A Bryant Allen 3-pointer with 9:21 left in the second half gave the
Redbirds their first lead since the 18:20 mark of the first half at
63-61. After a three-point play from Creighton's Gregory Echenique,
Jon Ekey scored his only two points of the game on a driving floater
in the lane to give ISU a 65-64 lead with 7:17 remaining. However,
the Bluejays responded with five straight points to regain the lead
Allen and Tyler Brown led the way offensively for the
Redbirds with 15 points each, while Zeke Upshaw chipped in a
career-high 11 points. The ISU defense limited Doug McDermott, a
candidate for national player of the year, to just 15 points, as
Grant Gibbs led the Bluejays with 16. The seven-point margin of
victory was the smallest this season for the preseason favorites to
win the Missouri Valley Conference.
The two teams went back and forth at the beginning, with a
McDermott 3-pointer sandwiched in between two from Tyler Brown.
Gibbs then scored seven straight for the Bluejays, including a trey
at the 16:41 mark that put Creighton up 10-6. With the score 11-8,
Ethan Wragge scored the next nine points of the game, all from
beyond the arc, extending the lead to 20-8 with 13:11 left in the
half to give the Jays their largest lead of the game.
Upshaw broke the 17-2 Creighton run with a 3-pointer, and Allen
hit another from deep to pull ISU within six at 20-14. After two
more triples from Creighton sandwiched around one from Kaza Keane
for ISU, Allen hit two jumpers to cause a Bluejay timeout with the
score at 26-21 and 8:48 left in the half.
After even play over the next four-plus minutes, the Redbirds
came out of the under-four-minute media timeout down 35-30, before
the Bluejays equaled their largest lead of the game by going on a
7-0 run. The spurt was capped by a Wragge 3, his fifth of the half,
which put Creighton up 42-30 at the 2:16 mark. The Redbirds
responded, however, by scoring the final nine points of the half.
After four ISU free throws, Jackie Carmichael scored his first
points since the 15:18 mark on a putback that made the score 42-36.
Carmichael missed the ensuing free throw, but Nick Zeisloft tracked
down the loose ball before eventually getting it back and hitting a
3 to make the score 42-39 heading into halftime.
[to top of second column]
The first half was dominated by shooting from beyond the arc,
as the two teams combined for 17 3-point makes. The Bluejays
went 10 for 16 from deep in the first 20 minutes, while the
Redbirds hit 7 of 15 attempts.
McDermott opened the second half for Creighton by scoring his
first basket since the 19:08 mark of the first half and only his
second of the game. Brown hit a 3 from the corner on the next
possession to bring ISU back within two, before Gibbs and Carmichael
traded buckets to make it 46-44 in favor of Creighton. After an
Echenique dunk, Keane hit his second 3 of the game to bring ISU
within one at 48-47. However, the Bluejays responded with five
straight points, on an Echenique two and Austin Chatman 3, to give
them a 53-47 lead at the 15:26 mark.
Two 3-pointers from Upshaw evened the game for the first time
since the 19:08 mark of the first half, but McDermott responded with
a three-point play to put Creighton back on top. Brown split through
the Creighton defense for an uncontested lay-in to bring ISU back
within one, before Wragge tied his career high in points (18) and
3-pointers (six) with a triple from the wing, extending the lead to
59-55 with 13:47 left. After Avery Dingman added a floater to put
Creighton up six, Upshaw slammed home a dunk in transition to bring
ISU back within four. One possession later, Allen hit a 3-pointer to
bring ISU back within one yet again, at 61-60 with 10:03 remaining.
With the Bluejays up 69-65 at the 5:12 mark, Brown found
Carmichael for two to bring ISU back within two, before Keane hit
one free throw to make it a one-point game. That was the closest the
Redbirds would get the rest of the way, as Carmichael missed a
3-point attempt with the score 73-70 in the game's final minute.
The Redbirds will continue Valley play at Redbird Arena on
Saturday against Northern Iowa. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.
news release received from
Illinois State University]