No. 21 Creighton faces off against South Dakota on the road Thursday. A victory for Creighton would end their two-game road trip to South Dakota with back-to-back victories, while a win for South Dakota would not only be a surprise, it would also make them 2-0 to start the season.
For Creighton, it starts and ends with Lauren Jensen. She is the Bluejays’ engine, their offensive firepower, and if she can get going early, she could destroy any hopes of an upset. Against No. 23 South Dakota State in the season opener, she had 30 points and five assists and shot 50 percent from the field.
Being so guard-heavy, Creighton will have to ensure they can score at a high rate all season long if they want to make another big run in the NCAA tournament. To do that, they’ll need players like Molly Mogensen and Jayme Horan to play well. Mogensen led the team in rebounds on opening night with seven boards and needs to stay aggressive on the glass to help the Bluejays win the rebounding battle. Horan had 8 points, leading all scorers on the bench and looks to be taking a junior jump in offensive performance. If Creighton can get similarly productive games on Thursday from Jensen, Mogensen and Horan, it should be night night in South Dakota once again.
For the Coyotes, this will be their first actual test. They played a much easier opponent in Midland University to start the season and beat them handily, 106-41. They’ll undoubtedly face much more resistance against Creighton and are the underdog in the matchup. One advantage they have is that they are the bigger team and have more options at the four and five positions. Can they use their size advantage, get players like Alexi Hempe going early and slow the game down a bit? She had a fantastic game to start the season, scoring 18 points, but can she replicate that success against a more formidable opponent? We will find out soon enough.
No. 21 Creighton Bluejays (1-0, 0-0 Big East) vs. South Dakota Coyotes (1-0, 0-0 Summit)
When: Thursday, Nov. 10 at 8 p.m. ET
Where: Sanford Coyote Sports Center
How to watch/listen: ESPN Plus/ 1180 The Zone
Key to the matchup: Creighton will try to overwhelm South Dakota early and end the night quickly with their fast-paced offense and star player Lauren Jensen. South Dakota will have to combat this by slowing the game down, using its size advantage and winning the rebounding battle. The Coyotes will have to play a complete game as the Bluejays can get red-hot on offense at any moment.