On Wednesday, it was déjà vu all over again for Creighton, as they fell victim to another late triple to put any chance of putting their recent slide to rest.
After Sterling Gibbs' heroics helped Seton Hall score a rare victory at CenturyLink Center Omaha on Saturday, it was Matt Carlino who stepped up to break the hearts of Creighton on Wednesday night. Amidst the sea of gold around him, the former BYU Cougar leapt up and knocked down a bomb from beyond the arc in the waning moments of the ballgame to help catapult his Marquette Golden Eagles over the Creighton Bluejays, 53-52.
Here's what we learned from this game.
1. Creighton's perimeter defense is in need of repair
Another overriding theme this season has been the Bluejays' inability to defend the 3-point shot. That reared its ugly head once again in The Cream City on Wednesday night. They were shellacked, allowing a 45.0 percent mark on 20 attempts. Compare to this to the fact that they're allowing, on average, 37.6 percent of 3-point attempts to be converted on the season going into the night, and a 3-point rate of 37.0 percent, those numbers are very grim. 46.5 percent of Marquette's shot attempts on Wednesday night at the BMO Harris Bradley Center were 3-point attempts, so MU was hardly afraid to jack it up from downtown. And frankly, at this point, why should any team be scared?
2. Duane Wilson remains one of the conference's best rookies
Matt Carlino and freshman Duane Wilson were the only two Golden Eagles to score in the second half. No, seriously. MU got incredible production from these two players, with Wilson leading the way with 14 points. The rookie is breaking out of his shell very quickly in conference play and is going to be a very nice asset going forward for Wojo & Co. Trevon Bluiett and Isaiah Whitehead are grabbing the headlines, but the Big East has to pay attention to Duane Wilson.
3. The Bluejays are still in the midst of a tough ride
The term "sophomore slump" might be an understatement. Creighton is riding the pine with a six-game losing streak after this deflating loss to Marquette. They have been scratching and clawing lately, but nothing appears to be bouncing their way after having so much success through their first run in the Big East Conference. Greg McDermott is a very good coach, and we shouldn't expect this demise to continue on in the post-Doug McDermott Era. But there's a lot of trouble right now in Omaha. This much is certain.