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Lauren Works has hit some clutch shots this season for the Creighton women's basketball team.

None were bigger than a pair of three-pointers the Lincoln Southwest graduate hit against Georgetown on Jan. 8.

Works hit a three from the corner with less than 10 seconds remaining in regulation to send the game into overtime. Then Works hit the game-winner with about 10 seconds remaining in the extra session to lift the Bluejays to a 70-68 victory.

Both plays were designed for Works, which shows the confidence the Creighton coaches have in the 5-foot-7 senior guard. Even so. …

"In all honesty, I said a little prayer before I shot both of those shots," Works said this week.

Works' timely shooting has played a big part in the Bluejays' run to the women's NCAA Tournament. Creighton (23-7) is the seventh seed in the Stockton, California, regional, and will play 10th-seeded Toledo at 6:30 p.m. Friday in Corvallis, Oregon.

For Works, and most of the Bluejays, this is their first taste of the NCAA Tournament.

"I didn't actually know what the feeling was like," Works said. "But from what I've heard, it's the coolest feeling ever, and totally different from the (WNIT), so I'm super-excited."

Works has taken on a bigger role this season. After making four starts as a junior, Works has started 23 of 30 games as a senior, and is averaging 7.4 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. Her 45 threes rank second on the team behind leading scorer Audrey Faber, who has made 59 from beyond the arc.

It wasn't until this season when coach Jim Flanery turned more to Works in clutch situations. 

In addition to the three-pointers against Georgetown, Works hit a three against Xavier on Jan. 22 to send the game into overtime. The Jays prevailed. She also hit big fourth-quarter threes in a win against Butler on Dec. 28.

Does Works like to have the ball in her hands late in games?

"If someone tells me I should have the ball in my hands, then yes," Works said, laughing.

On a serious note, "I am very thankful that the coaches believe that I can make those shots. I haven't really been put in that situation very much until this season."

Creighton went 16-2 in Big East play, and won 14 of its final 16 games to earn an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament. When the team saw "Creighton" pop up on the screen during Monday's watch party, a celebration ensued.

"I didn't really know what I was going to feel when it happened," Works said. "Even though we kind of knew we were going to make it, it was still super-exciting.

"It wasn't real until that happened."

Works, who received the team's Big East Sportsmanship Award this year, is one of four seniors on the roster. MC McGrory, Marissa Janning and Brianna Rollerson are the others. McGrory retired from basketball during the season following a series of concussions.

Works will graduate in May with a degree in psychology. She was recently accepted into Creighton's pharmacy school, where she will spend the next four years.

First, Works and the Bluejays will aim for more clutch moments in the NCAA Tournament.

"I came to Creighton because I loved the team and I love the coaches and I just love the people at Creighton, and I absolutely love playing basketball," Works said. "But I will remember my coaches and my team more than I will remember any game, honestly."

Reach the writer at 402-473-2639 or cgrell@journalstar.com. On Twitter @LJSSportsCG.

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Sports editor

Clark Grell is sports editor.

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