A career-high 24 points for Antoine Young couldn’t help Creighton overcome a hot-shooting Drake team on Tuesday night at the Knapp Center. Young’s last-second half court-shot hit off the back-board and the front of the rim, as the Bulldogs defeated the Jays 67-64. The loss drops the Jays 15-11 overall and 7-7 in the MVC, while the Bulldogs improve to 11-14 and 6-8 in the MVC.
Creighton was led on the night by Young with 24 points, while Gregory Echenique added 11. Kenny Lawson Jr. pulled down eight boards with Doug McDermott bringing in seven boards. Creighton shot 41.9-percent in the game, but shot just 67-percent from the line, taking just eight shots from the charity stripe in the game. The Bulldogs took 25 shots from the line, making 19 of them, and made 46-percent of their shots from the floor. Three Bulldogs scored in double-figures, with Ben Simons, Rayvonte Rice and Seth VanDeest pouring in 18, 16 and 12 points, respectively.
After winning the opening tip, Creighton took the early 2-0 lead on an Echinique bucket down low. The Jays then went scoreless in the next three minutes, while the Bulldogs went on an 8-0 run. The Jays missed five buckets in the paint and gave up two turnovers as the Bulldogs got early baskets from VanDeest, Simons and a pair of buckets by Rice to take an 8-3 lead into the first media timeout.
The Jays forced a turnover coming out of the media timeout, but continued to have troubles shooting the ball inside. Both teams exchanged missed chances on back-to-back trips down the court, leading to another two and a half minute drought of scoreless basketball. Wayne Runnels then gave the Jays their first basket since 30 seconds into the game, knocking down a 15 ft. jumper from the corner with 14:01 to play.
Drake’s defense proved trouble for the Jays, as Creighton turned over the ball four times in the opening minutes, including twice in a full court press. Rice knocked down one-of-two free throws, with Kurt Alexander adding two-of-two, as the Bulldog’s took a 15-7 lead with 11 minutes left in the half.
Darryl Ashford came up with a big offensive rebound just under the 11-minute mark, giving the Jays a chance to set up their offense and finding an open McDermott at the top of the key for Creighton’s first 3-pointer of the game. But the crowd of 4,552 erupted when the Bulldogs hit back-to-back jumpters by VanDeest and Rice to give the Bulldogs their largest lead of the half, a 20-10 margin halfway through the first.
Freshman Jahenns Manigat then scored his first points of the night, followed by a drive to the basket by Runnels to bring the Jays within six, 20-14, with eight to play. McDermott pulled down two defensive rebounds, putting the Jays on a 6-0 run following an Young basket going into the eight-minute media timeout. Young made it an old-fashioned three point play, pulling the Jays within three until Reece Uhlenhopp knocked down his first basket of the game, a three from the left wing to get the lead back to six. A VanDeest was then sent back to the free throw line, where he knocked down both buckets.
The Jays went on another two minute scoring drought, snapped when McDermott knocked down a bucket off a Manigat assist, pulling the score back to six, 25-19. A missed Manigat free-throw on the front end of a one-and-one gave the Bulldogs the ball with just over four minutes. Runnels stood in and took his second charge of the half, sending the game into the final media timeout of the half with the Bulldogs leading 25-19.
The final three minutes of the first half was the Jahenns Manigat and Darryl Ashford show. The freshman knocked down a shot from outside the arc, and then took a fast break after a Kaleb Korver steal and layed the ball in for five straight points. The bucket pulled the Jays within one point, 27-26.
Creighton took its first lead since just the opening minute when Young drove in the lane and kissed a shot off the glass, giving the Jays a 28-27 lead with just over a minute to play in the first half. Creighton picked up its third charge call when Ashford stood in, leading to a Drake turnover with 45 seconds to play. Ashford then gave the Jays a chance to score again by pulling down an offensive board, but Creighton couldn’t capitalize. The Jays trailed 29-28 going into the half.
