It was the last hurrah for Jahenns Manigat, Ethan WRagge, Grant Gibbs and the incomparable Doug McDermott. And on Saturday, the senior class went out with a bang.
McDermott, who should garner all of your National Player of the Year Awards at this point, finished his run in Omaha with an outstanding 45-point performance on Senior Night, a career-high for the should-be three-time, three-time, three-time All-American. This spectacular showing catapulted Creighton to its 24th victory of the season to the tune of 88-73 over the Providence Friars.
In front of the largest crowd in CenturyLink Center Omaha history, the Bluejays decimated the Friars from start to finish. Providence simply could not compete with Creighton on this night right off the blocks. But to be honest, with all that surrounded this evening, one should even wonder if any team could challenge -- let alone defeat -- the Jays on this night.
Not only did Creighton win with a spirited effort from beginning to end, that could also be said about their entire season. With the victory, the Bluejays finished out a perfect slate at home, going 16-0. Perhaps most notably, the Bluejays never once trailed in the second half of those contests.
While The Doug McDermott Show was live and in technicolor (17-25 FG, 5-7 3PT FG, 6-9 FT) on Saturday night, the Jays were particularly efficient in other areas as well. While only Austin Chatman was the only other Bluejay to finagle a double-figure output with 11 points scored, Creighton shot 64.7 percent from the field on 51 attempted field goals. They dominated on the perimeter going an even 50.0 percent on 20 three-point attempts. And they won in the rebounding and assist departments, edging their opponents 32-31 and 20-12 respectively.
You might look at the Providence box score and ask yourself: how in the heck did this team get pasted? The difference was just 15 points, but the game was never in doubt. Still though, this was an absurd night for the Friar starters, as four of them notched double-figures on the night. Kadeem Batts, LaDontae Henton, Josh Fortune and the outstanding Bryce Cotton scored 13, 21, 12 and 23 points respectively.
But the problem was production from everyone else. The other six Friars to step onto the floor scored a combined four points, with those four coming from starting forward Tyler Harris. The second unit for the Bluejays held the Friar bench down so much, they did not yield a single point.
Both teams now move onto Madison Square Garden next week for the BIG EAST Tournament. The Bluejays are the No. 2 seed in the tournament, while Providence, who earned themselves the No. 4 seed, takes on the No. 5 seeded St. John's Red Storm on Thursday.