 33-30 with 16:27 remaining.
Illinois State converted two free throws and a bucket from Janae Smith, but the Jays kept coming. Jensen dropped two trifectas around a driving bucket by Fujan to push the Jays out to their first lead, 38-35, with 14:27 on the clock. The Bluejays capped the run with a driving layup from junior Carli Tritz and a layup from Jensen at 12:37.
Creighton continued to fire on all cylinders offensively into the final five minutes as the Jays extended their lead to 55-46 with 5:20 to play. Unfortunately it was the Redbirds that found the final run, knotting the game on a 9-0 to end regulation.
Illinois State also scored the three points of the extra period on a long three-pointer from Candace Sykes. The Redbirds went on to build a 61-57 lead in the closing moments and eventually took the game, 64-61.
Fujan led Creighton with a career-high 22 points, while A. Jensen finished with 18.
Illinois State got 18 points and 12 rebounds from Sykes.
Creighton now must await the deserved at-large bid from the NCAA Tournament on Monday, March 18.
Courtesy: Creighton Media Relations
The University of Northern Iowa women's basketball team fell to the Wichita State Shockers in overtime of the semi-final round of the MVC Tournament, 75-71. The Panthers were led by seniors Jacqui Kalin and Amber Kirschbaum.
Kalin finished with 26 points and six assists while Kirschbaum finished with a double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds.
The Panthers went into the first media timeout with a 5-4 lead over the Shockers after Wichita State held a 4-0 lead with 17:38 left in the first half. Brooke Brown hit UNI's first field goal of the game, draining a three-pointer. Kirschbaum was then able to convert on her signature turnaround jump shot to give UNI the lead.
UNI held a 9-8 lead with 11:54 on the clock, with Kirschbaum scoring six of the Panthers' nine points. Wichita State took their second lead of the game with 11:12 left in the half when Chynna Turner ran in for a layup, but Kalin and Hannah Schonhardt got the lead back, hitting consecutive three-pointers to make the score 15-10.
Jess McDowell gave UNI a 10-point lead with 3:12 left in the first half off a 17-footer, making the score 27-17. Wichita State's Alex Harden hit a jump shot on the next play, but McDowell struck again, knocking down a big three-pointer to give UNI a 30-19 lead.
The Panthers went into halftime with a 32-21 lead over the Shockers. UNI shot 48 percent in the first half, led by Kirschbaum who finished 4-5 from the field for 10 points.
Wichita State went on a 9-1 run to open the second half, cutting the UNI lead to three-points with 17:16 on the clock. Kalin hit the Panthers first field goal of the second half with 17:08 left in the half, hitting her second three-pointer of the game to make the score 36-30.
The Shockers took a three-point lead with 14:15 on the clock off a jump shot from Michelle Price. Kalin drove strong through the lane on the next offensive play for the Panthers, cutting the Shocker lead to one-point, making the score 39-38. Stephanie Davison gave the lead back to UNI when she hit a long jumper from the corner to give UNI a 40-39 lead.
Wichita State went on a 7-0 run to take a six-point lead on the Panthers with less than 10 minutes left in the game, but Schonhardt was able to pull up for a quick jumper in the lane to cut the run off and make the score 46-42. On the next two offensive drives, Kalin and Brown knocked down huge three-pointers, followed by two free throws from Kalin to give UNI a 50-49 lead with 5:43 on the clock.
With four different lead changes under the five minute mark in the game, the Panthers took the lead again with 2:34 on the clock when Kalin drove through the lane for a layup to make the score 58-57. Wichita State regained the lead with 1:03 left in the game when Alex Harden converted on a jump shot, followed by two free throws from Jessica Diamond to make the score 63-60.
Kalin drove through the lane again with 13 seconds left in the game to cut the Wichita State lead to one-point, making the score 63-62. Wichita State held a three-point lead after Alex Harden hit two free throws, but the MVC Player of the Year drained a deep three-pointer to send the game into overtime and make the score 65-65.
Wichita State opened overtime on a 9-2 run sparked by a three-pointer by Diamond, giving the Shockers a 74-67 lead with 1:50 left in the period. UNI cut the Shocker lead to three points with 49 seconds left in the period off two free throws from Brown, but after a failed last attempt by the Panthers, UNI fell to Wichita State 75-71.
Courtesy: UNI Athletics Communications
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