McKenzie Fujan said after Creighton’s 86-78 win against Big East preseason favorite DePaul on Saturday that it was “one of those nights.”
Fujan scored a career-high 38 points, the most by a Bluejay in almost 14 years, as Creighton stormed back from a 16-point deficit in front of 1,244 at Sokol Arena.
The senior from Wahoo Neumann shot 13 of 17 from the floor, including 6 of 8 from 3-point range, and was 6 of 7 from the foul line.
That performance eclipsed her previous best of 24 points last March in the NCAA tournament against Syracuse and was the sixth-most in program history.
The win helped the Bluejays (9-6, 3-0) remain in sole possession of first place in the Big East.
“Honestly, I was just making shots, and my teammates did a really good job of finding me,” Fujan said.
Creighton coach Jim Flanery said he “cringed” at some of the shots that Fujan put up, but couldn’t argue with the results.
“That’s one of those games where you just kind of sit back, and I don’t know that every decision she made to shoot was a great decision,” Flanery said. “But once it goes in, it’s a good decision, because she took some tough shots, but they kept going in.”
The Bluejays could do little right in the first half. They went scoreless for 5:53, and the Blue Demons turned a 10-9 deficit into a 25-10 lead with a 16-0 run.
But Fujan sparked Creighton, nailing a 3-pointer with 2:08 left in the half and converting a layup 19 seconds later to finish a 12-5 run that cut the deficit to 37-29 at halftime. The Bluejays had 13 turnovers and shot 9 of 27 from the floor in the first half.
Flanery said he was encouraged by the way his team ended the half against DePaul, which entered the game tops in the Big East and 17th in the country averaging 84.4 points per game.
“Fifteen points is a big lead against a lot of teams, but against these guys you’re going to play so many more possessions than against most teams,” Flanery said. “I wasn’t happy with the way we played, but I felt like we were in pretty good shape.”
Creighton turned the tables out of the break, outscoring DePaul 16-2 in the first 3:56 of the second half to take a 43-41 lead on a 3-pointer by Lauren Works.
The Bluejays were 19 of 28 from the field in the second half, with Fujan turning in 28 points after halftime.
CU’s Sarah Nelson and Marissa Janning each scored 15 points while Jordan Garrison had a season-high 11.
Nelson also led the Jays in rebounds (12) and assists (5).
Creighton has a pair of road games next, facing St. John’s on Wednesday and Providence on Saturday.