Chicago, Ill. — Down 12 midway through the third quarter, the Creighton women’s basketball team fought back to take the lead late in the fourth quarter before falling to the top seed Marquette 76-70 on Monday, March 5.
The loss dropped the Bluejays to 18-12 on the season, while Marquette advanced to the BIG EAST Finals with a 23-8 mark.
The Bluejays got off to a fast start, getting buckets from four different players to seize a 9-3 edge with 5:33 left in the opening quarter. Marquette turned to the BIG EAST Player of the Year Allazia Blockton as the junior knocked down the first of five treys. The Bluejays held the edge until the final seconds of the period, when a 4-0 Marquette run knotted the game at 16-16.
Senior Myah Mellman gave Creighton a little breathing room early in the second with a trey from the corner, putting the Jays up 23-19. Marquette responded with the following six points to claim the lead, only to see sophomore Olivia Elger knock down a three-ball to give Creighton a 26-25 edge with 4:50 left in the half.
Leading 33-32 with just over two minutes remaining, Creighton watched as the Golden Eagles closed the quarter on a 7-0 run to take a 39-32 lead into halftime.
The opening minutes of the third belonged to the Golden Eagles as Marquette pushed its lead to 50-38 with 5:52 showing on the clock. Creighton answered with an unconventional six-point play. Junior Audrey Faber knocked down a three-pointers from the right wing as Elger was fouled. The foul gave the ball back to the Bluejays and Elger connected from downtown to make it 50-44 (5:08). The Bluejays continued to chip away the rest of the period, trailing just 59-55 heading into the fourth.
The final frame saw Creighton surge ahead with a 10-2 run in the first four minutes of the period. Sophomore Jaylyn Agnew got things started with a three-pointer from the top of the key, then Sydney Lamberty connected from the left wing to tie the game at 61-61 (8:18). Consecutive layups by Agnew and Carda pushed the Bluejays out to a 65-61 lead with 5:51 left.
Down the stretch, however, Blockton was too much. The Marquette guard delivered nine of her game-high 32 points in the fourth quarter to claim the win.
Creighton got a team-high 20 points from Faber, 15 from Agnew and 13 from Lamberty in the loss.
Creighton will now wait for Selection Monday to find out if the Bluejays have done enough to play in the NCAA Tournament or if they are WNIT bound.