It was far from easy, but the Creighton Bluejays earned a share of 1st place in the BIG EAST Conference on Sunday afternoon.
Despite trailing 12-0 out of the gate, Creighton weathered the early storm set by the Xavier Musketeers to power their way to an impressive 95-89 victory. The win was their 14th of the season, and their fourth in conference. As a result of this victory, the Bluejays are now tied for the lead in the BIG EAST Conference along with the Villanova Wildcats.
The Xavier Musketeers meanwhile were dealt their first stain of the conference season, falling from the ranks of the unbeaten. They now stand at 3-1.
National Player of the Year candidate Doug McDermott padded his résumé with yet another superb performance. Against the Musketeers, McDermott scored 35 points and grabbed seven rebounds. The Ames, Ia. native shot 54.17 percent from the field and 40.0 percent from the 3-point line. Sunday afternoon's contest marked the sixth time that the senior forward scored 30 points or more in the 2013-14 season.
While McDermott's dominance was on display in Omaha, he was not the only significant contributor. He was one of five Creighton players who got into double figures, as Austin Chatman, Jahenns Manigat, Ethan Wragge and Devin Brooks all scored 12, 11, 15, and 14 points respectively. While Creighton's free throw shooting was less than stellar down the stretch, the Bluejays offense was spectacular throughout the game.
Not be outdone, Xavier put up a fight throughout the contest. The Musketeers had four players of their own to earn double figures, and leading the way was Semaj Christon. The sophomore guard scored a team-high 27 points on 17 shots, with stellar efficiency, shooting 58.8 percent. Not too far behind from Christon was forward Justin Martin. Martin, a junior guard, scored 21 points and was electric from the 3-point line. The Indianapolis native shot 50 percent from the 3-point line, contributing to his team's 3-point percentage of 46.2 percent.
Despite the push from the Musketeers, the Bluejays simply could not be stopped.
Creighton now sets their sights on hosting the struggling Butler Bulldogs on Tuesday, while Xavier takes aim at Georgetown.