WNIT Game Factors

Chris Mangan

Chris Mangan

In a game of runs, the Creighton Bluejays used a run that lasted the whole second half in a 76-69 victory over the Jackrabbit women’s basketball team in the first round of the WNIT.

Creighton shot close to 71 percent in the second half, including scores on their first five possessions, and just under 56.5 for the game. The Jays were even better from behind the arc in the second half, making six of their eight attempts compared to making three of ten in the first half. The spark plug for the Jays run in the second half was guard Kelsey Woodard; Woodard scored 23 of her 29 points in the second half.

“Unbelievable, I guess she hit her first nine shots in the second half,” Creighton head coach Jim Flanery said of Woodard’s performance.

Another key factor in the game was Creighton’s ability to keep the game close and the crowd out of it when the Jacks were trying to pull away. Whenever the Jacks would go on a run the Jays would answer. The Jacks were up 10 with just over three minutes left in the first half but the Jays were able to keep the game close and get within seven at half which set up their big run in the second half.

The Jacks were also coming off a long layoff. The Jacks hadn’t played a game in almost two weeks and head coach Aaron Johnston said that “it would have showed in the first five minutes not in the second half.” The Jacks also hadn’t played a close game in almost a month.

Random facts about the WNIT

* Redshirt freshman Jill Young verbally committed to Creighton but changed her mind just a few days into the first semester.

* The Jacks announced that they had hired Mark Burgers as associate athletic director for external operations on Thursday. Burgers is a Creighton graduate.

* The Bluejays brought a large crowd that included a band and a few cheerleaders.

* Many of the Bluejay fans opted to drive the 235 miles north from Omaha instead of staying put and watching the Men’s NCAA Regional.

* The Jacks have lost all three games against Creighton.

* Creighton won the WNIT in 2004.