Illinois State snapped Creighton’s 11-game winning streak on Saturday with a 73-49 win in the semifinals of the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. The red-hot Redbirds never trailed while draining 13-of-19 three-point attempts, tying a Valley Tournament record for three-point accuracy at 68.4 percent.
The win advances the Redbirds (24-8) to Sunday’s championship game, where it will meet Northern Iowa in a 1 pm contest that will be televised nationally by CBS. Creighton is now 26-7 and will await its fate from the NCAA Tournament selection committee next Sunday.
A three-pointer by Booker Woodfox early in the second half got the Bluejay fans on their feet and drew CU within 44-27, only to see ISU’s Eldridge bury a trey of his own from the corner to return the lead to 20 points. The Jays got no closer than 15 points in the second half.
Creighton was paced by Woodfox, who scored 11 of his 13 points after halftime. But less than 24 hours after his game-winning shot eliminated Wichita State, Woodfox was held to 4-of-14 shooting for the game, including 2-of-8 from downtown. Justin Carter pulled down a career-high 12 rebounds — most by a Bluejay all season — and collected a team-best three steals. CU shot just 27.4 for the game (17-62), including 18.2 percent from three-point range (4-22) and 57.9 percent at the line (11-19). Creighton outrebounded ISU 39-35, but could only convert its 20 offensive rebounds into seven second-chance points.