QUEENS, N.Y. — Creighton tuned up for the Big East women’s tournament Sunday by handing St. John’s a 64-57 loss in the regular-season finale.
Sydney Lamberty scored 18 points for the Bluejays, who turned in a strong defensive effort in denying the Red Storm a chance to tie for second. Creighton limited St. John’s to 38.7 percent shooting and forced 11 turnovers.
“We showed the most toughness that we have all season,” coach Jim Flanery said.
The Bluejays displayed a lot of that toughness in holding off St. John’s down the stretch. Creighton trailed by a point entering the final 10 minutes, but the Bluejays took a 54-49 lead with an 11-5 spurt.
The Red Storm closed to 56-53 with 3:47 left before a three-point play by MC McGrory and two free throws by Lamberty pushed the Bluejays’ lead to back to eight. Back-to-back baskets by Aliyyah Handford made it a four-point game before Creighton sealed the win at the foul line.
Handford led St. John’s with 19 points. Lamberty made all four of her 3-pointers in a 5-for-11 shooting day, while Audrey Faber added 14 points and Jade Owens 12 to go along with seven assists.
“I thought Syd, Audrey and Jade played well in particular,” Flanery said. “It’s a big win heading into the conference tournament.”
Creighton finished the regular season 14-16, including 8-10 in Big East play. Xavier finished tied with the Bluejays for seventh place, but CU earned the No. 7 seed in the league tournament because of the tiebreaker.
Flanery was encouraged by the win over St. John’s two days after his team turned in a solid effort in a loss to Seton Hall.
“Our focus and fight was good in both games this weekend,” Flanery said.