Utilizing multiple double-digit runs in the first half, Creighton managed to slog their way through a messy opening twenty minutes and come up with a six point halftime lead.
They rattled off eight consecutive points to start the tilt with the Hoyas, who were coming off their upset victory over Villanova. The 8-0 run included a three by Davion Mintz, a three by Mitch Ballock, and a vicious one handed dunk by Mintz that send the few brave souls in attendance into a frenzy. Patrick Ewing immediately called a timeout to settle his troops.
The Hoyas responded with a 7-0 run, featuring a 5-0 personal run by Mac McClung. This had all the makings of a slugfest since the officials were wary of blowing their whistles knowing that a slowed-down ballgame might make for multiple accidents outside as a blizzard built just south of Omaha.
It’s hard to tell what the exact intent was for the officials, but small contact that’s typically called was let go. Double dribbles were non existent, and save for a few travel calls, this crew only called eight fouls in the first half.
It made for fast, electric basketball, especially with two teams who tend to push the tempo moreso than your average ballclub.
Unfortunately for the viewers, this also led to sloppy, disgusting displays of basketball.
The next bucket after the 8-7 start came at the 13:40 mark when Marcus Zegarowski nailed a three pointer.
At that demarcation, there had already been 11 combined turnovers in less than 12 minutes of gameplay. It was a mess, but Georgetown managed to seize the reigns of awfulness and watched idly as Creighton built a 31-22 lead. The 31st point was on a wide open trey ball by Kaleb Joseph, in which Patrick Ewing could be audibly heard yelling, “OH NO,” as the ball left his hand.
The Hoyas were treading water. They’d actually usurped the lead at 22-21, but failed to seize control afterwards, and began getting buried. They managed to respond rather well to end the half, even after facing an eleven point deficit.
Josh LeBlanc managed to miraculously get a bucket after going up for a tip-in and then subsequently got undercut by Ballock beneath the rim. He writhed in pain for a while, then came off the court holding his left wrist. After a lengthy stoppage time, the officials decided to give the ball back to Georgetown instead of giving LeBlanc, who was now benched and replaced because of injury, a free throw.
It was maddening and confusing, but Marcus Zegarowski proceeded to nail a three in Akinjo’s eye and, after a Hoya miss, lofted a ball gracefully in the air to Krampelj who slammed the ball through the cherry red rim to complete the alley-oop.
The Hoyas ended the half on an 8-2 run spurred mostly by Govan, and went into the locker room in pretty good shape.
Well, that’s until the Jays started the half with Krampelj backing down Govan with ease and laying one in. Creighton then went on a 10-1 run after threes by Krampelj, Ballock, and jumpers by Mintz and a subsequent three by Zegarowski.
At 50-35, the Hoyas were treading water, something they’d continue to do the remainder of the game. The Bluejay attack was simply too much, and for a team that’s simply refocused a great deal of their energy on defense, they managed to stop Georgetown from building upon any runs.
Joseph seemed to be the cog that ran the machine as he managed to go inside out multiple times, slashing into the lane and finding an open shooter on the perimeter. For all that’s hampered Zegarowski, he was able to utilize that broken hand and still score nine points.
Yet the star of the night was Mitch Ballock. He had six assists, nailed two in-rhythm threes to stretch out Creighton’s lead, and managed to penetrate and kick over and over through the Hoya defense. All of this with an infected elbow that left him a game time decision.
Georgetown ran into a rabid dog tonight after toppling the class of the conference the game before. Thought Pickett went 0-4 from the field, and McClung was held to just 2-8 shooting, the Hoyas are still in prime position to get a shot at playing in the post season, lest they completely falter down the stretch.
Oh, and Martin Krampelj is a man made of steel. I have no idea how he’s able to do everything that he does with the confidence that he carries, but in my decade-plus of following this ballclub he has the most heart that I’ve ever seen put upon the hardwood floor. The man just oozes toughness and resilience. It’s beautiful to see.
