It was just another day in the office for Doug McDermott. The senior All-American came right out and scored 13 of Creighton's first 15 points. He was having one of those days, and all the Seton Hall Pirates could do was watch. Head coach Kevin Willard made adjustments to get the Pirates within 12 as the second half was beginning to wind down, but that's the closest that the blue and white would get. The Bluejays earned their 11th win by a double-digit margin with a 79-66 victory over now 10-4 Seton Hall.
McDermott ended up with 30 points, 10 boards, and five assists, as 22 of those came in the first half. Heading into the first media timeout, the two teams were knotted up at 13 apiece. But then, the Bluejays began to take a control of the game, slowly, but surely. Although junior point guard Austin Chatman sat down, his classmate, Devin Brooks, stepped in and hit a triple to make it a 23-16 for Creighton.
Although sophomore point guard Sterling Gibbs scored 17 while junior wing Brian Oliver had 12, the Pirates' offense was just not the same with big men Gene Teague as well as Aaron Geramipoor missing. The Pirates had no rock in the paint that they could consistently go to.
The Pirates would get within ten of Creighton as junior forward Stephane Manga drove inside and found a lay-in with time winding down in the first half. But the following sequence was an early dagger to the Pirates. McDermott went to dribble, and what was a questionable no-call on what could have been a traveling, McDermott found Manigat for a three-ball. As the ball dropped in, the whistle blew for a technical foul on Willard. Two free throws made it a five-point play and it was a fifteen-point game. Oliver shot 4-for-4 from beyond the arc in the first half, as the Hall only trailed by 12, but it was clear who was in control. The Jays outrebounded Seton Hall 21-11 and had 15 second-chance points to SHU's zero.
The second half was more of the same. Gibbs knocked down one-of-two from the free throw line to cut the Jays' lead to eight with 17:38 left to play in regulation, but Creighton followed with a 9-2 run. An 8-0 run just a few minutes later gave CU a 69-48 lead.
The Pirates gave it one last fight, scoring nine unanswered heading into the under-eight media timeout in the second half. Coming out of the timeout, which turned out to be a bad thing that set off the Hall's rhythm, junior forward Patrik Auda stepped to the free throw line for two at the charity stripe. The junior forward, who finished with 10 points in 30 minutes, missed out on both free throws. Seton Hall was held to just five points in the last 4:39.
What to Take Away
When McDermott's as hot as he was today, there's no stopping him. The Pirates also missed their rocks near the rim to stand in front of attempted lay-ups that normally would not come easy.
Senior guard Fuquan Edwin just could not find anything, and it's showing that he is not as healthy as he has been before. Willard said that Edwin is not 100% in his press conference, but it shows that the Pirates' woeful train of injuries is continuing to be tough for this team.
SHU did not go away. Creighton was clearly the better team, with Manigat scoring 14, Grant Gibbs scoring 12, and Brooks with 11. Those three others just had to have a solid day with the superstar on the floor. The Pirates did not lie down, and I give them a lot of credit because it could very well come to help them in the future. But tonight, Greg McDermott's team was not going to be stopped. The best perimeter shooting team in the country showed up. Not many will beat them when that happens. It's just another lesson learned for 10-4 Seton Hall heading into Wednesday's showdown against No.11 Villanova.