Three streaks halt in frost

Ariy-El Boynton

Ariy-El Boynton

At halftime of the first-round Women’s National Invitational Tournament game, the Creighton vs. SDSU game seemed to surely be in SDSU’s favor.

The Jacks were riding a 12-game winning streak, and it had been over 430 days (22 games overall) since the Jacks last fell at home. To top it all off, the Jackrabbits were riding a 54-game winning streak when leading at halftime.

Apparently, someone forgot to tell the Creighton Bluejays this as CU outscored the Jacks by 14 points in the second half, advancing to the second round of the WNIT. The 72-65 victory happened in front of 4,669 fans at Frost Arena on March 20.

In the second half, Creighton shot an outstanding 70 percent from the field while the Jacks only shot 41.7.

“They kept making shots that led to us becoming rattled on the offense end,” said head coach Aaron Johnston, who was named the Summit League Coach of the Year during his first year in the league. “We started to lose some confidence, and they kept gaining and gaining.”

The Jacks ended their season 23-7 overall and won the Summit League regular season title.

Johnston, while disappointed in the loss, notes that the season was special and he – along with his players – will enjoy the time off.

Exiting the locker room for the second half, the Bluejays found themselves down by seven and came out with something to prove. They scored on their first five consecutive trips down the floor and made their first nine of 11 shots.

The Jacks had an answer in Jenn Warkenthien who scored on the Jacks’ first four trips, including two free throws. The Jacks ran out of answers to their runs as the defense’s intensity and hot shooting ran out in the Jacks’ last game of the 2007-08 season.

Creighton coach Jim Flanery gave credit to his players, who changed the momentum of the game.

Mid-way through the nine-minute mark, Johnston barked for his team to wake up on defense, but Creighton’s hot shots ended a second WNIT run for the Jackrabbits.

“I think we really relaxed a lot on the defense end,” said senior Andrea Verdegan.

The Jacks will be eligible for the Summit League post-season tournament at the Sioux Falls Arena and for the NCAA postseason in the 2008-09 the first time ever in the D-I era.

I don’t know what shooting team showed up,” Flanery said. “It wasn’t the team we had the last few games.”

While Johnston was not pleased with the home-winning and overall win streaks being snapped, he realized streaks are rare for a reason.

“Streaks coming to an end are bound to happen,” he said.

When asked if Johnston was going to use the loss as motivation for next year, he explained that both he and his players “were tired and could use the rest.”