In the second semifinal matchup in the 2017 Big East Tournament, the Creighton Bluejays and Xavier Musketeers partook in an old-fashioned barnburner.
From the jump, both teams came out of the gate hot. Each ended the first half with scintillating marks from downtown, and those trends continued in the second half as well. The ending sequence? A doozy. It was 72-69, and Creighton earned a trip to the free throw line after the Musketeers’ repeated, desperate attempts at committing fouls to bring them to the bonus.
But a missed free throw led to Xavier corralling the ball again. Seconds later, Trevon Bluiett, who hit a big shot in Thursday night’s quarterfinals, answered the bell again. Bluiett knocked down a game-tying 3-pointer to knot the game up at 72 points apiece. Then, it was Marcus Foster’s turn. The All-Big East First Teamer carried himself with confidence, and walked up to the 3-point line, pulled up and drilled a go-ahead 3-point shot with eight seconds to play.
This wild sequence was nearly turned up a notch as the Musketeers had the opportunity to tie the game and send it to overtime. However, it was not to be. J.P. Macura, who had hit six threes throughout the game, could not get to lucky number seven. The buzzer sounded, and it’s the Bluejays who prevailed 75-72, earning a trip to the Big East Tournament final.
Foster finished out the night with 21 points, tied with teammate Justin Patton for the team lead. Cole Huff and Khyri Thomas complemented their teammates with 11 and 10 points, joining them in double figures.
The aforementioned Macura’s six threes helped prop him up as the leading scorer in the game, as the former Sixth Man of the Year dropped 22 points. Bluiett finished the game with 18. Quentin Goodin was the third Musketeer in double figures, scoring 11 of his own.
Quotes and what not should come soon. For now, take a deep breath, live in the glory, and we’ll all collectively await Saturday night’s final between Creighton and the Villanova Wildcats!