Creighton women’s basketball beat Butler on the road Sunday, emerging with a 75-65 victory.
It was the eighth consecutive win for the Bluejays, who spent a significant amount of time trailing before taking control. This game marked the first of a three-game stretch in which they’ll play teams in the bottom three of the conference standings.
Here are three takeaways from the game:
Bluejays Control Second Half
Early in the third quarter, Creighton faced its largest deficit of the game at six points.
It responded to that with a massive run to take control. Lauren Jensen got to the free-throw line to answer Butler’s opening possession of the half, and Emma Ronsiek followed with an and-one and assist to Molly Mogensen for a three. Two buckets from Morgan Maly, coming before and after a Butler timeout, pushed it to a 12-0 run and six-point Bluejay lead.
The Bulldogs stopped their scoring drought after that, but Creighton kept momentum, scoring the next nine to cap off a 21-2 run in total. Jensen blew by defenders for an and-one finish, and Ronsiek and Kennedy Townsend knocked down threes.
That six-minute stretch made the difference. Creighton didn’t quite completely run away with it, never leading by more than 13 the rest of the way, but had no trouble maintaining a comfortable advantage. Every time the home team scored or strung together a few buckets, the Bluejays had an answer. There were more defensive plays made too, as the Bulldogs shot 38.6% from the field in the second half.
On the other hand, Creighton made 53.6% of its second-half attempts, while also knocking down nine free throws. Despite facing some challenges, the team cruised to the win, much like it has done plenty of times through the current winning streak.
Butler Gives First-Half Challenge
While Butler now sits at 1-10 in Big East play, it has at least been able to slightly annoy some of its opponents.
The Bulldogs led DePaul by seven after the first quarter in their most recent game, and went into halftime at Marquette up six. They lost both of those contests, but continued to be competitive against the Bluejays early.
Creighton opened up strong, scoring the first four points of the contest and leading by eight with 2:31 to go in the first quarter. Butler ended the period on a 7-0 run, however, as the visitors missed three 3-pointers and turned the ball over once in that span. The second quarter was an even more successful one, as the Bulldogs shot 56.3% from the field, blocked four shots, forced three turnovers and held Creighton to 5-for-15 shooting.
Butler scored 14 of its 21 second-quarter points in the paint, often with little resistance. It shot just one three, making it. Creighton’s interior defense has at times been a weakness for the team, and Butler was able to take advantage.
Creighton was kept well within range thanks to 4-for-6 shooting from beyond the arc in the second quarter. Lauren Jensen made two of those, scoring 12 of her 19 points Sunday in the first half. Even when the Bluejays aren’t quite clicking for stretches, their offensive firepower makes it hard for opponents to build up a significant advantage or keep it.
Ronsiek Drops 26 Points
There were plenty of strong performances on Sunday for Creighton, but Emma Ronsiek led the way.
She put up 26 points on 10-for-15 shooting, marking her fifth time scoring at least 25. In the first game the Bluejays played against Butler, she had 25 points on one less shot attempt. She did all the things she typically does well, using her craftiness in the post while also hitting a few threes.
On one play, she spun baseline from the post, away from an incoming double team, and dropped in a mid-range shot. In the second half, she drove through contact for an and-one and drew a foul on a scoop shot where the ball started about a foot off the ground. Down the stretch, the Bulldogs had trouble guarding her and the rest of the Bluejays, and Ronsiek’s 14 second-half points served as evidence of that. She made all four of her shots inside the arc after halftime.
She also finished the game with nine rebounds, two assists and two blocks. Jensen and Maly scored double-digits as well, with the latter adding six rebounds, four assists, a block and a steal. Molly Mogensen scored all nine of her points in the second half, and Mallory Brake led all players with 12 rebounds.