OMAHA, Neb. - The University of Northern Iowa women's basketball fell behind early and could never catch up in a 62-44 loss at Creighton Friday night in the Omaha Civic Auditorium. UNI's 44 points were the fewest scored by the Panthers this season.
Junior Kim Wypiszynski led UNI with 13 points and five rebounds. Sophomore Lizzie Boeck finished with nine points, and freshman Katelin Oney added a career-high eight points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals.
The Panthers (6-10, 4-2) committed 21 turnovers in the loss, 13 of them in the first half, which Creighton (10-8, 5-2) converted into 20 points.
Neither team led by more than three until Chevelle Herring hit a three at 14:20 to give the Bluejays an 11-5 lead. Lizzie Boeck and Kim Wypiszynski scored on consecutive trips to cut the CU lead to two.
Herring and Boeck traded baskets, but Herring drained a three to stretch Creighton's lead to back to five. A basket from DaNae Moore and a three from Megan Neuvirth put the Bluejays in front 21-11 with 10:30 to play in the first half.
Wypiszynski scored to end the 8-0 CU run. Kelsey Woodard scored at the other end as she was fouled, and the free throw gave the Bluejays a 24-13 advantage at 9:52. Creighton scored the game's next six points to put build a 30-13 lead with 4:36 on the clock.
Alexa Mennen ended a seven-minute scoring drought for the Panthers when she hit a turn-around jumper at 3:05 to bring the score to 30-15. Erin Brocka and Kristina Voss traded baskets, and a three from Brocka cut the UNI deficit to 32-20 at 1:35.
Creighton scored the final five points of the first half, however, to take a 37-20 lead into the break.
Katelin Oney scored on each of UNI's first two possession to trim the Panther deficit to 37-24. After a free throw from Voss, Oney made a pair from the charity stripe to pull UNI within a dozen, 38-26.
Voss scored at the other end, but Nicole Clausen hit a three to cut the CU lead to 11, 40-29 at 16:40.
The Bluejays scored five quick, unanswered points, extending their lead to 45-29 with 15:55 remaining.
Creighton's lead stayed between 14 and 16 points until a three from Stephani Rhoten brought the score to 52-34 with 9:55 remaining.
The Bluejays led by as many as 21 points, and UNI was never able to cut the CU lead to less than 15 from that point.
UNI shot 17-of-50 (34 percent) from the floor, including 4-of-8 (50 percent) from three-point range. The Panthers were 8-of-11 (72.7 percent) from the free-throw line.
Creighton shot 24-of-56 (42.9 percent) from the floor, and the Bluejays were 8-of-19 (42.1 percent) from behind the arc. CU finished 6-of-9 (66.7 percent) from the free-throw line.
The Panthers return to action when they play at in-state rival Drake on Sunday at 2:05 p.m.