No. 14 Creighton rolls early, tops Longwood 105-57By ERIC OLSON, AP Sports Writer Tuesday, Nov 20, 2012
OMAHA, Neb. (AP)—After watching his team finish another blowout victory, Creighton coach Greg McDermott said he’s ready to see how good his Bluejays really are.
Doug McDermott and Gregory Echenique scored 17 points apiece to lead four Creighton players in double figures, and the 14th-ranked Bluejays defeated Longwood 105-57 on Tuesday night.
Ethan Wragge and Will Artino each added 13 points for the Bluejays (4-0).
“We accomplished what we wanted to accomplish with this four-game homestand,” Greg McDermott said, “and now it’s going to get a little tougher this weekend.”
Creighton has won its first four games by 20, 27, 29 and 48 points. The Bluejays take a big step up in competition when they play Wisconsin on Friday in the Las Vegas Invitational. The Badgers were ranked 22nd last week before dropping out of the Top 25.
“It’s a huge challenge,” Doug McDermott said. “This is what we’ve been looking forward to. It’s one of the games we circled on our calendar.”
Jeylani Dublin had 19 points and Tristan Carey 14 for Longwood (0-4), which has been outscored by an average of 38 points a game.
Doug McDermott, the Bluejays’ returning All-American, missed three shots, had another blocked and threw away a pass in the first four minutes. He went to the bench for about a minute, and upon returning he hit a 3-pointer and his next four shots, including a tip-in at the buzzer for a 53-24 halftime lead.
The Bluejays went on a 15-2 run to go ahead by double digits less than seven minutes into the game. Wragge hit two straight 3-pointers and Josh Jones followed with another to end a 19-2 run that made it 44-19 late in the half.
Greg McDermott sat his starters for the night after the Bluejays had a 40-point lead with 8:51 left.
It was another blowout loss for Longwood, which is 13-116 in road games since beginning the transition to Division I in 2004. The Lancers are in their first season as a member of the Big South Conference after playing as an independent.
Longwood, coming off a 112-63 loss at Arkansas two nights earlier, was grossly overmatched in this one.
It didn’t help the Lancers that freshman Michael Kessens, who averaged 15 points and 10 rebounds in the their first three games, picked up his fourth foul with 4:24 left in the first half and fouled out less than two minutes into the second.
Kessens, who arrived at Longwood this summer from Switzerland, had the task of guarding Echenique. Both are 6 feet 9, but the 205-pound Kessens gives up 55 pounds to Echenique.
“Mike Kessens is an inexperience college player, he’s new to the country, he’s new to the game, and he’s been off to a great start,” Lancers coach Mike Gillian said. “He played 14 minutes. He didn’t even get to play in the game. I didn’t take him out. I would have left him out there to go head-to-head against these guys.”
Echenique came into the game having made a combined 13 of 14 field goals the first three games, and the Bluejays fed him in the post to exploit the matchup. He made 5 of 7 shots during his best outing of the season.
Echenique said he was surprised Longwood didn’t double-team him when he got the ball in the post.
“Every game we try to dominate in the paint,” he said, “and tonight we were able to do that.”
The Bluejays have won 93 straight home games when scoring 70 or more points and 42 regular-season November games in a row.
Greg McDermott said it’s time for the Bluejays to be tested against stronger competition.
The Bluejays are shooting 57 percent for the season, including 41 percent from 3-point range. They’re holding opponents to 37 percent from the field.
“I like the four wins,” he said. “Offensively, after not shooting it as well as we’re capable the first couple games, we’ve settled in there. Our assist-to-turnover has been relatively good as well. There are strides defensively. We’re never going to be a perfect defensive team, but I think we’ve made some improvements. Those improvements are really going to be tested this weekend.”