In just its seventh game as a member of the Big East, Creighton
set a Big East record, pouring in 21 3-pointers en route to a 96-68
blowout of No. 4 Villanova at the Wells Fargo Center.
Senior forward Ethan Wragge led the Bluejays with a career-high 27
points on 9-for-14 shooting, all from behind the 3-point arc. Wragge
knocked down eight treys in the first half, scoring 24 points in the
opening 20 minutes.
"Our first offensive play of the game I got a pretty good wide-open
look, and it felt really good coming off," Wragge said. "My
teammates do an unbelievable job of, once I get one, they know that
I'm hunting for two and three. It's a hard feeling to describe once
you get one to go in, but you just kind of let it fly and don't
think about it."
The nation's second-leading scorer, Creighton senior forward Doug
McDermott, scored 23 points on 8-for-13 shooting from the floor,
including 5-for-8 from behind the arc. Bluejays senior guard Jahenns
Manigat chipped in 19 points on 6-for-7 shooting, including 4-for-5
The Wildcats (16-2, 5-1 Big East) were led by senior guard James
Bell, who scored 19 points. Junior forward JayVaughn Pinkston
finished with 11 points, and junior guard Darrun Hilliard added 10
points for Villanova.
The Bluejays (16-3, 6-1) connected on their first nine attempts from
the field, all 3-pointers, to take a 27-8 lead just 6:05 into the
contest. Six and a half minutes later, a 3-pointer from guard Isaiah
Zierden put Creighton up 47-19.
"That was one of the more incredible things I've ever been a part of
as a coach," Creighton coach Greg McDermott said. "The way Ethan
shot the basketball, the way our guys shot the basketball, and
probably equally important is the way we defended the first seven or
eight minutes that allowed us to create some separation early."
For the half, the Bluejays shot 14-for-22 (63 percent) from behind
the arc and 19-for-32 (59 percent) from the floor in all.
"This is a game, you got to have fun with it," Doug McDermott said.
"That's what you saw out there to start the game, just a lot of guys
having fun, and it kind of carried over the whole game. I'm really
proud of us after what happened in Providence to come up against one
of the best teams in the country and be able to play like we did."
[to top of second column]
The Wildcats fought back and ended the half on a 22-7 run,
capped off by a Hilliard drive and finish just before the
buzzer, sending Villanova into halftime trailing 54-41.
was as close as the Wildcats would get, as Creighton opened the
second half on a 20-4 run in the first eight minutes of the second
half to put the game out of reach for good.
The Wildcats trailed by as many as 41 points with 5:33 to play.
"They were outstanding," Villanova coach Jay Wright said of the
Bluejays. "We've had some games where we haven't been on top of it,
but we didn't execute well defensively. They executed extremely well
offensively, and they were just really on top of their game. Getting
behind a team like that, the way they move their ball and with their
quickness, was really tough to overcome."
The Bluejays shot 33-for-58 (56.9 percent) on the night, including
21-for-35 (60 percent) from long distance. The Wildcats connected at
a 39.7 percent rate (23-for-58). Creighton recorded 25 assists on
its 33 baskets, while Villanova had 11 assists.
Ten of those 25 assists for Creighton came from junior point guard
Austin Chatman, who also chipped in five points and four rebounds.
"Wragge was incredible, and I thought Chatman also really controlled
the tempo," Wright said. "We had great respect for him coming in,
and as a point guard he controls the tempo and gets everybody shots,
and when he needs to make a play, he makes a play."
NOTES: The win was Creighton's first ever in four meetings with
Villanova. The previous three games were in the 1950s. ...
Villanova's No. 4 ranking is its highest of the season and highest
overall since the Wildcats were ranked No. 3 in the Associated Press
poll on Feb. 15, 2010. ... Villanova was playing its second game
against a new Big East opponent. The Wildcats beat Butler on Dec.
31. ... F Ethan Wragge ranks second on Creighton's list for career
3-pointers at 297. Kyle Korver holds the record, 371. ... Creighton
plays host to Georgetown on Saturday. Villanova's next game is at
Marquette, also on Saturday.
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.