Creighton’s Hot Start Down’s St. John’s 75-50

Wilson Sy, Staff Writer

Creighton came out of the gate in Carnesecca Arena on a 22-4 outburst and never looked back. The Bluejays shot nearly 60 percent from the floor in the opening half along with shooting over 63 percent from three-point territory on the game.

St. John’s drops to 15-7 overall and 6-5 in conference play. Creighton improved to 13-10 overall and 6-6 in Big East play.

“Obviously this was a tough defeat for us,” St. John’s head coach Joe Tartamella said. “ Our effort tonight was somewhat embarrassing. I thought we were flat. We had a little bit of a disjointed week, which hurt us, but we didn’t give a good enough effort and didn’t play very well together tonight. We have to figure out a way to do a better job to motivate our players to be ready for games. We have to get out of this spot we’re in right now and try to turn things around with a win on Sunday against Providence. We saw a few bright spots with some of our freshmen being able to score a little bit but overall we have to make better decisions as individuals and as a team. We’ll figure out. We’re going to get back to work and get ready for Sunday.”

St. John’s two leading scorers on the season, Aliyyah Handford and Danaejah Grant was held to a combination 7-of-25 shooting for a total of 15 points, while freshman guard Crystal Simmons scored a career-high 11 points as the only St. John’s player to score in double figures and freshman guard Tamesha Alexander finished with six points on her first career start.

Creighton was led by senior forward Alexis Akin-Otiko, who finished with a game-high 16 points and was one of five players for the Bluejays to reach double-digits in scoring.  Sophomore forward Brianna Rollerson finished with a double-double 13 points and 11 rebounds, while freshman guard Sydney Lamberty and Preseason Big East Player of the Year Marissa Janning each scored 11 points on a combined 6-of-9 shooting from behind the acre.

After a Jade Walker jumper in the first minute and a half to make it the score 4-5, Creighton responded on an 18-0 run in the next 4:04 including three triples by Marissa Janning and two three-pointers from Sydney Lamberty.  Creighton would increase the lead to 21 after Jade Owens made the team’s seventh three-pointer with 9:26 in the opening half.

St. John’s would go on a 7-1 run to cut it to 32-17 with 5:28 to go in the first stanza and trailed 39-21 at the half.

Creighton responded in the second half and would put the game out of reach on an 11-2 run with a 62-31 advantage with 8:48 remaining.

St. John’s will look to bounce back as they return to action on Sunday, Feb. 8, hosting Providence on ESPN3.