Antoine Young and Doug McDermott had 25 of Creighton’s 33 points after halftime to help the Bluejays to a 61-60 win at Indiana State on Saturday in the regular-season finale for both teams.
The Bluejays overcame a four-point deficit in the final three minutes with a game-ending 7-2 run that featured the final four points from Young.
Creighton (25-5, 14-4 MVC) led most of the first half, including a 28-21 lead with 1:19 left, only to see Indiana State use a 5-0 run to trim CU’s lead to 28-26 at intermission. Creighton had to work around foul trouble from McDermott, Grant Gibbs and Gregory Echenique, who were limited to a combined 35 of 60 possible first half minutes with two fouls each.
The Sycamores (17-13, 8-10 MVC) scored four of the first five points after the break to take a 30-29 lead and get the crowd excited, only to have Echenique’s putback return the score in CU’s favor.
The teams traded punches over much of the next 10 minutes, as Indiana State tied the game at 51-all on a three-pointer from Carl Richard. Just as quickly CU answered, as Ethan Wragge drained a three-pointer in front of the Bluejay bench to put CU up three.
But Jordan Printy made both ends of a bonus, and Richard a nifty spin move in the lane to put ISU up one with 3:48 to go. Dwayne Lathan then drove out of a media timeout and converted a 3-point play to put ISU up four. Once again there was an answer, as Jahenns Manigat drained a three-pointer over two defenders to trim CU’s deficit to one.
After a defensive stand, Young hit his toughest shot of the night, beating the shot clock with a step-back jumper from the top of the key to put the Jays up 59-58 with 1:42 remaining.
ISU would miss a shot and putback, and CU snared the rebound with under a minute left. The Jays turned it over after Dwayne Lathan intercepted a pass, but his lay-up and Odum’s tip-in both missed as well.
ISU was forced to foul, and Young sank two foul shots to put the Jays up 61-58 with 32.1 left. Jake Odum got ISU within one on a lay-up, and 16.1 seconds left, and Young was fouled again with 14.2 left. He missed the front-end of a bonus situation, giving the Sycamores the ball for the last shot.
But CU’s defense, which had faced criticism in recent days, responded with a defensive stop to win the second straight contest. This time Gibbs defended Lathan, who was forced to put up an off-balance jumper with mere seconds remaining. His shot was off the mark and McDermott rebounded it to secure the win.
McDermott led Creighton with 22 points, while Young had 21 on the day. The Jays won despite shooting 38.6 percent from the floor and 3-of-14 from downtown. CU had just five turnovers on the afternoon.
ISU was led by 15 points and nine rebounds by Myles Walker, while Richard had 14 points and nine rebounds. ISU shot 37.5 percent from the floor.
Creighton will be the second seed in next week’s State Farm MVC Tournament in St. Louis at Scottrade Center. The Bluejays will play on Friday at 6:05 pm against the winner of the Bradley vs. Drake play-in game that takes place on Thursday evening.