Crieghton holds off Xavier in 'Pink Out' win
OMAHA, Neb. -- The Creighton women's basketball team won its eighth straight Pink Out game with 65-54 win over visiting Xavier on Friday, February 16.
The Bluejays improved to 16-9 with its third straight win and moved into a tie for third place in the BIG EAST standings at 10-5 after Villanova fell at Marquette earlier in the day. Xavier suffered its eighth straight loss and is now 9-18 (2-14 BIG EAST).
After scoring on their first two trips of the contest, the Bluejays connected on just one shot in the final nine minutes of the quarter and could not overcome five points and three minutes in three productive minutes off the bench by A'riana Gray as Creighton trailed 12-7 after one period of play.
The Muskies extended the lead to 27-18 by the media timeout midway through the second quarter (5:01), making their initial six shots of the period. Creighton fought back as sophomore Olivia Elger made all four of her shots in the second quarter. Elger's first bucket of the frame came right after the media timeout from long range to make it 27-21. Down 29-21 with just 2:37 left in the half, Elger one again drained a trey, but Xavier answered with a driving layup from Na'Teshia Owens. The Bluejays, however, closed the half with six of the final seven points on buckets from seniors Sydney Lamberty, Bailey Norby and a pull-up jumper from Elger on the final possession. The late charge sent Creighton into halftime just down two, 32-30.
The Bluejays took their first lead since the opening minute when junior Audrey Faber drained a three-pointer just 11 seconds in to the third quarter to make it 33-32. Xavier answered to take a 39-35 lead before the Bluejays embarked on a 10-0 run that featured three-pointers by Lamberty and sophomore Jaylyn Agnew as well as a pair of lay-ups by sophomore Ali Greene. The Bluejays never gave up the lead again.
Up 51-48 after three periods, the Bluejays moved to 16-0 when holding the lead after three, by closing the game. Clinging to a 53-52 lead with 5:19 remaining, the Bluejays picked an opportune time to go on a 11-0 run. Greene and Faber made lay-ups before a personal 7-0 run by Lamberty extended the margin to 64-52 with 1:54 left to secure the win.
Lamberty led the Bluejays with 13 points and nine assists. Agnew had 12 points and a game-high nine rebounds while Elger added 12 points and three steals. Rounding out CU's double-figure quartet was 10 points from Faber. The Bluejays shot 45.5 percent for the game and won the rebound battle, 30-23. Creighton dished 21 assists on 25 baskets and drained 10-of-20 three-pointers for the evening.
Na'Teshia Owens had 15 points to lead Xavier but did not attempt a shot or score in the fourth quarter. Jada Byrd added 13 for the Musketeers. Xavier shot 48.9 percent for the game but were just 4-of-18 from three-point range. The Musketeers were done in by 13 turnovers for the game, with seven coming in the final 10 minutes.