Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year Booker Woodfox drained a 15-foot jumper as time expired, lifting Missouri Valley Conference co-champion Creighton to a 63-62 win over Wichita State on Friday in quarterfinal-round action of the State Farm MVC Tournament. Woodfox scored all of his game-high 17 points after halftime after an 0-for-5 scoreless first half.
Creighton (26-6) has now won 11 straight games, while Wichita State fell to 16-16 with the defeat.
CU would then hold the Shockers without a field goal for the first 4:20 of the second half while starting with an 11-2 run to build a 47-25 lead. Woodfox started the flurry with a three-pointer for his first points of the night before Stinnett fed Kenny Lawson Jr. on an alley-oop in transition. Woodfox would hit three straight baskets to leave WSU in the dust for the time being.
But the Shockers would not quit, rallying from a 22-point deficit to nearly pull off one of the greatest comebacks in MVC Tournament history.
WSU drew within six at 59-53 with 1:59 to play on a three-point play by J.T. Durley. Durley had eight baskets in the second half after a scoreless opening period. After a Bluejay turnover, Graham Hatch would miss a three-pointer from the left wing that could have made it a one-score game. Young would then hit both shots of a bonus to give CU an eight-point lead with 1:45 to play.
Durley answered with a three-point play with 1:22 left as WSU closed within 61-56. Another Bluejay turnover in the backcourt returned the ball to WSU. Durley would drive and be fouled. He missed the first foul before sinking the second as WSU trimmed the margin to four. Woodfox would miss the front end of a bonus situation, but Stinnett came up with a steal when he stripped Shocker guard Toure’ Murry. Hannah missed a deep three-pointer and Murry a putback, but WSU retained the ball with 22 seconds left. Murry airballed a three-pointer on the inbounds, but Hatch grabbed the rebound and was fouled, sinking both.
Stinnett turned it over just past the midcourt line, and in the scramble for the loose ball Young tripped up Aaron Ellis with 12.2 seconds left. Ellis, an 68.8 percent shooter, missed the front end but WSU called timeout while falling out-of-bounds. The Shockers set up a play for star freshman Murry, and Murry drained what appeared to be his third game-winner of the season, when his trey splashed down with 7.1 seconds left.
CU hurried the ball up court, where Young’s off-balance leaner went out-of-bounds with 1.9 seconds left with CU keeping possession. The teams traded timeouts before CU ran a play for its All-America candidate. Woodfox pump faked, took a dribble to his left and then sank the jumper as time expired. After a review, officials confirmed that it beat the buzzer and sent CU on to the semi’s.
Creighton held Wichita State to one field goal over a 14 minute stretch spanning halftime as it built a lead that reached as large as 22 with 16:41 remaining.
In addition to 17 from Woodfox, Lawson scored 14 points while Young had 12. CU shot 44.4 percent for the game (24-54), made 5-of-20 from three-point range (25 percent) and 10-of-17 (58.8 percent) from the stripe. CU also had 10 steals, led by four from Stinnett.
WSU was led by 17 pionts from Durley, while Hatch finished with 12. The Shockers made 35.6 percent of its field goal attempts but did make 15-of-18 at the line. The Shockers also dominated the boards by a 48-26 margin, including 26-11 in the second half.
With the win, Creighton advances to the semfinals of the 2009 State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tournament, where it will meet Illinois State.
story courtesy of CU Athletics