Doug McDermott had 19 of his game-high 29 points in the second half, moving into 10th on the NCAA’s all-time scoring charts, to help No. 11 Creighton hold off Seton Hall in a 72-71 game before 18,742 fans at CenturyLink Center Omaha on Sunday evening.
McDermott had 29 points on 8-of-14 field goal attempts, including 12-of-16 at the line, but missed two free throws with 21.0 left and Creighton up three. After Seton Hall’s Fuquan Edwin made two free throws with 8.2 left to make it a one-point game, Creighton’s Ethan Wragge was fouled with 4.0 left. Wragge, like McDermott one of the best shooters in CU history, also missed both foul shots to give Seton Hall one last chance. But without a timeout, all Seton Hall could manage was a turn-around 40-footer from Edwin as time expired that bounced off the glass and gave CU its 17th straight home win.
Creighton improved to 23-4 on the year and moved back into sole possession of first place in the BIG EAST with a 13-2 conference record. Seton Hall lost its fourth league game by one point this year and fell to 14-13 (5-9 BIG EAST).
Seton Hall gave Creighton its toughest test of the season at home, leading much of the first half before a Grant Gibbs trey in the waning seconds gave the hosts a 38-36 halftime edge. Gibbs and McDermott both had 10 points in the first half for CU, helping offset a 17-9 rebounding advantage for Seton Hall.
McDermott’s 29 points vaulted him into 10th place on the NCAA’s all-time scoring list with 2,917 career points, three more than Alfredrick Hughes. Next on the list is Kansas great Danny Manning (2,951) and Cincinnati legend Oscar Robertson (2,973).
In addition to 29 from McDermott, fellow senior Gibbs added a season-best 16 points, including a career-high three baskets from three-point land. Overall the Bluejays made 22-of-43 shots (51.2 percent), including 8-of-15 three-pointers (53.3 percent) and 20-of-31 free throws (64.5 percent).
Seton Hall was paced by 21 points from Edwin, one of four Pirates in double-figures. Eugene Teague had 14 points and 11 reobunds, Patrik Auda had 12 points and Brandon Mobley added 11 points. The Pirates shot 48.1 percent for the game, including 7-of-17 three-pointers, and also sank 14-of-15 free throws. SHU outrebounded CU 34-20 in the contest, converting 10 offensive rebounds into 15 second-chance points.
Creighton returns to action on Saturday when it plays at Xavier in a 4:07 pm Central tip-off.
NOTES: Creighton has yet to trail in the second half of any of its 17 straight home wins …Creighton has won 32 straight games when leading with five minutes left and 28 straight when leading at halftime …Doug McDermott has scored 25 or more points in seven straight games, upping his nation-best scoring average to 26.0 points per game …Doug McDermott hadn’t missed consecutive free throws in the same trip since March 2, 2012, shooting 413 attempts at the line in between 0-for-2 trips …Austin Chatman had five assists, moving into 10th in CU history with 334 in his career …Today was Creighton’s first game decided by one point since the 58-57 win over Alabama in the 2012 NCAA Tournament …Creighton improved to 9-4 all-time at CenturyLink Center Omaha in games decided by one point, including seven straight wins …Creighton’s 17 straight wins at the CenturyLink Center Omaha are most in facility history …The crowd of 18,742 was third-largest in school history for a home game.