Creighton drills Drake, 91-61By The Sports Xchange | The SportsXchange – Tue, Jan 8, 2013 11:00 PM EST
OMAHA, Neb. -- Creighton coach Greg McDermott says Ethan Wragge would start for any other team in the Missouri Valley Conference, and for many schools in bigger conferences, too. Instead, Wragge is perfectly comfortable coming off the bench for one of the nation's hottest teams. Wragge scored a season-high 22 points, and No. 13 Creighton made a season-high 16 3-pointers to overwhelm Drake 91-61 Tuesday night at CenturyLink Center. Creighton (15-1, 4-0 MVC) won its ninth straight game in easy fashion. The Bluejays, who shot 64.2 percent for the game, were 6-for-8 on 3-pointers in the game's first nine minutes while building a 30-9 lead, and they led by as many as 32 points in the first half. "Sometimes you have nights like this," McDermott said, "and we shot the daylights out of the basketball." Wragge, a 6-foot-7 junior forward, finished 6-for-9 on 3-pointers, and he is now 15-for-24 over his past three games. His six 3-pointers matched his season high, and he made them while playing only 17 minutes. "I would say the last couple of games, I've got my feel back a little more," said Wragge, who had endured a 7-for-33 3-point shooting slump over a seven-game period. "I'm confident, and my arm's feeling good. The guys are really good at finding me in stride and not making me get out of rhythm with a pass." Creighton, which entered the game second nationally in 3-point shooting at 43.7 percent, went 16-for-27 (59.3 percent) against Drake. The Bluejays have made at least 10 3-pointers in four straight games, and have shot better than 50 percent on 3-pointers in four straight games for the first time since 1997. They're 52-for-98 (53 percent) on their current four-game tear. Creighton had nine 3-pointers in the first half against Drake, and they hit a 10th in the opening seconds of the second half. The Bluejays had 28 assists on 34 made field goals. "Our ball movement was outstanding and we scored in a lot of different ways," McDermott said. "And at the same time, I thought our defense the first 15 minutes of the game was on point. The communication was good, the effort was good, and the energy was good. "We took a team that had been struggling some and threw the first punch, and that was our goal coming into the game." Drake (6-9, 0-4) suffered its most lopsided loss of the season. Joey King scored 17 points and Jordan Clarke and Micah Mason scored 11 apiece to lead the Bulldogs, who went 9-for-28 (32.1 percent) on 3-pointers. "We clearly ran into a buzz saw of a basketball team tonight," Drake coach Mark Phelps said. "The fast start really put us on our heels and we could not, obviously, over the course of the game, recover from that." Creighton's Doug McDermott, an All-America junior forward, had 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting, including 2-of-3 on 3-pointers. Creighton made its first three 3-pointers in jumping to an 11-2 lead. The Bluejays' first six 3-pointers came from five different players. Drake, meanwhile, was shooting early in the shot clock on every possession, and misfiring badly, leading to more possessions for hot-shooting Creighton. The Bulldogs air-balled two shots and had two other attempts that hit backboard, but not rim, in the first half. "They played very well on offense," Phelps said, "and combine that with some poor shooting -- some very poor shooting on our end, some questionable shot selection -- and that's how you have an outcome like we had tonight." Creighton opened a 30-9 lead. The advantage reached 30 points when Wragge made his third 3-pointer with 6:06 remaining before halftime. Drake had three 3-pointers in the final five minutes of the half, but Creighton held a commanding 49-25 lead at the break. NOTES: Drake's Ben Simons and Creighton's Wragge entered the game tied for the league lead in made 3-pointers with 37 apiece. Simons didn't make a 3-pointer, while Wragge had six ... Creighton won its 10th home game, extending its school-record streak of 10-win home seasons to 17. ... The Bluejays have won 71 consecutive home games against teams that entered the game with records no better than .500. ... Fifteen players played for Creighton, and 12 of them scored.
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