Sarah Nelson had 10 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists to lead the Creighton women to a 64-45 win over Illinois State Friday night at D.J. Sokol Arena.
The win lifted Creighton to 11-3 and 3-0 in the Missouri Valley Conference. The Redbirds fell to 10-5 and 2-1 in MVC action.
Down 5-2 in the opening moments, the Jays used an 18-4 run to take control of the game. Nelson got the Jays going with a short jumper, then Alyssa Kamphaus connected on a turn around layup to give the Bluejays a 6-5 lead at 18:25.
Buckets by Nelson and Jordan Garrison pushed Creighton's lead to 10-6, then freshman Marissa Janning delivered Creighton's ensuing five points to make it 15-7. Sammy Jensen and Alexis Akin-Otiko closed out the run as six different Jays combined to give CU a 20-9 lead with 11:18 on the clock.
Illinois State responded with a run of its own, pulling to within three at 20-17. Nelson ignited another Bluejay run with a layup and Creighton went on to score 15 of the final 19 points of the half, taking a 35-23 at the break.
The Bluejays' defense allowed them to push the lead to as much 23 points on three separate occasions in the second half. Creighton held Illinois State to just 29 percent from the field (17-of-59), including a paltry 26 percent (8-of-31) in the second half.
Janning finished with a game-high 11 points while Nelson delivered her third double-double of the season with 10 points and 12 rebounds. Nelson was just three assists short of becoming the first Bluejay since 2004 to record a triple-double. The last player to do so was Laura Spanheimer with 12 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists against Indiana State on January 8, 2004.
Illinois State was led by Janae Smith, who finished with nine points and nine rebounds.