Queens, NY — Ten months. That’s how long the Creighton Bluejays have been waiting to seek revenge against the St. John’s Red Storm, who beat them at the end of the road in the Big East Championship last year.
And they did just that, as Creighton beat St. John’s on the Red Storm’s home court tonight, 55-43.
The Bluejays and the Red Storm have had many battles over their first three seasons as Big East opponents, splitting their regular season series and St. John’s taking a 3-0 advantage in the postseason. And their competition is one Coach Jim Flanery respects: “It’s weird that if you would’ve told me when we got into the Big East that St. John’s would maybe be our rival -- I would not have necessarily believed that.”
Crystal Simmons saw her only points of the night when she drained two consecutive treys to give the lead back to the Red Storm early in the second quarter after trailing 14-9 in the first. That would be the last lead they would see, though, as Creighton held St. John’s for seven minutes without scoring for the remainder of the half. During that stretch, the Bluejays add 13 points to their total.
Alisha Kebbe finally put a stop to Creighton’s defensive hold with a quick layup under the basket. Maya Singleton, put up one more to try to help her team who went 7-29 in the first half, and an aggravated Red Storm headed into the locker room down, 28-19.
St. John’s came into the second half looking for some sort of offensive spark. They were able to take control of the third quarter, outscoring Creighton 13-10. But the Bluejays had already established control of this game earlier which they were not letting go of.
Lauren Works, who led the Bluejays in scoring on the night with 12 points, knocked down a three-pointer to stretch the gap to 10 points. With a jumper from Audrey Faber, the second Bluejay to notch double-digit figures with 10, gave Creighton their largest lead of the game by 14 points with just under a minute and a half left to play.
Flanery admitted, “We weren’t very good on offense, but we were good enough.”
Good enough to dictate a 55-43 victory, moving the Bluejays to 7-1 in Big East conference play.
Coach Joe Tartamella said it’s his Red Storm’s approach that he is frustrated with: “We changed momentum in the second half, but too many empty possessions. We missed a boatload of shots, and we couldn’t score. If we don’t fix that, we won’t win. You can’t win in this league scoring 43 points.”
Jade Walker, who is averaging 18.9 points a game in league play for St. John’s and ranked second in the conference, was held to just nine points by Creighton in tonight’s contest.
Next up in St. John’s four-game home stand will be Providence on Jan. 22 who is experiencing their own six-game losing slump. The most recent coming from Seton Hall. Creighton will face Seton Hall on Jan. 22.