Having played its last game a week ago, a 58-52 loss at Butler, the Creighton women’s basketball team had plenty of time to listen to coach Jim Flanery stress the urgency of controlling the glass Saturday against Marquette.
That would seem to be a tall order considering the Golden Eagles entered the game outboarding their opponents by 14.3 per game.
The Bluejays got the message and outworked a physical Marquette team all game, winning the battle of the glass 41-30 in an 83-64 drubbing of the Golden Eagles in front of 1,361 fans at D.J. Sokol Arena.
Marissa Janning led CU with 23 points and eight assists, and freshman Brianna Rollerson registered her first double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Rollerson’s 10 rebounds were a career high, and Sammy Jensen turned in a career-best 10 points as all 11 Bluejays scored.
“Obviously, 41-30 on the glass is the key stat of the game,” Flanery said. “Having a full week to prepare made it easy to drive home the message that rebounding was going to be at a premium.”
Marquette tried to set a physical tone early, but a Creighton offense that started the day ranked second in the Big East at 70.3 points per game was able to turn up the pace as the Golden Eagles struggled to score.
And when Marquette forced the Bluejays into a half-court game, CU prevailed there, too. Creighton scored 36 points in the paint to the Golden Eagles’ 20.
Sarah Nelson was limited to eight points, short of her season average of 12.5, but she collected nine rebounds to help the Jays control the post and free up the outside.
“I’ll say it was a little rough down in the post,” Nelson said. “It took a couple hits to see what we were going into.”
Marquette was just 6 of 27 (22.2 percent) from the floor in the first half while the Jays shot 50 percent (16 of 32) in building a 44-27 halftime lead.
The Bluejays allowed just eight points by Katherine Plouffe, the Golden Eagles’ top scorer at 22.2 points per game.
Janning, who was knocked to the floor on a few occasions in the first half, said she had the perfect antidote for Marquette’s physical play: run until Marquette’s bigger players couldn’t keep up with her anymore.
“It was kind of rough when you were on offense because they could kind of throw you around a little bit,” Janning said. “I’ll run them for days. I’ll just take them on a run.”
The Bluejays (12-8, 6-2 Big East) have won seven of their past nine games. They’ll hit the road with games at Seton Hall on Tuesday and Villanova on Saturday.
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Video: Creighton-Marquette highlights:
Video: Postgame press conference: