When Creighton was desperate for points, it turned to preseason conference player of the year Megan Neuvirth, a senior.
When the Wichita State women's basketball team needed points, coach Jody Adams had her pick between a host of freshmen or first-year players.
Right now that is the divider between the Shockers and the top of the Missouri Valley.
"Those are the ones that continue to step up against us," Adams said. "I'm asking freshmen and first-year players to be our go-to. But the thing I love about them is they're not scared about it. They want that role."
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Creighton, which started all juniors and seniors, reminded the Shockers of the growing pains of infancy in a 58-48 victory Sunday afternoon at Koch Arena.
The lack of experience glared during a 9-minute stretch in the second half where the Bluejays didn't score a field goal and turned the ball over nine times. WSU had 16 possessions to chip away at a 46-36 lead, but shot 3 of 11 from the floor and had five turnovers during that span.
With the score resting at 49-42 for nearly six minutes, Neuvirth clinched the game with a three-pointer with 3:02 remaining.
"We stopped them on defense, but we couldn't convert on offense," WSU's Sheena Johnson said. "We were making great stops, but our shots wouldn't fall."
Creighton's offense centers on driving and kicking out for three-pointers. The Shockers' defensive philosophy is built around stopping it.
"We really don't hedge in (on drives)," Adams said. "We say there is no middle penetration. If you're going to penetrate on us, you're going to penetrate baseline."
Adams counted 18 times Creighton gained middle penetration, which usually led to open three-point attempts. The Bluejays converted 9 of 18 from beyond the arc.
Still, WSU took an explosive offensive team out of its element. The Shockers out-rebounded Creighton 28-25 and forced them into 18 turnovers.
Some offensive highlights were provided by Michelle Price, in her second career start, and Jazimen Gordon. Price finished with a career-high 10 points and Gordon converted two alley-oop lay-in's.
"A lot of people can't get up there with her," Henderson said. "I think it makes it a lot easier. Nobody can jump with her, either."
But when offense was needed, WSU's leading scorers disappeared. Haleigh Lankster, Chynna Turner and Morgan Boyd, three of the four top scorers, combined for two points in 59 minutes.
These Shockers, now 5-6 in the Valley, are still young. Adams doesn't mind the pains that come with it, as long as they play her way.
"I truly believe in playing great defense," said Adams. "And great defense and great rebounding are going to take you somewhere."
CREIGHTON (13-7, 8-3): Schuett 4-6 2-2 13, Neuvirth 7-12 1-2 18, Nelson 4-8 0-0 8, Woodard 3-5 0-0 7, Herring 3-9 0-0 8, Moore 0-1 0-0 0, Crites 0-1 0-0 0, Jensen 1-2 1-2 3, Frank 0-0 1-2 1. Totals 22-44 5-8 58.
WICHITA STATE (13-9, 5-6): Turner 0-5 0-0 0, Price 5-6 0-0 10, Henderson 3-8 2-2 10, Johnson 4-9 2-2 10, Lankster 1-4 0-0 2, Boyd 0-1 0-0 0, Diamond 4-9 0-0 8, Kemp 0-1 0-0 0, Gordon 4-7 0-0 8. Totals 21-50 4-4 48.
Halftime—Creighton 30, Wichita St. 24. 3 pt. shooting—CU 9-18 (Neuvirth 3-3, Schuett 3-5, Herring 2-6, Woodard 1-3, Jensen 0-1); WSU 2-11 (Henderson 2-3, Turner 0-1, Lankster 0-1, Boyd 0-1, Kemp 0-1, Diamond 0-4). Rebounds—CU 25 (Neuvirth 10); WSU 28 (Boyd, Gordon 4). Assists—CU 15 (Schuett, Herring 5); WSU 12 (Henderson 5). A—1,485.