Maly, Creighton women top Colorado 84-74 in NCAA first round

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Colorado forward Peanut Tuitele (33) and Creighton forward Mallory Brake (14) vie for a rebound during the first half of a first-round game in the NCAA women's college basketball tournament, Friday, March 18, 2022, in Iowa City, Iowa. (AP Photo/Ron Johnson)

IOWA CITY, Iowa – Morgan Maly matched a career high with 20 points and Lauren Jensen and Molly Mogensen each had 16 as 10th-seeded Creighton defeated No. 7 seed Colorado 84-74 on Friday in an NCAA tournament first-round game.

Emma Ronsiek added 10 points for the Bluejays, making their first NCAA appearance since 2018.

Creighton (21-9) will play either No. 2 seed Iowa or No. 15 seed Illinois State in Sunday’s Greensboro Region second round. Colorado finished the season at 22-9.

Creighton led 63-61 with 6:54 left in the fourth quarter, then pulled away with a 7-0 run. That burst was helped by cold shooting by the Buffaloes, who missed 10 of 11 shots during one stretch.

Colorado closed within 72-68 with 2:21 to play and had a chance to get closer, but Mya Hollingshed missed a 3-pointer, then Kindyll Wetta missed a layup after coming up with a steal.

Colorado started strong, taking an early 11-2 lead. The Buffaloes led almost the entire first half before the Bluejays rallied with a 9-0 run to close the half and lead 36-31.

Jaylyn Sherrod had a career-high 27 points for Colorado. Hollingshed, the Buffaloes’ leading scorer this season, had 15 points, 13 in the second half. Quay Miller had 12.

IT’S HOME

Creighton senior guard Rachael Saunders grew up in Iowa City, graduating from West High School.

Saunders had five points. Her two free throws with 14 seconds left closed the scoring.

Saunders’ father, Mike, played football at Iowa.

IT WAS HOME

Jensen was familiar with the arena — she played at Iowa as a freshman last season before transferring.

Jensen played 17 games for the Hawkeyes, who reached the NCAA tournament regional semifinals.

BIG PICTURE

Creighton came into the tournament having lost back-to-back games, but looked strong in holding off the Buffaloes. Creighton beat Iowa in the first round of that 2018 tournament before losing to UCLA.

Colorado, in the tournament for the first time since 2013, had won eight of its last 10, with the two losses coming to Stanford.

UP NEXT

Creighton: Plays Iowa or Illinois State on Sunday.

Colorado: Season over.

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