Omaha, Neb. — Led by 20 points from senior Jaylyn Agnew, the Creighton women’s basketball team took a step toward its postseason goals with a 67-47 win over Villanova on Friday, Feb. 28th.
The win pushed the Bluejays to 18-10 on the season and 10-7 in BIG EAST play, while Villanova dropped to 16-12 overall and 10-7 in conference action.
The Wildcats opened the game quickly with a 5-0 run, also holding an 8-3 edge with 7:12 left in the opening frame. Creighton responded to the challenge with attacking drives to the basket, getting bucket from junior Temi Carda, sophomore Rachael Saunders and finally taking the lead on a layup from Agnew.
Villanova stopped Creighton’s surge with a trey by Bridget Herlihy, but Bluejay senior Olivia Elger answered from long range at the other end. Moments later Saunders connected from beyond the arc, Saunders’ trey capped a 12-3 Bluejay run in just over three minutes as Creighton held a 15-11 lead with 4:06 remaining. The defenses for both sides stepped up over the final four minutes of the quarter as Creighton held a 15-13 edge heading into the second.
Leading 17-15 at the 7:29 mark, Villanova rattled off six straight points to claim a 21-17 advantage (6:19). A critical three-pointer from Saunders kept Creighton in striking distance, then down 24-23 with 3:57 on the clock the Bluejays reclaimed control with a 7-0 run. Three different Bluejays contributed as senior Olivia Elger got things rolling with a pair of free throws, to give Creighton a 25-24 edge. The following Creighton possession Agnew connected on a contested jumper, then freshman Carly Bachelor delivered a traditional three-point play to push the Bluejays out to a 30-24 lead with 1:54 left. At the half the Bluejays took a 32-26 advantage into the locker room.
The Bluejays began to “Let it Fly” at the onset of the third quarter with Elger and Agnew delivered three-pointers, then Agnew dropped in a pair from the charity strike to push the Creighton lead out to 40-26 (6:18). The Creighton run extended to 12-0 on four consecutive points from Bachelor as Creighton held a 44-26 edge with 5:02 left in the frame. Late in the frame Villanova cut the Bluejays’ lead to 13, but a trey by Agnew in the closing seconds sent Creighton to the fourth with a 53-37 edge.
Creighton held a double-digit lead throughout the fourth quarter, but a trifecta from Wildcat Raven James made it a 59-47 contest with 1:58 left. The Bluejay bench closed the game with an 8-0 run, including the final five from sophomore Gracey Griglione.
Agnew led all scorers with 20 points and also grabbed a team-high eight rebounds. Two other Bluejays finished in double-figures, getting 12 points from Elger and 11 from Saunders. Villanvoa also had three finish in double-figures. James led the Wildcats with 15 points, on five treys, while Maddy Siegrist and Mary Gedaka each finished with 10 points.
Creighton closes out the regular season on Sunday, March 1st as the Bluejays host Georgetown at 1:00 pm.