McDermott's 29 keys easy Creighton winBy The Sports Xchange | The SportsXchange – Wed, Jan 30, 2013 11:30 PM EST
OMAHA, Neb. -- Doug McDermott made himself right at home in Creighton's long-awaited homecoming. McDermott, a junior All-American forward, scored 29 points and became the first player to score 1,000 career points at the 10-year-old CenturyLink Center, helping No. 21 Creighton defeat Missouri State 91-77 on Wednesday night. Creighton (19-3, 8-2 Missouri Valley Conference) was playing its first home game in 15 days. The Bluejays went 1-2 on a three-game road swing through the MVC, salvaging a victory Sunday at Southern Illinois. "We were getting sick of traveling," said McDermott, who also grabbed 10 rebounds for his fifth double-double this season. "Yesterday was our first practice here in a while, so it felt good to be back." McDermott, who scored 39 points in Creighton's first meeting this season with Missouri State, was 9 of 16 from the field in the rematch and had five of Creighton's 15 3-pointers. "At their place, they didn't double-team me as much," McDermott said. "Tonight, they brought a guy usually every time I touched it in the post. I knew I had to be able to find guys out of that, and I thought I was a lot more patient. It felt good, because everyone was scoring." Austin Chatman had 14 points and 10 assists, Ethan Wragge scored 15 points and Grant Gibbs added 10 for Creighton, which shot 55.6 percent overall. "Obviously, our offense was incredibly efficient," Creighton coach Greg McDermott said. Too efficient for a young Missouri State team that started four freshmen. One of them, guard Gavin Thurman, matched his career high with 21 points to lead the Bears (6-16, 4-6). The Bears shot 54.7 percent from the field and made a season-best 11 3-pointers but were outrebounded 34-21 and fell to 0-14 this season when being outrebounded. "I thought offensively, we were OK. We simply could not stop them," Missouri State coach Paul Lusk said. "The game was too fast for us. They're very, very difficult for us to match up with." Creighton led by 13 points at halftime and maintained its double-digit margin throughout the second half, leading by as many as 24 points. McDermott's last 3-pointer, with 8:29 remaining, came after reserve sophomore center Will Artino, in fighting for an offensive rebound, tipped the ball out to McDermott, who was open at the top of the key and swished his jumper, drawing a loud roar from the crowd of 16,822. "McDermott is great -- not good, great," Lusk said. "And Creighton, as a team, if you make any mistakes on them, they just make you pay, and that's certainly the case with Doug. If you don't get an offensive rebound, they kick it out, he's out there. He's just so efficient." Creighton held Missouri State's leading scorer, Anthony Downing, to nine points, or nearly six under his season average, but three other Bears joined Thurman in double-figure scoring. "I tip my hat to them," Greg McDermott said. "They've come a long way offensively since early in the conference season. We haven't had that many teams shoot that kind of percentage against us all year. We've got to clean some of that up." Creighton led 45-32 at halftime after an efficient first half on offense. Seven different Creighton players scored within the game's first eight minutes, and the Bluejays had nine assists and no turnovers with seven minutes remaining in the first half. Creighton's first turnover was an offensive foul on Gibbs, one of two Bluejay turnovers over the final 4:40 of the half. The Bluejays made nine 3-pointers in the first half, including three from Wragge and two apiece from McDermott and Jahenns Manigat. Back-to-back 3-pointers from Wragge and McDermott staked Creighton to its first double-digit lead, 28-17, with 8:25 remaining before halftime. Missouri State, behind Thurman, shot 55 percent from the field in the first half. The Bears began the game shooting 6-for-8, and Thurman finished the first half 6-for-7 for 14 points -- double his season scoring average. NOTES: Missouri State's freshman class has accounted for 44.1 percent of the Bears' scoring this season, the 17th-best freshman scoring percentage in the nation. ... McDermott scored 11 points in the first half to eclipse 500 points for the season. He entered Wednesday's game ranked second in the nation in scoring average at 23.7 points per game. ... Missouri State entered Wednesday's game having won six of the last eight games with Creighton, including the last two games in Omaha. ... With Wichita State's loss to Indiana State on Tuesday night, Creighton and WSU are tied atop the MVC standings.
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