Jalen Brunson Wills Wildcats Past Bluejays
What a monumental game. What an action packed performance by both sides, an electric atmosphere on New Year’s eve with these two powerful programs going at it.
With the air being pressured by Khyri Thomas on Josh Hart it was high time that Jalen Brunson had a spectacular game. This revealed itself early and often as he managed to dump in 16 points in the first half. A majority of these points were scored as Maurice Watson Jr., exited early with two fouls, forcing Isaiah Zierden to match-up against him. Time after time the Wildcats used a high screen to get Brunson open for a great look.
Brunson was able to hit shots in rhythm, killing any semblance of a rally Creighton would mount. It was an absolutely dynamite performance by the young guard.
Even more impressive was the Wildcats’ ability to steady the ship when it appeared as if it were a poor version of the Titanic. Time and time again they’d make heady, highly controlled plays on the defensive end - never getting rattled by the crowd or the pressure the moment laid bare. Especially in a moment in the final minute of play where the Jays forced a turnover and had an opportunity to pull within one possession, Maurice Watson Jr., turned it over on a curling Marcus Foster who was face guarded by Jalen Brunson.
For the Bluejays, it was officially Justin Patton’s coronation to the entirety of the BIG EAST. Nearly impossible to guard against a guy of such great talent, yet he has an innate ability to guard the post with an impeccable eye for the ball and recognition of soon-to-be realized post plays.
Marcus Foster was his usual self, though he wasn’t able to get that extra three to drop late in the game. In the game’s biggest moments his shot just rimmed out, just missed. For a guy like Foster to miss those 3’s when his team needed them the most ultimately gives him the experience of being in that situation for further down the road.
Isaiah Zierden’s tying three at 66-66 with 4:47 remaining appeared to turn the tide of the game, yet what transpired afterwards were a lot of empty possessions and a an unruly combination of scoring from Brunson and Hart. An 8-3 run put the Wildcats in prime position to pull it off with just one minute remaining, ultimately icing the game as Creighton was forced to foul.