Creighton’s offensive versatility Tuesday night proved too much for South Dakota to handle as the Bluejays cruised to a 63-48 victory.
The Coyotes couldn’t handle Alyssa Kamphaus and Brianna Rollerson inside, they couldn’t stop McKenzie Fujan from driving and they had no answers for Marissa Janning’s outside shooting as Creighton improved to 4-2 before 934 at D.J. Sokol Arena.
Janning made three of Creighton’s four 3-point baskets in a 20-point night, while Fujan chipped in 13 by slashing through the South Dakota defense. Kamphaus, who had scored just 15 points in Creighton’s first five games, finished with 10, as did Rollerson.
“We were worried about their 3-point shooting,” South Dakota coach Amy Williams said, “and we didn’t do a good enough job of handling the posts inside.”
Creighton’s 38-26 edge in points in the paint as well as an 11-3 advantage in second-chance points reflects the job Kamphaus and Rollerson did inside.
They had six points in the 18-5 run Creighton used to turn a four-point lead into a 36-19 advantage at halftime. Kamphaus had two quick baskets in the opening minutes of the second half as the Bluejays scored the first seven points to hike their lead to 24 points with 16:09 to play.
“They were a little undersized in the post, and some people weren’t hitting shots, so we were fortunate that we were able to make a few down there,” Kamphaus said. “It wasn’t a point of emphasis, but we got it started early in the game and it continued throughout.”
Creighton managed to outrebound a South Dakota team that was averaging almost 42 rebounds in its first six games. The Bluejays committed just eight turnovers and blocked six shots. One of the few negatives was the way, for the second straight game, that Creighton closed out the contest.
The Coyotes managed to trim Creighton’s lead to 11 points with 6:16 to play before Janning scored five of her points to push the margin back to 16. The Bluejays gave up a late scoring surge in Saturday’s win over Houston that trimmed a 22-point lead to 10 at the end.
“I thought we were really good in the first half,” Creighton coach Jim Flanery said. “We were good early in the second half, but then we got sloppy and we let Seekamp get going.”
Nicole Seekamp scored 13 of her team-high 17 points in the second half for the Coyotes, who dropped to 2-5.
Flanery was especially pleased with what the Bluejays got out of Kamphaus, a 6-foot-3 senior from Seward, Neb., and the 6-0 Rollerson, a redshirt freshman from Omaha Central. The pair combined to make 10 of 14 shots, grab 16 rebounds and block three shots.
“That was clearly Kamp’s best of the year,” Flanery said. “I thought she slowed down and played with more confidence. We need to get Bri better defensively, but she continues to put up good numbers offensively.”
Fujan also did for the second straight game after getting off to a slow start this season. She scored 16 points in the win over Houston, and she made 6 of 9 shots against the Coyotes, who had no one who could guard her off the dribble.
“Kenz is too quick and too strong to let anybody guard her,” Janning said. “She’s so versatile, and she’s figuring out she can basically get any shot that she wants.”
Creighton now faces a pair of challenging games, traveling to play at Oklahoma on Sunday before returning home for a Dec. 7 game against Brigham Young.
“Oklahoma will be a great test because they’re really good at home and they average 86 (points) a game,” Flanery said. “I’m interested to see what our composure is in a place like that.
“We’re 0-and-2 on the road, but I thought we made a big jump from Drake to Kansas. Hopefully, we can make another jump.”
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>> Video: See highlights from Creighton's win over South Dakota:
>> Video: See the postgame press conference with coach Jim Flanery and select players: