May 8, 2023 

How Creighton soared to USA Basketball 3×3 national tournament title

Bluejays' Morgan Maly named tournament MVP

Over the weekend of May 5-7, the USA Basketball 3X Nationals convened 15 women’s basketball teams in Colorado Springs. Compiled of college athletes from elite schools around the country, each four-person team competed for a chance to win a 3×3 national title. After the weekend ended on Sunday with a national title game, just one team remained: the Creighton Bluejays.

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The Bluejays’ path to the championship included a 2-1 showing in three games on Saturday. Creighton defeated Tennessee (22-12) in the first game and split its other two games, falling to Gonzaga (21-19) and defeating Utah (21-14). The 2-1 record allowed Creighton to advance to Sunday’s quarterfinals matchup.

When the Bluejays landed in the quarterfinals, they represented one of three BIG EAST teams to reach the knockout phase. Creighton would take out both conference opponents en route to the title game. The champs defeated Seton Hall (20-19) in the quarterfinals and Villanova (21-18) in the semifinals. In the title game, the Bluejays bested Duke (21-17).

Creighton’s scoring proficiency and motion offense translated beautifully to the 3×3 game. The experience and chemistry that Lauren Jensen, Morgan Maly, Molly Mogensen and Emma Ronsiek have together was key to the Bluejays’ run. All rising juniors, the teammates have been instrumental to Creighton’s success in recent seasons, including the Bluejays’ magical run to the Elite Eight round of the 2022 NCAA Tournament as a No. 10 seed. The Creighton women’s basketball team matched its highest-ever record in the USA Today Coaches Poll this season, finishing at No. 23 in the year-end poll.

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Lauren Jensen (48 points) and Morgan Maly (42 points) finished first and third, respectively, in total points scored during the tournament. Ultimately, Maly was named the tournament MVP. After the game, Maly didn’t focus on individual accolades; instead, she spoke to the media about how special she finds her bond with her Bluejays teammates.

“Those are my girls,” Maly said, fighting back tears postgame. “We just play so well together. We all are starters and we just spend a lot of time working together and that was evident.”

Written by Tee Baker

Tee has been a contributor to The Next since March Madness 2021 and is currently a contributing editor, BIG EAST beat reporter and curator of historical deep dives.

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