Creighton women's basketball players and coaches are convinced that what ails them is nothing that a few baskets wouldn't fix.
The Bluejays have lost three straight games heading into this week's Duel in the Desert tournament at Nevada-Las Vegas. Creighton has shot 21.1, 30.2 and 23.1 percent in dropping games to Oklahoma, Brigham Young and Nebraska.
“Shooting 20 percent from the field obviously isn't going to get the job done,” Creighton guard McKenzie Fujan said. “When you're not hitting shots, it takes a toll on your confidence.”
Teammate Sarah Nelson said the Bluejays are performing other aspects of the game well enough to win.
“We didn't necessarily play bad at Nebraska,” said Nelson, referring to Saturday's 63-38 loss that dropped Creighton to 4-5. “We just couldn't make shots in the second half.
“We understand our shooting is what we need to fix rather than, say, we were playing terrible defense. It's a matter of getting into the gym and getting up extra shots.”
Heading into Thursday's game against Oregon State, Creighton ranks 295th out of 343 Division I teams in field-goal percentage (.359) and 221st in 3-point field-goal percentage (28.1).
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The Bluejays have allowed 61 points per game, which ranks them 73rd in scoring defense, but that has been offset by an offense that is 308th (57.9 points per game).
Creighton coach Jim Flanery plans to juggle his lineup in an attempt to put some juice in the offense. He is moving sophomore Marissa Janning, the team's leading scorer at 16.3 points per game, from point guard to off guard.
Junior Sammy Jensen will take over at the point. It will be her first start.
Flanery said relying on Janning to score as well as run the offense might be a reason the offense has bogged down at times.
“We're going to simplify things,'' Flanery said. “Now, Marissa won't have to be as selective in things she's looking at. I think she and McKenzie realize that we want them to be aggressive wing scorers.
“This could make us a little more aggressive as a team because Marissa isn't going to be as ball-dominant.''
Jensen, whose sister, Ally, played the point the past several seasons, has been used primarily as a 3-point shooter throughout her career.
Flanery has faith that she can handle the point guard spot.
“She's not quick and she's not flashy, but historically, she's been a very low turnover player for us,'' he said. “It's not like we're a structure team, and we're asking her to get us into our offense a lot.
“We want to throw the ball ahead to Marissa and McKenzie. That's part of it, too, as opposed to having Marissa throw the ball ahead to someone that can't make plays. Now, she'll be one of the players we're throwing the ball ahead to.''
Creighton also will face Clemson (6-3) on Friday and UNLV (2-7) on Saturday in its final tune-up before starting Big East play on Dec. 28 against Villanova.
Like his players, Flanery is convinced Creighton can make progress if it can just start making shots.
“I'm concerned that we can't make shots,'' Flanery said. “The law of averages says we're a better shooting team than we've displayed.
“I don't know if we've ever shot it this poorly in a three-game stretch. This is just something we have to get through and get better.''
NOTES: Flanery said freshman MC McGrory could see her first action of the season in the tournament. McGrory has practiced this week after being sidelined by a concussion sustained in preseason practice. … Creighton owns a 3-1 edge in its series with Oregon State. The last meeting came in 2006, with the Bluejays claiming a 74-62 win in Omaha.