Overtime is the name of the game for Creighton as of late, but unlike their 2OT win over South Dakota earlier this week, the Jays were not able to survive on Saturday, as Saint Mary's came away with a 71-67 win in overtime.
Senior point guard Austin Chatman was dynamite yet again. Though his efficiency could have been markedly better, he scored 19 points and dished out four assists as well as he helped lead the charge for the Bluejays much like he did earlier this week against South Dakota. Two other Bluejays netted double figures on Saturday afternoon as Devin Brooks and Isaiah Zierden scored 12 and 17 respectively, but it was simply not enough.
The Gaels had four double-digit scorers as well as Dane Pineau, Aaron Bright, Brad Waldow and Kerry Carter had 11, 19, 19 and 11 in Omaha. This four-headed monster's effort was enough to overcome a dismal effort from the floor though as Saint Mary's shot just 42.9 percent on the afternoon.
Now let's look at what we learned on Saturday:
1. The Bluejays have to limit second chance points
It didn't help matters against South Dakota, and it didn't serve them well against Saint Mary's either. Creighton was bludgeoned on second chance points for the second straight game as the Gaels feasted on their extra opportunities. They led their adversary 19-7 in the category and won in the rebounding margin 39-31 and 11-5 on the offensive side of the glass. This simply must improve for Creighton, as they're being pushed to the limit by arguably inferior opponents inside their own building.
2. The Bluejay defense was continuously stifled on their home floor
It's never great to let up one double-digit scorer. Letting up four? That's an entirely different story. The Bluejays were not a terrific defensive team last year when they made their terrific run through the Big East and the conference tourney. And now this year, that seems evident yet again. Though the Gaels did not shoot particularly well from the floor or the free throw line, four of their players got into double figures including a 22-point effort from Bright and a 19-point game for Carter. This too is an area that has to improve because the competition will only get tougher as the season wears on.
3. Creighton's home winning streak came to a screeching halt
CenturyLink Center Omaha provided a stark home field advantage for Creighton coming into Saturday. They had won 24 home games in a row, including some memorable outings in their first year in the Big East Conference, and their terrific home victory against Oklahoma earlier this season. But Saturday brought an end to that win streak as the Gaels were the proverbial c-c-c-c-c-combo breaker to Creighton's winning ways at the "CLink." As they say, all good things come to an end sometimes.