Antoine Young’s lay-up with 1.3 seconds left lifted Creighton to a 71-69 win over Southern Illinois on Wednesday night in Omaha. The win improves Creighton to 8-9 on the year and 3-3 in MVC play, while SIU lost its fourth straight to fall to 9-6 (2-4 MVC).
The win was the 400th of Dana Altman’s Division I career, which includes 317 triumphs at Creighton, 68 at Kansas State and 15 at Marshall. He also beat SIU for his 100th and 200th victories at the Division I level.
Jake Ryan’s recap.
Creighton led the majority of a fast-paced first half that saw six ties and 10 lead changes. CU took its largest lead at 31-23 on the Chad Millard’s second old-fashioned three-point play of the first half. SIU fought back with nine consecutive points, getting four points from Gene Teague and the next five from Justin Bocot, to claim its final lead of the first half at 32-31.
Not long after Casey Harriman would drain a three-pointer to put CU up 37-34, a lead it would maintain the rest of the half. Things nearly got out of hand with 2:29 left in the 1st half when a double foul was called when SIU’s Nick Evans and CU’s Millard got tangled up. Evans would be ejected from the contest for a flagrant foul after a monitor review, as both players had originally been whistled for a double-technical. CU’s Cavel Witter would hit one of the technical free throws, and Kenny Lawson Jr. threw down a dunk to put CU up four, 40-36. The Jays led 41-37 at the break.
Creighton then scored the first six points of the second half for its first double-digit lead of the game at 47-37, including a three-point play from Carter. The Salukis quickly answered, as Carlton Fay banked in a three-pointer before Kevin Dillard drained a trifecta in transition.
Creighton’s lead remained minimal until SIU tied the game just after the eight-minute media timeout on a corner trey by Tony Freeman at 58. Another three-pointer in transition, this one by Dillard, gave SIU its first lead of the second half at 63-61 with 4:55 left in the contest.
Creighton would get two free throws from Stinnett to tie the game, then get a five-foot bank shot from Darryl Ashford to go ahead 65-63 with 3:29 remaining. Lawson doubled the lead to four with two more at the line with 2:12 left. Teague would split two free throws to bring SIU within three points before Lawson sank two more at the stripe. After both teams came up empty, Dillard drained a long trey to cut the deficit to two for SIU.
After a lay-up attempt by Carter was blocked by Bocot with about 50 seconds left, SIU came down and Dillard weaved his way through traffic to score with 35.2 seconds to play.
Creighton elected not to use any of its three remaining timeouts, instead holding the ball for a final shot. Young would cross over and drive to his right, then hit a leaning six-foot bank shot with 1.3 seconds left.
SIU’s Fay would inbound the ball to mid-court, where CU’s Casey Harriman would knock the ball down. Dillard picked up the ball and tried a desperation half-court heave as time expired, but it was wide left off the backboard to secure CU’s win.
Carter had 19 points and seven rebounds for CU, while Ashford scored 10 points in his return to the starting line-up. Young finished with seven points and five assists in 29 turnover-free minutes. The Jays outrebounded SIU 39-34 and shot 40.4 percent for the game, and 21-of-31 at the line.
SIU was keyed by 14 points and eight rebounds off the bench from freshman reserve Teague. Dillard had 12 points and six assists while Bocot and Booker each finished with 11 points. SIU shot 47.3 percent from the field for the night but just 11-of-20 (55 percent) at the line.
Creighton returns to action on Saturday at 4 pm for a nationally-televised game against Wichita State. The game can be seen on ESPN2. Creighton officials are calling for a “White-Out”, and encouraging fans to wear white to the game.
Story courtesy of CU athletics.