Creighton takes care of Toledo
CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Marissa Janning had 15 of her 19 points in the first quarter and seventh-seeded Creighton built an early lead and went on to rout No. 10 seed Toledo 76-49 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday.
The Bluejays (24-7) will face second-seeded Oregon State (30-4) on Sunday. The Beavers, who advanced to the Final Four last season, held off Long Beach State and barely escaped with a 56-55 victory in the earlier game at Gill Coliseum.
Sydney Lamberty added 16 for Creighton, which won a share of the Big East regular-season title and earned an at-large bid to the tournament.
Mikaela Boyd had 11 points for Toledo (25-9). The Rockets had won eight straight going into the game but were outplayed by Creighton from the start and trailed by as many as 28 points.
The Bluejays are making their sixth overall NCAA Tournament and first since 2013, when they got to the second round. The Bluejays’ seeding matches its best in school history.
Toledo made the team’s eighth overall NCAA Tournament appearance and first since 2001. The Rockets got an automatic bid as the MAC Tournament champion after defeating Northern Illinois 92-71 in the final.
The Bluejays jumped out to an 18-4 lead, with Janning scoring 15 of Creighton’s points. She had three 3-pointers in the first 4:49.
Creighton pushed the lead to 22-6 before the first period was over. In the second half the Bluejays led by as many as 24 points to lead 44-22 going into the break.
Toledo cut the margin to 16 in the third quarter on Janice Monakana’s layup. It was the closest the Rockets could get in the second half.
Mariella Santucci and Kaayla McIntyre each finished with 10 points for Toledo.
Creighton coach Jim Flanery and Toledo coach Tricia Cullop are friends dating back to the days when Cullop was coach at Evansville from 2000-2008. In the Missouri Valley Conference games in which the two faced each other, Flanery held a 12-3 advantage.
Flanery said that he often spoke to Cullop about program building because he admired her stewardship of the Aces. But he joked before the game that the camaraderie was kind of a mixed blessing in the tournament.
Following the game, the two shared a long embrace.
Creighton won the only previous meeting with Toledo 72-56 back in 1993.
Toledo: The Rockets have five international players on their roster, including three starters: Mariella Santucci of Italy, and Janice Monakana and Jay-Ann Bravo-Harriott, who both hail from London.
Creighton: The Bluejays fell to Marquette 72-65 in the Big East Tournament semifinals. … Creighton popped into the AP Top 25 at No. 23 after clinching a share of the conference regular-season title, but it was just a short one-week stay in the rankings. It was the first time since 1992 the team had been ranked and just the fourth time overall.
Creighton: The Bluejays advance to play No. Oregon State on Sunday.
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