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Creighton tops SMSU women 90-60 in exhibition opener

November 1, 2012
Marshall Independent

A dominant effort in the paint helped lead the Creighton Bluejays to a 90-60 victory over Southwest Minnesota State Wednesday in Omaha, Neb., in the exhibition opener for the Mustang women's basketball team.

Creighton scored 44 points in the paint to SMSU's 22, and scored 27 points off of SMSU's 21 turnovers.

Forward Sarah Nelson hit 9 of 12 field goal attempts and score a game-high 21 points to pace the Bluejays, a Division I NCAA Tournament participant last season. Reserve Alexis Akin-Otiko added 18 points and a game-high eight rebounds. Creighton won the battle of the boards 41-27.

It was a rough start for the Mustangs, facing an experienced team from a higher division. The Bluejays opened up a 14-2 lead in the first five minutes and held a 48-24 advantage at the half.

"I think we were just a little tight," SMSU head coach Allison Kruger said. "A lot of these kids that were starting and playing minutes for us, this was their first Division II game for them and you could see it in them. They wanted to start out so well and got all wound up, but they eventually got into the swing of things."

Freshman point guard Annessa Rosch led the Mustangs' offense on Wednesday, scoring a team-high 15 points on 5 of 8 shooting, including 2 of 2 from 3-point range. But she also had six turnovers to two assists.

Fact Box

SMSU (60)

Val Sahr 3-5 0-0 6, Jessie Watts 1-4 1-1 3, Bree Holleman 4-11 0-0 10, Rebekah Rolling 2-8 0-1 5, Hope Bonlander 5-7 0-0 10, Megan DeRuyter 0-3 2-2 2, Hannah Beeler 2-3 1-2 6, Annessa Rosch 5-8 3-3 15, Emilee Duske 1-2 1-2 3. Totals 23-51 8-11 60. Three-pointers 6-21 (Rosch 2-2, Holleman 2-7, Rolling 1-6, Beeler 1-2) Rebounds 27 (Sahr 7, Watts 5, Holleman 4, Rolling 4) Assists 10 (Watts 3, Rosch 2, Sahr 2) Steals 6 (Bonlander 3) Blocks 1 (Bonlander) Turnovers 21 Total Fouls 12.

Creighton (90)

Sarah Nelson 9-12 1-1 21, Alyssa Kamphaus 7-9 1-2 15, McKenzie Fujan 2-6 0-0 5, Ally Jensen 2-6 0-0 6, Carli Tritz 0-1 1-2 1, Tessa Leytem 1-2 2-2 4, Sammy Jensen 0-2 0-0 0, Marissa Janning 4-10 0-0 9, Jasmin Corbin 1-3 0-0 3, Jordan Garrison 3-6 0-0 7, Alexis Akin-Otiko 7-10 4-4 18, Brianna Rollerson 0-3 1-2 1. Totals 36-70 10-13 90. Three-pointers 8-26 (Nelson 2-3, A. Jensen 2-6, Janning 1-4, Corbin 1-2, Garrison 1-4, Fujan 1-3) Rebounds 41 (Akin-Otiko 8, Nelson 7, Kamphaus 6) Assists 25 (Tritz 5, Janning 4) Steals 17 (Tritz 5, Nelson 4) Blocks 3 Turnovers 13 Total Fouls 14.

Halftime Scores: Creighton 48, SMSU 24.

"I thought that for a freshman and being in her first college game, she handled herself pretty well," Kruger said of Rosch. "We need her to figure out what good decisions are and what bad decisions are, and that will come. If she can handle the ball well, she will be effective for us."

Rosch was joined in double figures by SMSU returning guards Hope Bonlander and Bree Holleman, who each scored 10 points. Bonlander also added three steals and a block.

SMSU forward Val Sahr, a junior forward who missed last season with an injury, pulled down seven boards to lead the Mustangs on the glass. She also had six points and a pair of assists.

The Mustangs started the second half strong with back-to-back 3-pointers by Holleman and Rebekah Rolling, who had five points, to cut the Creighton lead to 18.

Even though her team was down big, Kruger said she was pleased with how her players responded in the second half.

"Probably the most impressive thing is we were down quite a bit at halftime, and the group that started the second half really took it at Creighton," she said. "Their coach even had to call a couple of timeouts within the first two minutes. We calmed down in the second half, but still had a few too many mental breakdowns."

SMSU wraps up exhibition play on Monday with a home game against Bethel, starting at 6:15 p.m. at the R/A Facility.



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