Doug McDermott had 14 points and 11 rebounds and Creighton held Samford to a Qwest Center Omaha record-low 40 points while posting a 58-40 victory over Samford on Wednesday night. Creighton outrebounded Samford 45-19 for the game, a Qwest Center Omaha record for rebound margin and the program’s largest since an identical +26 victory on the boards on Dec. 29, 2001 against Mississippi Valley State.
Creighton (8-4) won its fourth straight game and heads into Missouri Valley Conference play next Wednesday at Illinois State. Samford (8-5) had its three-game win streak snapped in the setback.
Creighton could not score early on, missing its first six shots from the floor and owning six turnovers while falling behind 7-0 before an Antoine Young hoop made it 7-2 with 13:07 left in the first half. After Samford answered with a three-pointer by Omaha native Andy King, Creighton unleashed a 15-2 run that saw it take the lead for good at 17-12. Omaha-metro natives Antoine Young (6) and Josh Jones (4) helped spur the flurry of points, with McDermott scoring the final five.
Creighton took a 24-19 lead into the break, limiting Samford to 30.4 percent shooting and just 3-of-12 from downtown. Young had eight points to lead all players in the first half, while the Bulldogs were led by five each from King and Jeffrey Merritt.
Creighton’s lead reached 10 for the first time at 34-24 on a three-pointer from center Kenny Lawson Jr., and would remain at five or more the rest of the night. A 10-2 run, keyed by four points each from McDermott and Young, ended any chance of the Bulldogs replicating their 13-point comeback victory at UTSA on Monday night.
In addition to McDermott’s 14 points and 11 rebounds, Young also finished with 14 points. Creighton outrebounded the Bulldogs 45-19, including 25-7 after halftime. The Jays shot 41.5 percent from the floor overall, 34.8 percent from downtown and 60 percent from the line. Creighton outscored Samford 16-0 after offensive rebounds.
Samford was led by nine points from Merritt. The Bulldogs entered the night ranked third nationally with 10.5 three-pointers per game, but were held to 6-of-22 shooting from downtown.
Creighton will take a week off before returning to game action with its Missouri Valley Conference opener, a 7:05 pm contest at Illinois State on Dec. 29th. Creighton’s next home game will be Jan. 1 vs. Drake and also start at 7:05 pm.