Jays back in first place
OMAHA, Neb. -- Doug McDermott had five of Creighton's 15 three-pointers to finish with 29 points and 10 rebounds as the Bluejays returned home for the first time in 15 days with a 91-77 win over Missouri State on Wednesday night.
Austin Chatman turned in his first career double-double while directing Creighton's high-powered attack, tying his career-high with 14 points and adding 10 assists.
CU's win, coupled with Wichita State's loss on Tuesday, returns the Bluejays into a tie for first place in the MVC standings at 19-3 (8-2 MVC). Missouri State fell to 6-16 on the year and is 4-6 in Valley action.
Creighton controlled most of the first half, using a balanced scoring attack from long-range to build a 45-32 halftime lead. The Jays took the lead for good on a three-point play from Gregory Echenique to lead 10-7. The margin reached double-figures for the first time at 28-17 on a McDermott three-pointer, and an Avery Dingman trey just before the first half horn gave CU its largest lead in the first 20 minutes at 45-32.
McDermott had 11 points, five rebounds and three assists in a first half that saw eight different men score for CU. Gavin Thurman led the Bears with 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting in the opening 20 minutes.
Creighton's lead in the second half reached as large as 24 points before MSU whittled it down to 14 in the two minutes thanks to three-pointers by Marcus Marshall, Dorrian Williams and Michael Simpson.
The national leader in field goal percentage, Creighton shot 55.6 percent for the contest and were 53.6 percent from three-point range. CU also owned a 34-21 advantage on the glass and dished 24 assists on 30 baskets. In addition to McDermott (29) and Chatman (14), Ethan Wragge (15) and Grant Gibbs (10) also reached double-figures.
MSU was paced by 21 points from Thurman, who tied his career-best. Also in double-figures were Williams (14), Marshall (10) and Christian Kirk (10). Anthony Downing entered the contest with a streak of 10 straight games in double-figures end as he was limited to nine points on 2-of-9 shooting from the field. MSU shot 54.7 percent for the game and made 11-of-20 three-pointers, but it wasn't enough on a night where one of the nation's most efficient offenses was clicking on all cylinders.
Creighton remains at home for Saturday's 2:05 pm game vs. Bradley (13-9, 5-5 MVC).
NOTES: Missouri State played without leading rebounder Keith Pickens (4.6 rpg.), who was sidelined by injury ...Doug McDermott's 29 points give him 1,001 career points in home games at CenturyLink Center Omaha, and 1,908 career points in all venues ...Ethan Wragge became the fifth Creighton player to reach 200 career three-pointers by making five trifectas. he now has made 203 overall ...Gregory Echenique had two blocked shots, giving him 150 at Creighton. He also owned 94 swats in parts of two seasons at Rutgers ...Creighton snapped a two-game home losing streak to Missouri State ...Creighton has won 18 straight games vs. teams wearing red/scarlet/garnet/maroon/cardinal/crimson ...Doug McDermott became the nation's first player to 500 points this season and leads the country with 526 points ...Creighton improved to 17-0 when winning the rebound battle this season, while MSU droped to 0-14 when being outrebounded ...Creighton has won 100 straight games when scoring 70 or more points at home and 57 straight at all sites when scoring 90 or more ...Creighton has won 28 straight when tied or leading at half and 24 straight when tied or leading in rebounds.
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