#10 Creighton upsets St. John’s
Undoubtedly one of the top teams in the conference, the St. John’s Red Storm were unable to keep their pristine and flawless conference record against a bunch of scrappy underdogs in the tenth-nationally ranked Creighton Bluejays.
On a nice night in Queens the St. John’s faithful walked into the gym with the expectation that their conference leading Johnnies were surely going to run over the hicks from Nebraska, yet the Empire State Building sized Omaha native Justin Patton had other ideas. His ideas were full of thunder and might as he abused the basketball rim over and over again with Chris Mullin’s squad scrambling to regain composure, but alas were unable to until halfway through the second half.
Noted small point guard Maurice Watson Jr., lengthy wingspan aficionado in Khyri Thomas, and no nickname Marcus Foster were defensive stoppers against the vaunted St. John’s trio of guards in Shamorie Ponds, Marcus LoVett, and Malik Ellison. Their defensive prowess forced the three guards to toss up jump shots from everywhere on the court as the driving lanes were shut down faster than a snowstorm in Atlanta.
California native Cole Huff played above and beyond his abilities as he logged a blocked shot in the opening moments and was seen boxing out better than he had all year. When pressed, Huff was seen pump faking and forcing the Johnnies into the air, spinning and whirling towards the basket, and just generally making the folks in Queens swoon as he showcased his innate abilities.
There was a bit of panic from the Johnnies as they began to realize that this upset was soon to be cemented. They ran, ran extremely hard, and continued to toss up their signature shots from beyond the arc. When the failure rate eclipsed the success rate, they fought to right their ship by scooping out those clogged driving lanes and soon started scoring at the bucket.
The more they drove the more the floodgates opened, scratching and crawling their way back into the affair. There were moments where it appeared that the Johnnies would overcome this upset bid and finally put the tenth-nationally ranked Creighton Bluejays to bed, but it never amounted to anything of substance. They may have pulled within eight points with six minutes remaining, but alas it was not meant to be.
Creighton, with their newly found paint extraordinaire in Justin Patton, were purely sublime in the waning moments as Patton managed to utilize the new-age slam dunk to propel the Jays to victory. Here are some examples of the ‘slam-dunk’ -
We'd recommend turning to @FS1 to watch this guy named Justin Patton... #GoJays #TakeFlight #BIGEASThoops pic.twitter.com/WTRG9AGgQy— Creighton Basketball (@BluejayMBB) January 5, 2017
"We'll see how Creighton responds...uh oh..." #GoJays #TakeFlight #BIGEASThoops pic.twitter.com/h8ZJ48nSsU— Creighton Basketball (@BluejayMBB) January 5, 2017
It’s going to take a while to figure out how much this win means to Creighton’s program. A huge win over the overlord and formerly undefeated champion of the BIG EAST may boost recruiting and potentially help seal a NIT bid. Heck, a win against a team with St. John’s resume may even yield a NCAA bid.