Winter Park, Fla. — After surrendering the lead for the first time with just over three minutes remaining, sophomore Temi Carda took control for the Creighton women’s basketball team. The Minnesota native scored 10 of her team-high 18 points in the final 204 seconds to lead Creighton to an 83-76 win over South Florida on Thursday, Dec. 20.
The win evened the Bluejays’ record at 5-5 on the season, while South Florida fell to 9-3.
Creighton began knocking it down from long range in the second minute of play, seizing an 8-2 (8:02) edge on trifecta from seniors Brooke Kissinger and Audrey Faber as well as a driving layup from Faber. South Florida responded with a 7-2 surge to make it 10-9, but freshman Payton Brotzki connected twice from beyond the arc and junior Morgan Turner added her first three-pointers as a Bluejay to make it 19-9 with 4:10 remaining in the period. The Bluejays continued to connect throughout the frame, taking a 30-14 edge into the second.
Despite Faber and sophomore Jaylyn Agnew going to the bench for extended minutes due to foul trouble, the Bluejays’ advantaged swelled to 21 points at 41-20 (5:36) midway through the second quarter. The bench fueled the Bluejays’ second period, chipping in 18 of Creighton 23 in the period. After South Florida closed to within 15 twice in the closing minutes, the Bluejays answered with treys from Carda and Brotzki as well as a pull up jumper from one foot inside from senior Jade Owens to reclaim a 21-point edge at 53-32. South Florida closed the frame with its first three-pointer of the contest to send the squads to the locker room with Creighton holding a 53-35 lead.
Creighton maintained the margin through the first seven minutes of the third quarter (64-48 with 3:02 left), but the Bulls used a 7-0 run to send the game to the final frame at 64-53.
South Florida continued its charge in the fourth, claiming the lead at 70-69 on a trifecta from Laura Ferreira with 3:40 left, setting the stage for Carda. The ensuing Creighton possession saw Faber elevate for a three from the left wing, but the rebound was poked to Carda, She quickly cut to the basket for a layup and a traditional three-point play. After a defensive stop Carda knocked down a long three-ball from the left wing in the closing seconds of the shot clock to push the Bluejays out to a 75-70 edge with 2:39 left. Down the stretch Carda knocked down four from the charity stripe to seal Creighton’s win.
Carda led Creighton with 18 points, while Faber finished with 17 and Brotzki closed the game with 12 points to round out the Bluejays in double figures.
South Florida got a game-high 20 points from Enna Pahadzic to go with 16 from Ferriera and 15 by Sydni Harvey in the loss.
Creighton returns to the hardwood on Friday, Dec. 21 as the Bluejays battle Vanderbilt in the final game of the Florida Sunshine Classic. Tip is scheduled for 7:30 pm (CT).