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Creighton survives voodoo spell by Cult of Tulsa, win 66-65

That one hurt the heart way more than it should have.

NCAA Basketball: Oral Roberts at Creighton Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

What in the world was that?

Creighton was a 25 point favorite coming into this one.

As far as first halves go, it was a pretty unspectacular half of basketball for the Jays. As they’ve been out-rebounded in more affairs this year than not, they were struck again by the pure hustle and position play department by the Golden Eagles, trailing 18-14 after the first 20 minutes.

At the same time, the Jays led 45-38.

Maurice Watson Jr., had a pretty poor half. Perhaps it was all the hype that showered over him during the 8-day layoff with countless articles noting his assisting abilities. These things tend to happen, but his unusually cold half ended with 6 assists to a whopping 5 turnovers.

Luckily, Marcus Foster did the thing he normally does in the first half of hoopball games. He had 7 points within the first two minutes of the game and tacked on 9 more points as the half rolled on, finishing at a 6-10 shooting clip. He had spurts of offensive juggernautery, then cooled, then caught fire again.

The Cult of Tulsa was led by big man Albert Owens who scored 10 points in the first while the post defense of the Jays crumbled into a nondescript hole of oblivion. Well, maybe not so nondescript since I just described it. I don’t know, it was bad, but Owens was gassed within the first five minutes, hands on his hips, breathing deeply, regretting eating that extra order of chalupa grandes before the game.

Khyri Thomas was able to play lockdown defense on Kris Martin in the half, Martin being the Golden Eagle’s best volume shooter, so that was probably a good thing.

It was a sleepy half in front of a pretty sparse crowd, but the Jays still lead.

The second half sure was something. What started with a trade off of threes then soon devolved into an ice cold performance from the field for the Jays.

Out of sync and everything taking a bounce the wrong way, the Jays were unable to gain any sense of rhythm on the offensive end. Turnovers plaguing their ability to score, shots rimming out, Marcus Foster unable to get his shots to drop.

Granted, the Cult of Tulsa was shooting lights out. A banked in three pointer by Albert Owens, the guy I harped on for looking dogged in the first half, put the Golden Eagles up by 5 points with 6 minutes remaining. The crowd fell quiet. The air was still.

Greg McDermott had enough and motioned for a timeout.

This was an ugly game for Creighton. A poor showing from much celebrated point guard Maurice Watson Jr., seemingly forced this game to remain close.

The final point in this game was scored with 3 minutes and 21 seconds left on a jumper from Marcus Foster.

That put the Jays up 66-65.

The game ended with a score of 66-65.

What happened in those final moments were questionable and strange. Because neither team was unable to score in those final three minutes it became clear that my armpits were fit for a soaking, and soaked they got.

Khyri Thomas had an opportunity to put the Jays up by three on a one-and-one. He missed the front end.

Cole Huff had an opportunity to put the Jays up by three on a one-and-one. He missed the front end.

The Golden Eagles had an opportunity to put this one away but whiffed on two attempts in the paint, bounding one off the iron and completely airballing the next. The Jays were able to capitalize and get both rebounds.

The Golden Eagles’ golden player in Kris Martin took the ball up the court in the waning seconds, wildly dribbling and eventually being confronted by Maurice Watson Jr. One may have called a blocking foul in this circumstance, but instead they called steps on Martin. That was the last realistic opportunity the Golden Eagles had was vanquished.

With .9 seconds left the Golden Eagles had one final prayer. They tossed it deep, only for the ball to be caught and intercepted by Mo Watson.


66-65, Jays improve to 11-0.