After losing a close one earlier this season in Milwaukee, the Creighton Bluejays were able to get revenge against the Golden Eagles of Marquette Saturday afternoon at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Nebraska. The Bluejays got up early and held on for the seven point victory. Here are three things we learned from Saturday's game.
1. Creighton's big men produced
The Bluejays came into Saturday's game having seen very inconsistent production from their big men this season. However, the center position combined for 26 points on 13-for-21 shooting. That includes 12 points for senior Will Artino, who also gathered 14 rebounds to earn a double-double. Starter Geoffrey Groselle also continued his good play with 12 points on 6-for-9 shooting. Groselle also was in the minds of Marquette shooters, blocking two shots and altering a few more. Additionally, the Jays controlled the glass, beating Marquette 42-26 on the boards.
2. Austin Chatman is still M.I.A.
The poor play of Austin Chatman continued in Saturday's game. Chatman did score seven points, but five of those came from the free throw line. He was 1-for-4 from the field and committed five turnovers. The issues that Chatman has been having don't appear to be effort related. He may be trying too hard in fact. He was expected to lead this team but he's been more of a detriment to the team that an asset in the past few weeks. His shot has looked flat and he's committing atrocious turnovers. In that stretch, however, the Jays have picked up three wins. If Chatman returns to form to end the season, they could make some noise in the Big East Tournament.
3. Marquette actually shot well from outside
Creighton head coach Greg McDermott's strategy was to force the Golden Eagles to make shots from beyond the arc. They did just that, knocking down 45 percent of their three-point attempts. Guard Duane Wilson was huge with five threes while big man Steve Taylor, Jr., knocked down one of his own. The issue was that they allowed Creighton to shoot it so well from the outside as Creighton senior Rick Kreklow drilled 6-of-7 three-pointers. In a game that Marquette's offense did more than usual, their defense was sub-par, surrendering 77 points to a team that averages only 66 points-per-game.
Creighton hosts No. 18 Butler on Monday night while Marquette has a week off, hosting No. 6 Villanova next weekend.