Creighton & Northern Iowa fall in MVC semis - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

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Creighton & Northern Iowa fall in MVC semis

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Creighton will hope to hear its name called on Selection Monday for the NCAA Tournament. Creighton will hope to hear its name called on Selection Monday for the NCAA Tournament.

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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