Jacks fall to Bluejays in WNIT

Ariy-El Boynton

Ariy-El Boynton

At halftime of the first round Women’s National Invitational Tournament, the Creighton/SDSU game seemed to be a foregone conclusion in SDSU’s favor.

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

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

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 coach Aaron Johnston who was named the Summit League Coach of the year in 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.

Coming out of 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 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 which 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 shooting ended a second straight WNIT run for the Jackrabbits.

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

In the early going it appeared as though it would be easy sailing for the Jackrabbits as sophomore Ketty Cornemann scored the first five points for the Jacks and the Jacks commanded an early 13-5 lead.

Not to be out done Creighton went on a 9-2 run themselves under strong offense and stronger defense from first team all-Missouri Valley conference guard Ally Thrall. The Jacks went on to silence the Creighton run in the first half and rode a 34-27 lead in the first half.

Coach Johnston explained the difficulty of beating a team like the Bluejays.

“It’s hard to win in the postseason,” he said.

Kelsey Woodard lead CU with 29 points while Thrall ended with 19.

Warkenthien ended with 26 and Cornemann had 13.