Published Friday, January 24, 2014 at 8:21 pm / Updated at 8:30 pm
Creighton looks to Fujan to provide lift on offense
Marquette at Creighton
When: 3 p.m. Saturday
Where: Sokol Arena
Radio: 1180 AM KZOT

MARQUETTE (13-4, 4-2)
F Katherine Plouffe, 6-3, Sr., 19.6
F Apiew Ojulu, 6-3, Jr., 9.3
G Katie Young, 5-11, Sr., 12.8
G Brooklyn Pumroy, 5-9, So., 9.0
G Cristina Bigica, 5-10, Jr., 5.5

CREIGHTON (11-8, 5-2)
F Sarah Nelson, 6-0, Sr., 12.5
C Alyssa Kamphaus, 6-3, Sr., 3.7
G Sammy Jensen, 5-5, Jr., 2.1
G McKenzie Fujan, 5-11, Sr., 11.6
G Marissa Janning, 5-8, So., 17.1

Creighton leads the series 5-2, though the Golden Eagles have won two of the past three.

The Bluejays are shooting 45.8 percent in their 11 wins and 30.7 in their eight losses.

Creighton is tied for 10th nationally in fewest turnovers per game (12.6). Fellow Big East member Villanova leads the nation at 9.4 turnovers per game.

The tone in Creighton women’s basketball coach Jim Flanery’s voice indicated he’s tired of watching his team pinball its way through the offensive spectrum.

The Bluejays have scored 48, 97, 79 and 52 points, respectively, in their last four Big East games. Nebraska held them to 38 points in December. Five nights later, Creighton put up 70 against Oregon State.

“We’ve just had too many games where we’ve been really bad on offense,” Flanery said. “Not just below average but really bad. We have to find a way to be more consistent.”

Creighton has had a week to work on cleaning up its offensive problems since a 58-52 loss to Butler knocked the Bluejays out of first place in the conference. Creighton (11-8, 5-2) is second behind St. John’s heading into Saturday’s 3 p.m. game against Marquette.

The Golden Eagles (13-4, 4-2) are tied with DePaul for third place. With the league race nearing its midpoint, 2 games separate the team in first place and those tied for seventh (Butler and Xavier).

“I think what we’re finding with the new league is that there is no bottom to it,” Flanery said. “You’re always looking for someone here or there that you can just pound on.

“We can play with any team in the league, and I know everyone says that. But anybody can beat us, particularly when we play the way we have on offense in some of our games.”

Flanery has been looking at putting more structure back in the Bluejays’ offense to take advantage of the strong recent play of McKenzie Fujan. The senior guard is the team’s third-leading scorer behind sophomore Marissa Janning and senior Sarah Nelson with an 11.6 average.

In Big East play, Fujan ranks sixth with a 16.4 average.

“We’ve put in some things for her over the last few weeks,” Flanery said. “We have to make sure we get her involved because she’s shooting a high percentage from both the two and the three.”

Creighton will try to counter the Golden Eagles’ rebounding. Marquette leads the league in rebounding margin (plus-13.5) and is averaging 14.5 offensive rebounds per game.

Senior forward Katherine Plouffe leads the Golden Eagles in scoring (19.6 points per game) and rebounding (10.5).

Contact the writer: Steven Pivovar    |   402-679-2298    |  

Steven Pivovar is a staff writer for The Omaha World-Herald and primarily covers Creighton athletics and the College World Series.



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