BAD PLAY BY PLAY, COURTESY OF MY FINGERS:
Davion wide open three
Ballock wide open three
Mintz one-handed jam
LeBlanc miss, miss, tip-in
Govan called for a foul, 16:58 left in first
Ballock terrible pass up-court to Martin
mid-range jumper, McClung from the elbow over Ty-Shon
McClung made wide open three, defensive breakdown, 8-7 with 14:00 left
Zeggy made three 13:40 left in the first
11 combined turnovers now
Ty-Shon mid range jumper as shot clock expires, 13-7 11:25 left
Georgetown turnover lol
Malinowski trey, 13-10
Akinjo bucket in transition 13-12
Ty-Shon three, 16-12 10:20
Mourning make from down low, wide open, 16-14
Malinowski foul, 9:41
Mintz made three, assist from Martin
Mourning made jumper 19-16
Mourning block on Martin
Mourning foul on Martin 8:37
Froling down low, bucket over Govan 21-16
Govan trey over Froling 21-19
Malinowski trey, Georgetown lead 22-21 - first lead of the game - 7:38
Kaleb Joseph mid range jumper from the stripe
Kaleb Joseph contested trey, wet 26-22
Ty-Shon jump stop, bucket, 28-22 - 7-0 run
Kaleb Joseph WIDE OPEN trey, 31-22
LeBlanc with an emphatic slam out of the timeout, 31-24
kicked ball 4:02
slick fucking passing brah, Ballock to a cutting Martin, 33-24
Kaleb pass to Martin in the paint, bucket. 35-24
LeBlanc tip-in, gets fouled by Ballock on his way down
LeBlanc hurt, replaced by Johnson
what the fuck why did Georgetown get possession back
Johnson hits a shot down low after getting his own rebound 35-28
ZEGGY THREE, 38-28 2:10 left
ZEGGY UP HIGH TO KRAMPELJ, SLAMS IT HOME FOR AN OOP
Govan hits a layup down low, 40-30 with under a minute now
Ballock missed three
Govan easy bucket in transition 40-32
Ty-Shon miss in traffic
Mintz hurt on a loose ball, Georgetown recovers, Akinjo scores
Ty-Shon dives to the bucket, gets called for the charge
HALF: Creighton leads 40-34
Martin opens by backing down Govan, scoring
LeBlanc makes a freebie
Ballock sinks a wide open trey in transition after Akinjo looses the ball 45-35
Martin sinks a trey, 48-35 with 17:21 left
Mourning gets called for a foul; 4th Hoya foul 16:50
Missed three by Martin
McClung missed three
Davion made jumper from top of the key, 50-35
Ballock draws a charge, charge by LeBlanc
Jays lead 50-35 15:36 left
Zeggy nails a trey, 53-35 15:00 left
Malinowski returns the favor, 53-38
Ty-Shon foul on Mourning - third foul on Ty-Shon
Sinks both freebies 53-40
Kaleb Joseph SINKS A THREE. 56-40 13:44 left
Blair sinks a three. 56-43
Joseph misses a three. heat check.
Malinowski misses a three big, offensive board 12:52
Blair misses a three, gets fouled by Zeggy. Makes all three. 56-46 with 12:30 left
KALEB JOSEPH AND-ONE. 11:57 LEFT. SINKS THE FREEBIE. 59-46
Blair mid range jumper, leaner, 59-48
Govan down low, 59-50
KALEB JOSEPH BREAKS CAREER HIGH IN POINTS SCORED, 16 POINTS NOW 61-50
MARTIN KRAMPELJ NAILS A THREE, 64-50 8:40 LEFT
Kaleb Johnson scores on an easy lay-up but everyone is yelling at the referees.
Govan gets called for a foul on Martin. 64-54 with 7:15 left.
Martin gets one of two. 65-54
Ty-Shon nails a three, up 68-54 now
Govan loses the ball
Mosely gets called for a foul on Martin
Martin sinks both freebies. 70-54
Mourning in the lane, easy 70-56 with 5:30 left
Ballock drive the the rim, scores, 72-56
Malinowski gets fouled by teammate?
Davion draws a charge
Zeggy misses a three
Davion fouls McClung on a drive to the tin, makes both, 72-57 4:20 left
Ballock with a sweet pass to Martin under the basket, easy dunk. 74-57
Blair responds with a three. 3:46 74-60
Malinowski nails a three, Ballock late on defense. 74-63 3:00 left
Martin Krampelj hits an and-one on an offensive foul LOL also hits the freebie. 77-63 2:37 left
Akinjo drives to the hoop and gets fouled. misses the free throw.
jump ball called.
77-64 2:20 left
Blair hits a three, 77-67, 2:05 left
Malinowski called for a foul on Ty-Shon. He makes both. 79-67 2:05 left
Blair misses a three on the opposite end 2:01, Ballock rebounds
Jays run a bunch of time off the clock. 1:40 left, 12 seconds left on the shot clock, Mac calls timeout.
Martin fires up a haphazard shot as the shot clock expires. 1:27 left, 79-67
fans stand and cheer as the Jays hold on to the lead.
Ty-Shon fouled, makes both free throws, 81-67, 46 seconds left
Akinjo makes a lay-up. 81-69
Davion fouled. misses the first, makes the second.