- Associated Press - Friday, March 17, 2017

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) - Marissa Janning simply didn’t want her senior season to end with a first-round exit at the NCAA Tournament.

So Janning scored 15 points in less than six minutes at the start of Creighton’s game against Toledo, and finished with 19 in the seventh-seeded Bluejays’ 76-49 rout of the No. 10 seed Rockets on Friday.

“I think it was just because, for me my college career would be done if we lose,” she said. “So having that mindset, when you don’t want it to be over yet, we said right away, ‘We’ve got to do whatever it takes.’ I came out and I wasn’t going to let myself not be aggressive and shy away from shots.”

Creighton (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.

“This team has fought so hard all season long and been in every game. Today was just tough. A tough pill to swallow because of how hard we fought all season long,” Toldeo coach Tricia Cullop said. “Today’s score is not a reflection of their season.”

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 5:49.

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 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 warm embrace. Flanery said he told Cullop not to let the loss define the Rockets’ terrific season.

Creighton won the only previous meeting with Toledo 72-56 back in 1993.

TIP INS

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.

RESTING UP: Only Lamberty played more than 30 minutes for Creighton, and Flanery said he was definitely aware of the challenge that Oregon State would pose on Sunday when it came to managing his team. His assistants were aware of it too.

“I’ve got one assistant coach telling me to rest so-and-so, and another assistant coach telling me to rest so-and-so, and I’m like ‘Well we’ve got to put five out there,’” Flannery said.

UP NEXT

Creighton: The Bluejays advance to play Oregon State on Sunday.

___

Follow Anne M. Peterson on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnnieMPeterson

More AP college basketball: https://collegebasketball.ap.org and https://www.twitter.com/AP_Top25

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