1) Knockdown, drag out game. Typical for Big East Tournament
We knew this one would be low scoring, but Creighton really came to play in this one, especially defensively. They were able to hold the Georgetown’s talented freshman in check for most of the game and got Mikael Hopkins into foul trouble in the second half. The Hoyas fought hard the whole time for second chances and offensive rebounds. Georgetown only shot 37.8 percent from the field and worked hard to get their points on the offensive end.
"When they jumped out to their lead we had to make plays," Coach John Thompson III said, "They played with a sense of purpose. They were extremely aggressive."
In the first half, Georgetown’s bench was the key to the lead as they outscored Creighton 15-1. After recess, the Bluejays continued to battle the Hoyas on the boards and even outrebounded Georgetown 30-28 for the game. This was a back and forth affair that fans at Madison Square Garden were yearning for after blowouts had been the story through the first four games at the tournament.
Creighton head coach Greg McDermott said after the game, "We are extremely disappointed. In a lot of ways he outplayed Georgetown."
2) All too familiar for Creighton
The Bluejays had a six-point lead in the final minutes, but could not hold on. Down the stretch, the Hoyas took advantage of their size, especially when seven footer Geoffrey Groselle fouled out for Creighton. Joshua Smith had couple of big baskets late for the Hoyas as once again Creighton let one slip away in the final seconds. The Hoyas scored 20 points off of 18 Creighton turnovers, which turned out to be huge late in the game.
"We had some costly turnovers that you can’t have against Georgetown," McDermott said.
James Milliken, who had played a great game to that point, drove inside and instead of shooting he tried to find his teammate Austin Chatman who was wide open on the left wing. In traffic, Milliken threw the ball and likely his team’s chances at the upset away.
Milliken said of that play, "Coach told me to attack and they opened the gap and I saw Austin at the last minute."
3) James Milliken was great, but D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera was fantastic
For the second consecutive game, Creighton was carried by Milliken who had 17 points and made some big three pointers, especially in the first half. Last season, Milliken was on the scout team and after getting suspended earlier in the season has been great for Coach Greg McDermott’s team.
"It is hard to beat anybody three times in a year," Smith-Rivera said, "They definitely earned some respect."
Georgetown was led by D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera who had 25 points and made all seven of his free throws. The junior made some key plays down the stretch and sealed the game with three seconds left at the free throw line.
The Hoyas were able to avoid a second straight conference tournament loss to a number 10 seed after they fell to DePaul in the tournament last season. Now they move on to face the winner of Butler and Xavier after winning the best game of the tournament so far.