Coatney's Call: Creighton Preview
Saturday, Dec. 14, 11 a.m. (central)
Pinnacle Bank Arena (Lincoln, Neb.)
Live Video: BTN.com All-Access
Radio: Husker Sports Network
(Matt Coatney-PBP; Jeff Griesch-Analyst)
107.3 FM-KBBK, Lincoln; 93.3 FM-KFFF, Omaha; 1450 AM-KWBE, Beatrice; 1400 AM-KCOW, Alliance: 960 AM-KNEB, Scottsbluff; 1230 AM-KHAS, Hastings; 1340 AM-KHUB, Fremont; 97.3 FM-KBLR, Blair; 1240 AM-KODY and 93.5 FM-KTZL, North Platte
Internet: Free live audio on Huskers.com
It’s been a real pleasure being the radio play-by-play voice of Husker women’s basketball star Jordan Hooper’s college career. She has a multitude of accomplishments and awards in her three-plus seasons. Prior to last Sunday afternoon, almost nothing would surprise me about what J-Hoop does on the floor.
Creighton has advanced to back-to-back NCAA Tournaments for the first time in school history. Last season, the Bluejays defeated Syracuse in the first round before falling at Tennessee. Even though Creighton has changed leagues this year, the Jays' move to the Big East hasn’t changed their philosophy on scheduling tough non-conference opponents. Creighton has already faced Minnesota, Kansas and Oklahoma and comes into Saturday’s game at Nebraska on a two-game losing streak with a 4-4 overall record.
The Bluejays lost former all-conference guard Carli Tritz in the preseason, when she ended her career due to knee problems. Thus, the focus of Creighton’s offense has shifted to 5-8 sophomore guard Marissa Janning. She became the first Bluejay to score 20 points or more in the opening two games of the season since 1992-93, when she posted 21 points in a loss at Drake and 20 in a win against South Dakota State.
Janning has been to the free throw line 52 times, more than the other members of her team combined this season. She leads the team in scoring (17.4 ppg) and three-pointers (17). Janning became the first Bluejay to earn Freshman All-America honors last season and was the first Creighton freshman to claim first-team All-Missouri Valley Conference accolades.
Sarah Nelson returns for her senior season after being named first-team all-conference and to the league All-Defensive team in 2012-13. The 6-0 forward is a versatile player who can score from a variety of positions on the floor. Nelson is second on the team in scoring (11.9 ppg) and leads the team in rebounds (5.8 rpg), assists and steals.
McKenzie Fujan, a 5-11 senior wing, has started 69 of the last 72 games for Creighton, and played some of the best basketball of her career in the 2012-13 postseason. Fujan posted a career-high 24 points in CU’s 61-56 win over Syracuse in the NCAA Tournament. It was Creighton’s first NCAA Tournament victory since Connie Yori led her alma mater to a victory at Bowling Green in the 1994 tournament. Fujan averages 9.8 points and 3.1 rebounds per game.
Alyssa Kamphaus was a high school teammate of Huskers Emily Cady and Hannah Tvrdy and was coached at Seward High by Hannah’s father Tom. The 6-3 senior center has started the last 41 games for Creighton and averages 3.4 points and 4.0 rebounds per game. Kamphaus also has blocked a team-leading 11 shots this season. Jordan Garrison, a 5-5 senior guard, rounds out the probable CU starting lineup. She averages 3.3 points.
Jim Flanery became the winningest coach in Creighton history last season. A long-time assistant to Yori at CU, Flanery is in his 12th season as head coach and 22nd straight season on the Bluejay bench. He has led Creighton to nine postseason appearances and two conference regular-season titles.
Nebraska leads the all-time series with Creighton 27-11, including a seven-game winning streak from 2005-06 through 2011-12. CU snapped NU’s winning streak last season with a 66-57 win in Omaha. Janning led Creighton with 19 points, and the Bluejay defense held Jordan Hooper scoreless in a game for the only time in her career.
I cordially invite you to join Jeff Griesch and me for Nebraska women’s basketball on the Husker Sports Network. Our radio broadcast Saturday morning begins with the pre-game show at 10:45 a.m. (central) with the tip-off scheduled for 11:05 a.m. on the Husker Sports Network including KBBK (B107.3) in Lincoln, KFFF 93.3 in Omaha, KWBE 1450 in Beatrice, KCOW 1400 in Alliance, KHAS 1230 in Hastings, KNEB 960 in Scottsbluff, KHUB 1340 in Fremont, KBLR 97.3 in Blair, KODY 1240 and KTZL 93.5 in North Platte, and many others. All Husker Women’s Basketball broadcasts are also available for free worldwide on the internet at www.huskers.com. I hope you can join us.
There are a number of ways to get enhanced information about our broadcast and Husker Women’s Basketball via social media. You can learn more about the team on the Nebraska Women’s Basketball Facebook page or follow the team on their official Twitter page @huskerswbb. I also invite you to friend me on Facebook (Matt Coatney) or follow me on Twitter @coatman1.
Go Big Red!