With 11.1 seconds remaining and the score tied at 60, it was hard to imagine the ball going in anyone else's hands.
Doug McDermott, the front runner for the National Player of the Year Award, scored 39 points including the game-winning 3-pointer with 2.8 seconds left to catapult the Creighton Bluejays over the St. John's Red Storm by the score of 63-60. The win was the 18th on the season for the Bluejays, and their eighth victory in BIG EAST play.
The superstar senior forward for Creighton was phenomenal from the opening tip. McDermott shot 15-of-26 on the night and shot a superb 5-9 from the 3-point line. McDermott led all scorers with his 39 points, as none of the remaining eight Bluejays who stepped on the floor leapt into double figures on Tuesday evening.
But, it was truly a spirited effort from the St. John's Red Storm. Although they have struggled this season, it was the Johnnies who hung with the dynamic Bluejays to many surprised faces inside CenturyLink Center Omaha. The Red Storm, who recently broke free from their struggles with a three-game winning streak going into the night, strung out35 points in the 2nd half despite falling victim to a 15-1 run by Creighton inside the final 20 minute period.
Four Red Storm players finished in double figures, with junior guard D'Angelo Harrison leading the back with 15 points. Joining Harrison was sophomore forward JaKarr Sampson, sophomore center Chris Obekpa, and freshman guard Rysheed Jordan who scored 10, 11, and 11 points respectively.
Perhaps the most surprising storyline was the unusual, sloppy play from both teams. Creighton committed 17 turnovers to St. John's 10, as both teams came away with uncharacteristic performances in the turnover department. Coming into the night, both of these teams were amongst the best in the BIG EAST Conference as well as amongst their peers across the nation in taking care of the basketball. The Red Storm feasted off of Creighton's turnovers, scoring 21 points off of their opponent's mistakes, while Creighton merely scored four.
Despite that, Doug McDermott was just too hot for St. John's to handle in the end.
The Bluejays now have an extended period of rest, as they will not take the floor until Friday, Feb. 7 when Creighton squares off with DePaul in Omaha, Neb., while St. John's gets right back to the floor on Saturday, Feb. 1 when they host Marquette at Madison Square Garden.