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Kearney, Neb. – The Creighton Bluejays sank 17 three pointers and used a big second quarter to beat Nebraska-Kearney, 100-68, in an exhibition game Tuesday night in Omaha. This was the first time CU and UNK met in women’s basketball in 13 years. The ‘Jays, coming off a 19-14 season and a berth in the NCAA Tournament, got 22 points from both senior post Audrey Faber and senior guard Brooke Kissinger. They provided most of the damage from behind the arc, Faber making of 5 of 12 shots and Kissinger going 6 of 9. Creighton, with several players sitting out due to minor ailments, ended the night shooting 53% (38 of 39) from the field including a red hot 17 of 36 effort from downtown. Eleven of the triples came over the first two quarters. “The first half was a little bit of challenge for us, especially in transition defense. Being able to cover up the three point line … they shoot it really well and obviously were lights out in the first half. So we dug ourselves a bit of a hole,” said Loper head coach Carrie Eighmey.
A very young Loper squad hit 7 of its first 12 shots to hang with CU for most the first quarter. Freshman post Brooke Carlson (Elkhorn) converted a layup after taking a pass from sophomore guard Shelby Megyeri (Green Mountain Falls, Colo.). That made it a five-point deficit, 21-16, six minutes into the action. However, CU went on a 30-6 run encompassing the end of the first quarter and most of the second. The ‘Jays led 34-21 at the end of 10 minutes and 68-25 at the break. UNK was outscored 24-4 in the second quarter as it went 1 of 17 from the field. “We were getting to the rim in the first quarter and they made a good adjustment and packed it in. They were challenging us to take some perimeter shots and those (missed) led to some of their transition buckets,” said Eighmey. “In the second half we challenged them to be more patient and more selective and that also helped us on the defensive end.” Kearney rebounded after the break, outscoring CU 43-42. Overall, UNK shot 41% from the floor (26 of 64), making five threes along the way, while losing the rebound battle by just a 41-35 margin. The Lopers had only 14 turnovers but went 11 of 24 at the line. “I thought in the second half we settled in.
We had a lot of miscommunication errors in the first half that left (Creighton) wide open. In the second half were able to lock in and take those easy ones away and make them work some in the half court,” said Eighmey. Creighton saw all five starters plus freshman reserve Payton Brotzki (14) score in double figures. Faber, besides her offensive output, had team-highs in rebounds (nine) and blocks (four) with sophomore guard Temi Carda handing out a game-high seven assists. For UNK, sophomore guard Adreon Bell (Independence, Mo.) hit a couple of fourth quarter shots to score a team-high 10 points. Showing great balance, eight others were between five and nine points include Carlson (nine), Megyeri (five) and Kansas senior Jaymie Bernbeck (eight). Next, Carlson had six rebounds (four offensive) with Bell having four assists and Bernbeck one of four Lopers to block a shot. “This was another practice for us and I thought we got better in the sense of understanding what it is we need to work on and where we can improve,” said Eighmey. UNK heads to Nebraska on Saturday, November 3rd. That game will be at 4 p.m.