Reading awareness is one of a number of things Creighton might want to work on following Saturday’s 69-48 women’s basketball loss to Oklahoma.
A lack of attention to detail to the pregame scouting report wasn’t the only reason the Bluejays were unable to pull off the upset against the Nos. 12 and 14 Sooners, but it certainly contributed to the loss.
“How poorly we shot the ball exaggerated the score a little bit,” Creighton guard Ally Jensen said. “There are going to be nights when you don’t shoot the ball well. Defensively, we just didn’t follow the scout as well as we should have.
“We left shooters and tried to help from places we shouldn’t have. We broke down defensively.”
Some of the most decisive breakdowns came in the spurt that carried Oklahoma from an early 8-2 deficit to a 26-14 lead. Aaryn Ellenberg had eight of her 19 points during the 24-6 run, while Whitney Hand had six of her 14.
Creighton coach Jim Flanery said several of those baskets came when his guards left Ellenberg and Hand to try to help out on the interior.
“It comes down to scouting report awareness,” Flanery said. “We left Ellenberg open, we left Hand open. We talked about where and when we could help from, and we helped from the wrong places.
“They’re both good scorers. When you let good scorers get open shots and untracked early, then they start making tough shots. We gave them wide-open shots to let them get going.”
Meanwhile, Creighton had difficulty making tough shots, easy shots and anything in between. After making half of their first six shots to take their early lead, the Bluejays went cold.
They missed 12 of their next 14 shots as Oklahoma took its first 10-point lead. Creighton shot 26.2 percent from the game and made just 7 of 31 3-point attempts (22.6 percent).
Which brings up another point — shot selection — that Flanery probably will address this week in practice.
“There were times when we over-penetrated and didn’t settle for the medium-range shot,” Flanery said. “Our bigger guards have to make those 12- to 15-foot shots against a defense like we saw today.
“And we got a little too perimeter. We never were able to put together back-to-back 3s.”
Jensen led Creighton with 13 points, making 5 of her 10 field-goal attempts. She was the only Bluejay to play significant minutes who made at least half of her attempts.
The Sooners held Creighton’s top two returning scorers — Carli Tritz and Sarah Nelson — to a combined 11 points on 5-of-18 shooting.
“What Creighton does is hard to guard, and I thought we adjusted and communicated in spite of having a lot of different lineups and assignments,” Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale said. “I was really pleased with how we guarded them.”
Ellenberg and Hand each made 3 of 4 shots from beyond the arc to help the Sooners shoot 50 percent from 3-point range. Overall, Oklahoma shot 48.2 percent and finished with a 44-33 rebounding advantage.
Creighton now has three days to prepare for its next game, a Wednesday night road contest at South Dakota State. Nelson didn’t hesitate when asked what areas the Bluejays need to prioritize for improvement.
“No. 1, we definitely need to know our scout,” she said. “We need to work on our one-on-one defense, and we have to understand that every team, even the best teams, are going to have times when they go cold and can’t make shots.”
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