The Jays shot 26.9-percent from the floor in the first half and made just one-of-nine from beyond the arc. Young led the team in the first half with eight points, while Manigat added seven. McDermott had five points and led the team with six boards. Creighton only led on the boards by three at the half, with a 22-19 advantage over Drake. Rice led the Bulldogs with 10 points while Simons had six rebounds.
Echenique picked up his third foul just 18 seconds into the second half, sending him to the bench and taking out an inside factor for the Jays. The Bulldogs then went inside for their first bucket of the second half, feeding the ball into VanDeest for a 10-foot jumper. Young knocked down shots from behind the arc and in the paint on back-to-back possessions to pull the Jays within two at 35-33.
A game of mirrors took place over the next four possessions, as McDermott hit a shot in the paint for the Jays and Simons laid one in for the Bulldogs. Young then hit a 15 foot jumper from the wing and Ryan Wedel followed with the same on the other end. Creighton’s freshmen then hit a couple big shots, with Manigat capitalizing on a fast break and McDermott posting-up down low and laying a bucket in to bring the game to the fifth tie, 41-41; a 13-12 run for the Jays through the first seven minutes of the second half.
But the Bulldogs weren’t done yet, taking back the lead when Simons knocked down a three from four feet behind the arc. Ashford scored his first points of the game just before the second media timeout, driving the ball in from the left side and banking it off the glass.
After a Bulldogs bucket, Echenique slammed one home to keep the lead for the Bulldogs at just one. On the following possession, Creighton took the lead again, 47-46 when Echenique tipped in a rebound. As happened the whole game, the Bulldogs came right back, with Rice putting together an old-fashioned three-point play. With 9:21 left in the game, the Jays trailed 49-47.
The Bulldogs opened up their largest lead since the three minute mark in the first half, when Wedel knocked down a three-point bucket from deep, giving Drake a 54-49 lead. The lead was extended to 58-51 when Jordan Clarke out-muscled the Jays in the paint with four and a half minutes to play.
Drake put together an 11-3 run following the 49-all tie game to take a 60-52 lead with just over three-minutes to play. But Creighton didn’t give up, clawing their way back into the game, starting with an old-fashioned three-point play by Echenique to put the Jays within five, 60-55. A Josh Jones turnover gave the Bulldogs back the ball with 2:33 in the game, when the Jays fouled intentionally. Simons knocked down both free throws, but Young got the points back after an up-and-under lay-in, putting the score at 64-57 with 2:19 remaining.
A missed Bulldog lay-up and defensive rebound by Echenique gave the Jays another chance on offense. Young went to the line, knocking down both baskets to pull the Jays within five, 64-59. The Bulldogs then played keep-away, using the full shot-clock before missing a bucket. But a missed 10-foot jumper by Young gave the Bulldogs the ball back. Missed front end of a one-and-one and a time-out by the Jays led to a Young three-pointer, making it a two-point game with 38.8 seconds left.
The Bulldogs got a lucky bounce, as the inbounds pass bounced off the chest of Simons and into Rice’s hands to break the Bluejay press, forcing a Creighton foul. Uhlenhopp then made one-of-two, making it a 65-62 game with 12 seconds left. McDermott then missed a three-pointer, giving the ball back to Drake with 10.3 seconds and sending Rice to the line. Rice knocked down one-of two, giving the Bulldogs a 66-62 lead. Young then drove the length of the court and laid one in, giving Drake just a 66-64 lead with 5.0 seconds left.
On the inbound, the Bulldogs stretched the length of the court, trying to spread out the Bluejay press. Jones then fouled on the inbound pass, and Alexander knocked down one-of-two. Young then tried a half court shot, that banked off the backboard and the rim, giving the Bulldogs the 67-64 victory.
The Jays return home for an MVC game with Southern Illinois on Sunday, February 13. Creighton tip’s off at 7:00 p.m. at Qwest Center Omaha.
Story courtesy of Creighton athletics.