Cancun, Mexico — Down 29-20 with 3:38 left in the first half, the Creighton women’s basketball team used a 9-0 run to change the dynamic of its 69-59 win over Temple to close out the Cancun Challenge on Friday, Nov. 29th.
The win pushed Creighton to 6-1 on the season and 2-0 in Cancun Challenge, while Temple fell to 4-4 overall and 0-2 in Cancun.
A sluggish first quarter saw the Bluejays take a 6-1 lead (7:00) and hold a 9-5 edge with 3:13 left in the frame. Temple, however, closed the quarter with an 11-2 run to take a 16-11 edge after one period.
The Bluejays offensive struggles continued through the better part of the second quarter as Creighton was just 7-of-22 (32%) through the first 16 minutes of play.
Down 29-20 freshman Gracey Griglione swooped in for an offensive rebound and a put back with 3:11 on the clock. Following a pair of defensive stops, junior Temi Carda sank two from the free throw line to make it 29-24 (2:01). Moments later Carda delivered a driving layup with under a minute left. Creighton’s fifth defensive stop in the final three minutes gave the Bluejays the final possession of the half.
With the shot clock winding down, Carda passed the ball to Griglione. The Iowa native returned the ball to Carda, but a momentary mishandle forced the Minnesota native to launch a desperate shot from long range that found nothing but the bottom of the net to send the teams to the half knotted at 29-29.
“The last shot was lucky, but this team’s ability to fight back into the game in the final part of the half is something special,” said Carda after the game.
Returning to the floor with all the momentum, Creighton reclaimed the lead at 32-31 on a driving layup from junior Tatum Rembao (8:15). The two teams traded the edge seven times in the third quarter, with the Bluejays holding a 48-45 advantage as the game moved to the fourth quarter.
Following a layup from Temple’s Mia Davis to make it a one-point game at 48-47 (9:50), consecutive buckets from Carda and senior Jaylyn Agnew gave the Bluejays a little breathing room at 52-47 (8:58). The Owls answered with another bucket on the interior by Davis, only to watch Rembao connect from downtown to give the Bluejays a 55-49 lead (8:02).
Temple got no closer than five (60-55 with 5:19 left) the rest of the way, while a late trey by senior Olivia Elger sealed the Bluejay win with 2:20 remaining by pushing the Bluejay advantage to 64-55.
Carda led Creighton with 17 points, while Agnew and Elger closed the game with 15 and 12 points respectively. Bluejay freshman Mykel Parham was impressive in the victory with seven points and a team-high 11 rebounds.
Davis led Temple with a game-high 18 points in the loss, while Shannen Atkinson finished with a double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds.
The Bluejays are back in action on Wednesday, Dec. 4th as Creighton travels to Vermillion, S.D. to face the South Dakota Coyotes at 7:00 pm.