DES MOINES — Creighton overwhelmed Drake on the offensive end Saturday, but the Bluejays’ defense left coach Jim Flanery wanting.
Marissa Janning scored 22 points, McKenzie Fujan had 20 and Sarah Nelson added 19 as Creighton posted a 98-71 win at the Knapp Center. The 56-42 halftime score was similar to the finals of some of the grind-it-out battles the teams have played in recent years.
“It was like a video game,” Flanery said. “Both teams were up and down. They couldn’t stop us, but we couldn’t stop them, either.”
While conceding that he was pleased with the way his team played offensively, Flanery would have preferred to see a little more defense.
“It was definitely more of a spectators’ game than a coaches’ game,” he said. “Our players have definitely done a good job of getting into the gym and working on their games to give us a chance to win a game like this.
“But I told them afterward that I’m going to stay on them to get to where we need to be defensively.”
The 98 points matched the Bluejays’ best in Flanery’s 11 seasons as coach, though the 71 points were the most they have allowed in nine Missouri Valley Conference games and the third-highest in a 16-4 season.
What was particularly pleasing offensively, Flanery said, was Creighton’s effectiveness inside the arc.
The Bluejays came into the game leading the nation in 3-pointers, and made 11 of 24 shots from behind the arc. Creighton shot 77 percent inside of it, making 29 of 37 shots.
“We’ve had a lot of games this season where we’ve shot better from 3 than on 2-point shots,” Flanery said. “We made a lot more midrange shots today. McKenzie was particularly effective with her midrange game. She’s finally healthy and she’s in shape. I’m really excited what she can do, because her game gives us something other than a 3 or a post-up basket.”
Fujan made 9 of 11 shots from the field and Nelson was 8 of 9 with seven assists against no turnovers. Janning sank five of the Bluejays’ 11 3-pointers, including back-to-back-to-back 3s after Drake pulled within nine in the second half.
Overall, Creighton shot 65.6 percent from the field in improving to 8-1 in the league. Alexis Akin-Otiko added 13 points for the Bluejays, who remain a half-game behind first-place Wichita State.
Drake dropped to 6-13 and 2-7. Morgan Reid led the Bulldogs with 16 points, while Kyndal Clark finished with 13.
• Video: Jim Flanery's postgame thoughts: