Sort of like a tinder date with a someone way out of your league, it looked so promising early on.
Creighton looked vintage in the first seven minutes. The offense popped off the screen and ran with the up-tempo pace that we basketball fans swoon over. The defense moved like white water rapids, disrupting the Ohio State attack by poking at passing lanes and offering frustrating double teams and switches, forcing the Buckeyes to overthink and crumple to their knees.
Ty-Shon Alexander nailed a trey. Damien Jefferson put home a ferocious two handed dunk. Things clicked.
Then, like the tinder date, the flaws started to come out. Jefferson got penalized for his second foul of the contest. You found out your date was your cousin. Alexander got his second foul as well. You found out your date wants to continue the date regardless of the new information. The offense went from stale to non-existent. You remember the story of your cousin’s unrepentant rage from high school, which caused an ‘incident’ that forced them into a military academy in Delaware, where they were kicked out for being too ‘aggressive,’ leading to a vagabond lifestyle that turned into a series of criminal acts that are too ‘R’ rated to talk about at family dinners. Martin Krampelj got his second foul on something the refs hallucinated, a foul so out of our reality that Krampelj ended up with his ass on the floor. Your cousin then asks you for your phone number and, in a fit of panic, you give it to them.
Creighton led 14-10 11:45 left.
They trailed 37-25 at half.
The second half looked similar to the first in terms of how it started out. The Jays scored four consecutive points off turnovers and looked stout on the defensive end. Their energy endeared the fans to believe that they could potentially climb back into this one, yet the Buckeyes answered right back.
With 13 minutes left the second half the Jays managed to mount a comeback. A three pointer by Davion Mintz would cut the deficit to nine, then Jacob Epperson answered the bell by sinking a three of his own. There’s nothing quite as beautiful as a ~7’ Australian nailing a three pointer.
The Buckeye lead was down to six. It moved to just four after a drive by Ballock to the dish.
The crowd came to life. This was a brand new ballgame.
It was a ballgame that’d be tied just moments later, after the needle moved to six when Keyshawn Woods made a layup. Ty-Shon would make a free throw, miss his second, then Zegarowski would pick him up with a lay-up to cut Ohio State’s lead to three.
Queue Alexander’s massive cajones swinging freely as he sank a three with a hand in his face, acquiring the aforementioned tie for the Jays.
It’d be back and forth, the Buckeyes taking the lead, the Jays tying it back up, yet it wasn’t until the 5:40 mark when the Jays would re-take the lead on a tip in by Krampelj. Davion Mintz would push it to a three point lead, only to see it dwindle back to a one point game.
Mitch Ballock changed that, cashing a three from the corner. Ohio State would answer right back as Duane Washington Jr., nailed a trey of his own, the lead back down to one.
Then, something happened.
I’d never seen it before.
Krampelj caught the ball in the low post and turned to the basket. His defender, Washington Jr., defended him.
The whistle blew.
The ref called a double foul.
On Krampelj. And Washington Jr.,
Krampelj fouled out and the Bluejays failed to score a point for the remainder of the game while Ohio State finished on a 9-0 run.
Just wait until your cousin calls you, I guess.