Published Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 12:01 am / Updated at 1:07 am
BASKETBALL
Fujan keys second-half run to lift CU past Rebels

LAS VEGAS — McKenzie Fujan scored 17 points and Sarah Nelson added 15 to lead Creighton to a 66-56 win over UNLV on Saturday.

Fujan scored seven straight points during a decisive 12-0 stretch in the second half.

The win gave Creighton the Scarlet Division championship in the Duel in the Desert tournament. Oregon State and Creighton each finished 2-1 in the round-robin format, but the Jays earned the title based on their 70-62 win over the Beavers on Thursday.

“It was a solid performance,” coach Jim Flanery said. “We've still got some things to work on, but it was definitely much better than (Friday) night.”

Flanery was pleased with the Jays' attention to detail less than 24 hours after a disappointing loss Friday to Clemson.

Specifically, he noted Creighton's 40-35 advantage in rebounding and how the Jays overcame another sluggish start. After committing seven turnovers before the first media timeout, Creighton had only eight the rest of the game.

The first half was closely contested, with neither team's margin exceeding four points.

Creighton took the momentum into halftime after Brianna Rollerson's putback at the buzzer pulled the Jays to within 34-33.

Creighton's Sammy Jensen then hit a 3-pointer on the first possession of the second half, and the teams went back and forth for the next seven minutes.

Fujan's jumper with 12:57 left, however, started a string of seven consecutive points for the senior from Wahoo Neumann. Alexis Akin-Otiko added a basket, and Jordan Garrison's only 3-pointer gave the Jays a 58-46 lead with 9:41 remaining. UNLV would get no closer than nine the rest of the contest.

The Bluejays play their Big East opener at 2 p.m. next Saturday, when they host Villanova at D.J. Sokol Arena.

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