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Random Freshman Torches Jays; Season Ends For Creighton

Mark McGuirel had 13 points on the season coming into this one. He scored 17 against Creighton.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-Creighton vs Kansas State Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports


Getting down 10-2 in the first five minutes wasn’t good.

Getting down 25-16 in the first fifteen minutes wasn’t great.

Letting Kansas State bully the Jays on defense, overmatch them on rebounds, and shoot exceptionally and unexpectedly well from three wasn’t fantastic.

Knowing Marcus Foster scored zero points in the first half wasn’t phenomenal.

Letting a freshman, who was 1-7 from three coming into the game, nail a DEEP trey to end the half, giving Kansas State a 32-26 lead at the half as well as gifting them ALL the momentum, wasn’t amazing.

Knowing Creighton shot 25% from three, 34% from the field, and had just 4 points on fastbreaks wasn’t stupendous.

Yet, there it was. A 6 point deficit after one of the most atrocious halves of basketball Creighton has played in quite some time. TOBY! Hegner and Davion Mintz led the team in scoring, which typically isn’t a great omen, but the two combined for 15 points.

Khyri Thomas still did his thing, getting three steals in the half, progressing his #Khyrifense mentality, and acting as a stopper to what could’ve been an absolute embarrassment of a half.

That ray of hope began to shine through early on in the second half. Mitch Ballock, the freshman from Eudora, went on a personal mission to bring this Bluejay squad back from the dead, scoring seven consecutive points for the Jays.

Creighton closed the gap to two points after Levi Stockard III got blocked by Toby Hegner on a dunk attempt, which Khyri Thomas rebounded and took coast-to-coast, laying the ball in and placing the score at 37-35.

Bruce Weber had seen enough. Weber called a timeout, which was followed by a media timeout about a minute later with neither team scoring.

Out of the media timeout, however, Kansas State scored twice with a layup by Stokes, followed by a layup by McGuriel on a steal, all but putting to bed the Bluejay run.

Other than a three by Ty-Shon Alexander to put the Jays within three at 42-39, the Jays slowly conceded the ballgame. By the time Foster scored his bucket at the 10:31 mark, Creighton’s deficit had built to five, then to eight after a three by Sneed, and just a minute later it had grown to 10.

The story of the game can be summed up simply by watching Kansas State’s defensive prowess along the perimeter, an air tight measure in futility for Creighton attempting anything close to their normal offensive gameplan.

The other story of this game can be summed up by Mark McGuirel’s stat line. Appearing in just 8 games this season, averaging 8 minutes a game, scoring 13 points total. He had 16 points, splashed 3 treys, and finished with a +17 efficiency.

As the season ends for the Jays, with Greg McDermott still seeking some sort of prize for a season well done. There was 2014 against Baylor. The thrashing they took against Rhode Island last season. The early exits will begin to wear on the fanbase, but the future is certainly bright.