Sam Maniscalco had a career-high 31 points and Bradley used a 14-0 run midway through the second half to lead fifth-seeded Bradley to an 81-62 victory over fourth-seeded Creighton on Friday afternoon at the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.
With the win, Bradley (16-14) advances to Saturday’s 1:30 pm semifinal against regular-season Valley champion Northern Iowa (26-4). Creighton (16-15) was eliminated from the tournament with the loss, and must now wait nine days to learn its postseason destination.
Maniscalco, held to three points in Creighton’s win over Bradley last Saturday, was 18-of-19 at the line, including 9-for-9 shooting after being fouled on three different attempts from three-point range.
Creighton surged to a 9-0 lead in the opening minutes, including two scores from Kenny Lawson Jr., a lay-up by Josh Jones and a three-pointer by Ethan Wragge. Bradley recovered with the next six points, before Jones and Wragge bombed in treys to give CU a 15-8 lead at the first break in the action.
Bradley tied game for the first time at 23 as part of 9-0 run with 5:42 left in the half, getting the final five points at the free throw line. Creighton responded with an 8-1 run to go ahead 31-24, only to see Maniscalco drop in consecutive three-pointers and Andrew Warren drain a step-back jumper to put the Braves up 32-31 with 58 seconds left in the half. Amazingly, it was Bradley’s first lead in more than 99 minutes of action against Creighton this season.
The Braves closed the first half on an 8-0 run to lead 32-31 at the break, holding the Jays to just two baskets in the final nine minutes of the half. Maniscalco, held to three points last Saturday in Creighton’s 82-71 win in Omaha over the Braves, had 14 point by intermission to lead all scorers. Creighton was paced by 11 points and seven rebounds from Lawson Jr. in the first half.
After Creighton retook the lead with four free throws to open the second half, the Braves got a bucket from Jake Eastman and a highlight-worthy tip slam by Chris Roberts to go ahead 36-35. Maniscalco and Roberts also scored from the left wing as part of Bradley’s 8-0 run that saw them go up five.
The Jays got a basket from Antoine Young with 7:07 left to get within 55-51, before the Braves unleashed its game-clinching 14-0 flurry. The first eight of those came at the line, including six points from Maniscalco, before scores from Taylor Brown, Dyricus Simms-Edwards and Will Egolf finished off the Jays.
Lawson (17 points, 11 rebounds) and Carter (10 points, 13 rebounds) both had double-doubles for the Jays, but CU shot just 31.8 percent in the game. Josh Jones added 11 points for Creighton in his Valley Tourney debut. The Jays did win the battle of the boards (39-38), but forced only eight turnovers for the game and just one of those came after intermission.
The double-double was Carter’s first of his career, and marked the first game that Creighton has had multiple double-doubles since Dec. 16, 2006, when Dane Watts and Anthony Tolliver both had double-dips in a game at Fresno State. Additionally, Carter’s 13 rebounds were the second-most of his career and the most by a Blluejay since Anthony Tolliver had 13 in a 2007 championship game win over No. 11 Southern Illinois.
In addition to 31 points from Maniscalco, Warren finished with 14 points for BU. The Braves were 27-of-28 at the line for the game. Bradley shot 45.5 percent for the game and converted 12 Bluejay turnovers into 19 points.
Postgame wrap and comments from Dana Altman
Story courtesy of CU Athletics.