Creighton’s four-game tour of the Bahamas got started with a 106-82 victory over the Bahamas All-Stars on Friday evening at Kendal Isaacs National Gymnasium in Nassau.
Head coach Greg McDermott went with a starting five of Antoine Young, Grant Gibbs, Jahenns Manigat, Doug McDermott and Will Artino. And as fans came to expect last season, Doug McDermott was the early scoring leader. The sophomore forward had each of CU’s first two baskets and eight of the team’s first 15 in the scoring column, while seldom leaving the paint.
Though Creighton trailed 20-15 late in the first quarter, it would rally back to force a 22-all tie after one quarter, paced by 10 to that point from McDermott.
In the second quarter Creighton went to work with an up-tempo game that wore down the All-Stars. Nevin Johnson made two free throws and Josh Jones hit an open three-pointer to give CU a 27-22 lead. After two scores by the Bahamas All-Stars, the Jays embarked on a 19-0 run. McDermott scored to start the flurry, and Manigat scored five points in a matter of seconds after draining a three-pointer, grabbing a steal, and then draining a pull-up jumper in transition. Field goals by Avery Dingman, Artino, Geoffrey Groselle, McDermott, Austin Chatman and Ethan Wragge built the lead into comfortable territory, and the Jays led 50-29 at halftime.
Creghton’s lead in second half never dipped below 19 in the second half, and the Jays were up 78-52 heading to the final quarter.
The fourth quarter started with Gibbs catching fire. The Gonzaga transfer hit four consecutive shots, including two trifectas, to score 10 points in the first two minutes of the quarter. The Jays then got a pair of dunks from Doug McDermott and reached the century mark on a Manigat hoop, before settling for a final margin of 107-82.
Unofficially (stats are being double-checked in the morning), Doug McDermott paced Creighton with 27 points on 12-of-14 shooting from the floor. He also tied Artino, Young and Manigat for team-high honors with five rebounds.
Also in double-figures for the victors were Manigat (14), Groselle (11) and Gibbs (10). Creighton shot 59 percent (42-71) from the floor, including 7-of-20 from the international three-point line. CU also hit 16-of-28 free throws for the night (57 percent). Creighton outrebounded the All-Starts 41-22 and were credited with 23 assists against just 16 turnovers. Freshman Chatman led the way with six helpers.
The All-Stars were led in scoring by 24 points by Ernest Saunders. Nassau native Eugene Bain, who played at both Bellevue and Nebraska-Omaha, finished with 12 points and a game-high nine rebounds.
Creighton returns to the court on Saturday at 4 pm Eastern (3 pm Central) with a game against the Commonwealth Giants.