Omaha, Neb. — Limited to eight healthy bodies due to injuries, the Creighton women’s basketball team pushed Butler to the brink before falling 73-67 on Sunday, Jan. 26th.
The loss dropped the Bluejays to 13-7 on the season and 5-4 in BIG EAST play, while Butler moved to 14-6 on the season and 6-3 in conference action.
Both teams sizzled from the field in the first quarter as Butler shot 70% (7-of-10), while the Bluejays went 8-of-15 (53.3%). Tied at 10-10 with 5:36 remaining in the opening period, back-to-back treys from juniors Tatum Rembao and Temi Carda pushed Creighton out to a 16-10 edge. Following a defensive stop, Carda connected on a pull-up jumper to push the Bluejays out to their largest advantage of the game at 18-10 (3:50). Butler rallied within four by increasing their backcourt pressure, yet the Bluejays took a 22-16 lead into the second.
Chipping away at the Creighton lead throughout the second, the Bulldogs remained hot in the second quarter, shooting 7-of-14 (50%). Despite the Bulldogs scorching stroke the Bluejays held the advantage into the final minute of the half, going into halftime knotted at 37-37.
The game turned Butler’s way in the opening two minutes of the third as the Bulldogs turned three Creighton turnovers into an 8-0 run. Eventually Butler pushed its lead to double-digits at 53-43, but the Bluejays responded with seven straight. Carda started the Bluejay rally with a trey from the corner, then senior Olivia Elger and Rembao connected inside the circle to make it 53-50 (2:08). Over the final two minutes the Bulldogs took advantage of Creighton foul trouble to knock down four free throws and hold a 57-52 edge entering the fourth.
A physical final frame that saw 14 fouls called, including an intentional foul of Butler’s Kristen Spolyar, closed the contest. A contested call with 4:15 remaining sent Carda to the bench with her fifth foul and put the Bluejays down 67-60. Quickly Rembao rallied her team with a trifecta to cut the game to 67-63. Moments later Spoylar was cited for an intentional foul on the offensive end. While the Bluejays were unable to connect from the free throw line, Creighton pulled within two at 67-65 with 2:37 left. Butler, however, got a three-pointer of its own from Naira Caceres to regain breathing room and closed the game out.
Rembao led Creighton with 23 points. Three other Bluejays finished in double figures with 14 points from freshman Carly Bachelor, and 13 from both Carda and Elger.
Butler got a game-high 25 points from Spolyar, 14 points from Caceres and 12 points by Upe Atosu.
Creighton returns to the court on Friday, Jan. 31st as the Bluejays hit the road to face DePaul in Wintrust Arena. The game is set to tip at 7:00 pm