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Creighton Women’s Basketball Holds Off Georgetown in 77-72 Road Win

by Jan 24, 2024Creighton Womens Basketball

Creighton Bluejay guard Lauren Jensen (15) celebrates a three pointer in the first quarter in  against the Nebraska Cornhuskers during the basketball game on Sunday, November 19, 2023, in Lincoln, Nebraska. Photo by John S. Peterson.
Photo Credit: John Peterson

Creighton women’s basketball earned its fifth straight win Wednesday night, knocking off Georgetown on the road 77-72.

The Bluejays led for over 36 minutes of game time, but were challenged throughout. Four players scored in double-digits, led by 21 points from Lauren Jensen and 20 from Morgan Maly.

Here are three takeaways from the contest:

Winning a Close One

Generally, the first half unfolded like a number of others have in Big East play for Creighton.

In each of its five conference wins coming into the night, the Bluejays didn’t spend a ton of time trailing and got out to a healthy lead by halftime. In those contests, their smallest halftime advantage was eight points and the largest was 12.

This time, Creighton was up by 11 heading into the break, appearing on track for more of the same. However, the previous trend included the Bluejays holding the opponent at bay for the entirety of the second half, never letting their foe get back within one score. On this occasion, Georgetown fought back hard.

After trailing by 14 late in the second quarter, the Hoyas opened the second half on an 11-4 run over the course of four minutes. They turned up the intensity on defense, only allowing a few layups from Mallory Brake off of full-court presses that Creighton broke. The Bluejays responded with points not too long after, but another run from Georgetown tied the score up at 51 with 2:55 to go in the third quarter.

The Hoyas took their first lead of the game late in the third, but entered the final period even with the visitors after splitting a pair of free throws.

Creighton didn’t let things continue in that direction. The teams spent the first few minutes of the fourth quarter trading points, but Lauren Jensen made a couple plays to get her team back in control. Trailing by one again, she nailed a three as a Georgetown player ran into her for a four-point play. The Bluejays got a stop after the made free throw, and Jensen dropped in a floater to bring the lead back up to five.

With over five minutes still to play at that point, that advantage wasn’t a safe one at all, but Creighton never relinquished it again. The five-point final margin tied for the closest win the team has had. The Bluejays beat Nebraska 79-74 early in the year, with the next closest game coming in a seven-point win over DePaul where the Blue Demons didn’t pose too much of a threat down the stretch.

There hopefully weren’t many doubts that Creighton could win close games, but it was encouraging to see the Bluejays do it on the road against a solid conference foe.

Emma Ronsiek Closes Things Out

Emma Ronsiek, who entered the day as perhaps the most reliable player on the team this season, struggled to get going through three quarters.

She shot 2-for-8 from the field to that point, having also collected three fouls. The forward surprisingly couldn’t convert on some layups and gave up a key bucket or two defensively. It wasn’t a totally awful performance, but one not at the level typically seen from her this year.

That changed dramatically in the fourth quarter, where she scored 10 points on 5-for-6 shooting. Two of those buckets came in the final minute, both pushing a three-point advantage back to five. On the first, she spun toward the paint from the post and scooped up a tough layup that softly rolled around the rim before dropping.

Georgetown scored again, and decided to play things out with a five-second difference between shot and game clock. The Hoyas nearly got what they wanted, with an aggressive entry pass denial knocking the ball away from Ronsiek. The Creighton forward was still quicker to the ball than the nearest opposing player, however, grabbing it and turning for the game-sealing score.

Bluejay Offense Succeeds Against Tough Test

Georgetown’s defense ranked in the top 10 nationally entering the game, allowing 52.8 points per game.

Even considering a low pace of play and uninspiring strength of schedule, the Hoyas brought in one of the better defenses Creighton had faced this season. They had held most of their opponents below their average scoring numbers.

On this night, though, Ronsiek knocked down a three almost immediately after tipoff and the Bluejays raced out to 25 first-quarter points. Only UConn has scored more than that in any quarter against Georgetown this season. Morgan Maly made her first six shots from the field, including a 5-for-5 opening period.

Georgetown’s defense did step up more after that, but Creighton’s 77 points on the night were better than what it usually produces. That’s a success, especially on the road.

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