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Creighton 68, Wichita State 65

The SportsXchange

ST. LOUIS -- If this was Creighton's final Missouri Valley Conference tournament, it went out with a bang.

Jahenns Manigat had 16 points, including a critical layup with 11.5 seconds left, Ethan Wragge came off the bench to contribute 15 points and Doug McDermott scored 14 as the top-seeded Bluejays held off No. 2 Wichita State in the second half Sunday for a 68-65 victory at Scottrade Center.

It was the second straight MVC tournament title for Creighton and its 12th overall. It might also be its last as it's rumored to be joining the new Big East Conference on July 1, along with seven former members of the old Big East-- DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, st. John's, Seton Hall and Villanova -- plus Butler and Xavier.

Malcolm Armstead pumped in a game-high 28 points for the Shockers (26-8), including a 3-pointer with 43.8 seconds left to cap a 10-0 run that cut their deficit to one. But he missed a fallaway 3 as time expired that would have forced overtime.

Carl Hall scored 13 points for the Shockers but hit just 4 of 14 shots from the field, mirroring most of his teammates' struggles to find the bucket. Wichita State sank just 34 percent of its shots, missing its first nine attempts and not making a field goal for the opening 6:45.

The Bluejays (27-7) weren't much better, clanging their first seven shots. At the second media timeout with 11:39 left in the first half, Creighton led 6-3.

But it heated up behind Wragge, a 6-foot-7 forward who's shooting almost 43 percent from behind the arc. Wragge drilled three straight 3s in a span of 2:35 as the Bluejays opened up a 19-7 lead, to the delight of their huge contingent of fans.

Armstead led the Shockers back into contention, rattling off 10 straight points in a 95-second span. Wichita State took a brief lead late in the half before Wragge's 3 gave Creighton a 30-28 halftime edge.

Manigat's 3-pointer with 5:10 left boosted the Bluejays' lead to 60-48. It was barely enough to hold off the Shockers' furious final rush.

NOTES: Despite its recent history of success, Wichita State hasn't done much in the MVC tournament. The Shockers' record is 27-31 and they haven't won the title since 1987, when the tournament was played in Tulsa. ... By contrast, Creighton entered the game at 42-20 in Valley tournament history. Its total wins and .677 winning percentage lead all conference schools. ... The Bluejays came in with an 11-1 mark in MVC championship games, including 8-0 in St. Louis.
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