For the final 6:49 of Sunday's first half, the Creighton women's basketball team was very good and North Dakota State was very bad.
That span was the difference as the Bluejays outscored the Bison 18-0 to finish the first half and made it stick in Creighton's 63-42 win at Sokol Arena in front of 968.
The win was the fourth in a row for the Bluejays (6-2) and the 196th for coach Jim Flanery, who is now tied with former coach and current Athletic Director Bruce Rasmussen for most wins in school history.
NDSU (3-7) trailed 22-19 before Creighton's 18-0 surge turned the game into a blowout. The run was fueled by Ally Jensen's three 3-pointers in as many tries.
“I was just open a couple of times from three, and I was able to knock them down,” Jensen said. “You're going to get hot, and you're going to go on cold spells. And the good thing is that we just fought on defense and were smart on offense when we weren't scoring and were able to get the win.”
Outside of the Bluejay run to close the first half, those cold spells dominated the game for both sides.
Creighton hit 38.2 percent from the floor and North Dakota State shot 26.3 percent. The teams were a combined 19 of 63 in the second half, with each team scoring 23 points.
“We played really well at the end of the first half and kind of put our stamp on the game there,” Flanery said. “When you have that big of a lead and you play them even in the second half, you're going to have plenty of things to work on.”
Flanery said he had multiple concerns with his team's offense heading into play in Cancun, Mexico, next weekend at the Caribbean Challenge.
The Bluejays will face Miami (Ohio) on Friday and South Florida on Saturday.
“Our player movement on offense needs to be better,” he said. “I thought we really started to stand around.”
The coach added that his team needs to improve its communication on defense.
“They weren't efficient in terms of finishing plays,” he said, “but they ran the ball at us on offense, and we did not communicate as well as we needed to.”
Carli Tritz and Alyssa Kamphaus led Creighton with 11 points. Sarah Nelson added 10. Kamphaus also had 10 rebounds.
Nelson said the first-half run was key in securing the win when the offense struggled in the second.
“We kind of got that lead stretched out in the first half,” Nelson said, “which was nice when we kind of went through that stretch in the second half when we couldn't make a shot.”
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