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Shocker women take Valley lead with win over Creighton WSU overcomes slow start, blasts Creighton.

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013, at 10:15 p.m.

Looking at the scoreboard after three-and-a-half-minutes and seeing themselves already down by 11 points to Creighton tested the resolve of the Wichita State women’s basketball team.

It also tested their defense, which coach Jody Adams calls their most important strength.

Both of those qualities proved everlasting, as the Shockers found the right frame of mind and continued to rely on their plan to overwhelm Creighton, just as they did to their previous three Missouri Valley Conference opponents.

WSU (10-6, 4-0) quickly erased their early deficit and dominated the final 33-plus minutes, winning 67-45 Saturday night at Koch Arena. WSU is the lone unbeaten team left in the Valley.

"Defense is what we live and die by," Adams said. "We know pressure will disrupt teams. I think the game plan we had put in place, it was very important that we executed on the defensive side and it would flow for us on the offensive side of things."

Creighton scored the first eight points in 95 seconds, prompting a timeout by Adams. The Bluejays completed their run with a three-pointer before the message of the timeout began to reach the Shockers.

WSU chipped away at the lead at first, scoring the first two baskets after Creighton’s run. But even though the Shockers’ offense didn’t completely click until the second half, the comeback was hardly gradual because Creighton essentially stopped scoring.

The Bluejays managed one field goal during a 12-minute, 15-second stretch during which the Shockers took a five-point lead. The end of the first half featured back-and-forth scoring, but WSU’s swarming defense was well-established entering the second.

WSU had seven steals and five blocks in the first half, when Creighton shot 32 percent. The Bluejays missed 10 straight shots at one point, a number that would have been higher if not for their frequent turnovers during that period.

"I think it was more on us getting settled into the game," WSU sophomore guard Alex Harden said. "We rushed some things, we let them set the tempo and that’s not how we do things. We got time to settle ourselves, set the tempo, get a stop and get a score. We just took things from there."

The elimination of Creighton’s leading scorer, Sarah Nelson, from remaining a factor after Creighton’s fast start prevented the Bluejays from keeping up with WSU in the middle of the first half.

Nelson contributed two early baskets and ultimately led Creighton with 17 points. But during the Bluejays’ prolonged stint of inactivity, Nelson missed two shots while committing two turnovers and a foul.

"I knew Sarah Nelson was a really good player, and I knew that they needed her, she was a key," WSU forward Michelle Price said. "I had to play my active defense, keep pounding on her and she’ll back down."

Price and Harden provided offense during a more methodical first half, and the Shockers continued their strong defense while adding 58 percent shooting in the second. Harden finished with a game-high 20 points; Jasmine Jones scored all of her 16 points in the second half and Price finished with 14.

CREIGHTON (12-4, 4-1): Nelson 7-11 2-2 17, Kamphaus 1-5, 2-5 4, Fujan 1-1 2-2 5, A. Jensen 3-8 1-2 10, Tritz 2-5 1-2 6, S. Jensen 0-0 0-1 0, Janning 0-6 1-2 1, Garrison 1-5 0-2 2, Akin-Otiko 0-4 0-0 0. Totals 15-45 9-18 45.

WICHITA STATE (10-6, 4-0): Harden 8-11 4-4 20, Turner 3-8 0-0 6, Jacobs 1-2 0-0 2, Jones 7-10 2-4 16, Diamond 2-7 2-2 6, Dapprich 1-5 0-0 3, Fountaine 0-1 0-0 0, Price 5-8 4-8 14. Totals 27-52 12-18 67.

Three-point shooting—CU 6-18 (A. Jensen 3-6, Fujan 1-1, Nelson 1-2, Tritz 1-2, Garrison 0-3, Janning 0-4); WSU 1-8 (Dappich 1-2, Harden 0-1, Jones 0-1, Fountaine 0-1, Turner 0-3). Rebounds—CU 28 (A. Jensen 8); WSU 36 (Price 8). Fouls—CU 17, WSU 15. Assists—CU 10 (Tritz 4), WSU 15 (Diamond 6).

Kansas State 57, TCU 54 — Brittany Chambers scored 24 points to lead the Wildcats to victory.

KANSAS STATE (11-7): Caron 2-7 0-0 4, Chambers 7-14 5-6 24, Craig 1-10 0-1 2, White 4-5 2-4 11, Woods 2-2 0-0 5, Texada 3-12 0-0 8, Brown 0-0 0-0 0, Spresser 0-2 0-0 0, Knoll 1-4 0-0 3. Totals 20-56 7-11 57.

TCU (7-10): Hamilton 2-9 0-0 4, Ventress 0-3 0-0 0, Lovings 3-6 0-0 6, Cole 4-7 4-4 14, Medley 6-15 5-7 21, Williams 0-0 0-0 0, Prince 1-4 0-0 0, Gross 3-5 0-0 7, Breaux 0-0 0-0 0, Colbert 0-4 0-0 0. Totals 19-53 9-11 54.

Halftime — KSU 29-27. 3-pointers — KSU 10-36 (Chambers 5-12, Texada 2-9, White 1-1, Woods 1-1, Knoll 1-1, Caron 0-1, Spresser 0-2, Craig 0-9), TCU 7-16 (Medley 4-10, Cole 2-4, Gross 1-1, Ventress 0-1). Rebounds — KSU 31 (Chambers, Craig 8), TCU 31 (Lovings 11). Assists — KSU 14 (Chambers, White 5), TCU 9 (Medley 3). Fouls — KSU 15, TCU 14. A — 2,156.

Texas Tech 70, No. 21 Kansas 63 — The Jayhawks gave up 41 points in the first half and couldn’t recover, losing for the second time this week. Chelsea Gardner led Kansas with 18 points.

KANSAS (11-5): Williams 0-1 0-0 0, Davis 3-9 5-10 11, Goodrich 3-15 0-0 7, Engelman 5-6 2-2 12, Knight 4-8 0-0 9, Boyd 1-1 0-0 2, Gardner 8-14 2-2 18, Harper 0-4 4-4 4. Totals 24-58 13-18 63.

TEXAS TECH (14-4): Baker 3-5 2-2 8, Brown 8-13 4-4 20, Hyde 2-14 4-4 9, Morris 5-10 3-4 16, Smalls 3-9 0-0 7, Battle 0-2 0-0 0, Bokenkamp 0-1 0-0 0, Nobles 3-5 0-2 6, Patterson 2-4 0-0 4. Totals 26-63 13-16 70.

Halftime—Texas Tech 41-33. 3-Point Goals—Kansas 2-9 (Knight 1-3, Goodrich 1-5, Harper 0-1), Texas Tech 5-16 (Morris 3-6, Smalls 1-2, Hyde 1-5, Brown 0-1, Bokenkamp 0-1, Baker 0-1). Fouled Out—Nobles. Rebounds—Kansas 39 (Gardner 13), Texas Tech 36 (Nobles 6). Assists—Kansas 17 (Goodrich, Knight 5), Texas Tech 12 (Brown, Smalls 4). Total Fouls—Kansas 18, Texas Tech 16. Technical—Davis. A—6,513.

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