It started as a nice night for Creighton.
The Jays came into Lloyd Noble Arena knowing full well they were going to be facing off against one of the best defenses in the country. They knew they’d have to bang it from the outside since Oklahoma’s interior defense is as stingy as it comes.
In front of a sparse crowd in Norman, Creighton got out to a quick 10-4 in the first four minutes. They capitalized on sloppy and dreadful play by the Sooners as they turned it over four times in the early minutes. Though Creighton couldn’t hit a shot from beyond the arc to save their life, Damien Jefferson managed to get six of those first ten points.
Then the tide began to shift.
Attempting to mirror the bad basketball by Oklahoma, Creighton proceeded to turn it over. A lot. That early lead then dwindled to a 24-12 deficit, thanks in part to some abysmal management of the basketball and a reliance on a three shot that refused to go through the tin.
The only saving grace for the Jays was Martin Krampelj’s play down low, which is hilarious. It was probably the most improbable thing to occur considering Jacob Epperson’s absence from the floor due to what’s assumed to be a knee injury and Samson Froling’s poor play that ended up sending him to the bench.
Creighton dug themselves a hole and then tried to dig their way up out of it. Luckily for them, Oklahoma was having trouble keeping possession themselves. The two teams combined for 21 turnovers at halftime, the Jays with 11 and the Sooners with 10.
Marcus Zegarowski hit the lone three for Creighton, coming on a broken play in which the ball was tipped around a bunch of times before until Krampelj came down with it and fed Zeggy in the corner.
Oklahoma was just as atrocious shooting the three, going 2-7 from beyond the arc. Combined, they went 3-20.
Oklahoma led 47-33.
Oklahoma stretched their lead to 16 on a bucket by Christian James right out of the half. From then on Oklahoma controlled the game sans guarding Krampelj dunking the basketball - a high percentage shot that the Jays should’ve utilized more often since they couldn’t hit from anywhere else.
Miraculously, Creighton managed to get the game back to single digits after Zeggy nailed a three ball from the top of the arc. At 61-52, this was the first time the Jays had been in the ballpark of striking distance since the first half.
They then got it down to seven points on - get this - a dunk by Martin Krampelj. With 11 minutes left, the Jays had a real opportunity to make this a two possession game.
Then they didn’t and proceeded to speed up on offense, take multiple ill-advised shots, turn it over on travels and just random stupid shit. It was mind numbing to watch, especially since this is a ballclub that prides themselves on the basic fundamentals of the game.
Even with six minutes left in the game, at just a 9 point deficit, it certainly feels like Creighton doesn’t have a shot to win this ballgame. It’s easy to write this now. There’s been nothing in this game that makes one believe they’ll be able to mount a comeback. They’ve been so out of sorts offensively that, when they get a free possession on a terrible Sooner shot, they haven’t been able to score.
Jamal Bieniemy just missed a lay-up at 71-61. There’s 3:18 left and Damien Jefferson is going to the line to shoot free throws.
Mitch Ballock is not only scoreless but he’s also 0-8 from three. His two misses from inside the arc are because he got rejected.
Jefferson missed one of his freebies, because No Shit. They’re now 5-14 from the line tonight.
Jefferson made a tough lay-up in traffic. Brady Manek just dunked all over Jefferson. Ty-Shon Alexander cashed a three, making it a 7 point game.
Back-to-back fouls by Creighton, following a wide open easy floater for Christian James. Ten point game now.
Ty-Shon misses an easy lay-up. Oklahoma takes a 12 point lead.
What a complete mess.