The Creighton Bluejays returned home to Omaha on Sunday evening. They welcomed their Cornhusker State rivals, the Nebraska Cornhuskers, to CenturyLink Center Omaha, as both teams came into the game with identical 6-2 records.
By the time the night was over, these two teams did not look symmetrical at all.
Following a 33-point performance from superstar Doug McDermott, and a superb night of shooting all over from the Bluejays, Creighton pasted the Nebraska Cornhuskers 82-67. The win was the seventh of the season for the Bluejays, and marked the third consecutive victory for the Bluejays over the Cornhuskers in as many years.
Creighton came out strong with all guns blazing to start the game. They jumped out to, at largest, an 18-2 lead and pushed it even further to 38-8 after 13 minutes of play. The Bluejays finished the first half out in front 51-25 and although the Cornhuskers closed the gap in the second half, and performed much better in the final minutes of the game, it felt as if Creighton was rarely tested during this game.
A big reason for the successes of the Bluejays on Sunday evening was the play of Doug McDermott, who had yet another great performance in a season where the senior forward from Ames, Ia. has been tremendous in nearly every game. McDermott, who came in averaging 24.4 PPG, scored 33 points and shot 52.1 percent from the floor. From the perimeter, Doug was just as good, shooting 50 percent on 10 attempts. Not only could Doug score at will, he added other dimensions to his game. The forward grabbed eight rebounds, six defensive, and added a steal and an assist in 37 minutes played.
Ethan Wragge has played himself into the starting lineup the last two games. Against Long Beach St., Wragge was arguably the best player on the floor for the Bluejays. Tonight, he put together yet another stellar outing. In spite of fouling out in the final minutes of the game, Wragge got into double figures once again with 16 points and shot 57.1 percent from the field. Those 16 points came from four made 3-pointers, and a perfect night at the free throw line (4-4 FT).
Wragge's FT performance was just one of many, as the Creighton Bluejays finished the night shooting an impressive 77.3 percent from the free throw line (17-for-22).
For Nebraska, it was a very tough night on the floor. Although Creighton played good defense for the most part, there were many opportunities to be had for the Huskers as the first half progressed. The lead kept growing larger for the Creighton Bluejays, and Nebraska could not simply nail any of their open looks. They were held to just 30 percent shooting in the first 20 minutes of the game, and made just one 3-point attempt out of 12 attempts in the 1st half. Their shooting vastly improved in all facets in the second half, but it was too little too late for Nebraska at that point.
The Bluejays will not be taking the floor for over a week. The next time Creighton plays, it will be Tues., Dec. 17 against Arkansas Pine-Bluff at 8:02 PM ET on FOX Sports 2.
|Doug McDermott||A||What can you really say? This was just another great performance from Doug McDermott in a long line of performances of the like. His 33 points was tied for the second-highest scoring performance he has had all season, with his 37 against UMKC still being the top. But, this was a superb performance from Doug, and went recognized as such.|
|Ethan Wragge||B+||The sharpshooting Wragge was once again dynamic. He scored 16 points and shot 4-7 from the 3-point line and also added nine rebounds to his totals. Foul trouble was just about the only thing Wragge did not do right against the Cornhuskers, as he fouled out with a few minutes remaining in the game.|
|Austin Chatman||B-||Chatman was supremely versatile on Sunday evening. The junior guard from Texas scored seven points, dished out six assists and did a good job at the free throw line, going 3-6 at the charity stripe.|
|Jahenns Manigat||B-||Manigat got into double figures for the first time since the season opener against Alcorn State back in November. He added two rebounds, two assists and two steals, and shot 50 percent from the field and 40 percent from the 3-point line.|
|Grant Gibbs||B||Gibbs was all over the place on Sunday evening against the Huskers. He scored eight points, he dished out eight assists, he got two rebounds, and picked up a block and a steal in 33 minutes on the floor. When he is performing like this, Creighton is incredibly hard to defeat.|
|Devin Brooks||C||Brooks has gotten himself into a rut as of late. Perhaps it could be his continual adjustments to the big-time college game, but the struggles are noticeable and his minutes have been decreasing as of late. For instance, tonight, Brooks played just 12 minutes on the floor and added just two points to his line to go along with two assists and three rebounds.|
|Avery Dingman||C||Dingman did not contribute offensively, but he was brought in as a defensive player and in six minutes played, he did more than enough to give Creighton an edge on the other side of the ball.|
|Zach Hanson||I||The same story as always for Mr. Hanson: it is tough to fully grade a player who played just one minute of basketball.|
|Will Artino||C+||Another very solid performance off the bench for Will Artino. In 11 minutes, he collected seven rebounds, with five being defensive, and scored four points. Artino was also playing very well defensively against the Cornhuskers, limiting their opportunities when they were found at the rim.|
|Isaiah Zierden||C||Much like Dingman, Zierden did not do much offensively (just one point scored in 11 minutes played) but he was able to do enough defensively to warrant an average grade.|
|Alex Olsen||I||From the Zach Hanson department: Olsen played under a minute of basketball in this game, so it is difficult to give him a grade. We will leave this incomplete.|
|Coach Greg McDermott||A||Fantastic coaching performance from Greg McDermott. Proper adjustments were made as the game progressed, even though Nebraska got into shooting form as the game progressed. But, his rotations were fine, and so far, the move to have Wragge in the starting lineup and having Artino coming off the bench is paying dividends.|