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Mitch Ballock.

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He scored 39 points.

NCAA Basketball: DePaul at Creighton Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Sometimes it’s difficult to understand the stakes that come with the last game of the season. A lot of it has to do with seeding. A lot of it has to do with momentum that can be carried into the conference tournament. For the Bluejays and Blue Demons, all of these things were true.

Max Strus came into this game with a head of steam. In back-to-back wins, Strus scored 43 points against St. John’s and 28 against Georgetown, leading the Blue Demons to back to back wins coming into Omaha.

It wouldn’t surprise a lot of folks to find out he was DePaul’s leading scorer tonight. Yet he wasn’t even close to the leading scorer in the game.

That’s because Mitch Ballock tied the BIG EAST single game three point record, a record held by Markus Howard.

Ballock came into this game - the last game - being derided for perhaps falling into a sophomore slump this season. The kid certainly has all the abilities in the world from beyond the arc, that much was shown last year, so it wasn’t surprising that he had a game like he had tonight.

It was just a matter of time.

That time was tonight.

It was all night. It never really started and it only stopped when he got pulled from the game with under two minutes left after logging 35 minutes on the hardwood.

It was steady. It was relentless. It was pure in its own right. Beauty incarnate.

Mitch Ballock absolutely owned DePaul. The game itself was exciting if you enjoyed fouls. There were a lot of them. DePaul got nailed for 22. Creighton got nailed for 17. It made the pace unbelievably slow.

Creighton led wire-to-wire. There were a few moments where DePaul seemed to get back into it but they didn’t and it didn’t matter. Here was my telling of this whole thing as it happened, which you can find in the play-by-play below. Thanks for reading.

Ballock inbound trey ball from the corner 12-2

Ballock responds with a trey 9:09

Ballock sticks a three ball in their eye

Ballock hits a three from Red Cloud to make it 36-28 with 3:00 left

Ballock makes trey ball from WAAAAAY DEEP

Ballock nails a trey, contested, 44-36

Ballock hits another three

Ballock hits ANOTHER THREE 59-52

BALLOCK HITS ANOTHER FUCKING THREE 65-58 11:39 TWENTY NINE POINTS

BALLOCK HITS A THREE! SCHOOL RECORD 74-65

BALLOCK FOR THREE AGAIN


Stats!!

MITCH BALLOCK

CREIGHTON

DEPAUL

PLAY BY PLAY

Martin down low on wide open roll

Martin trey ball from top of the key, 5-0, 18:25

Strus first attempt, missed three 18:00

Zeggy dirty crossover on Strus, sends him crumbling, missed jumper

Martin scores down low, Martin up 7-0 with 16:45 left.

Ballock steal, drive, bucket good! 9-0 Jays 16:30 mark

Leitao calls timeout

Reed misses mid range jumper

Ty-Shon misses three.

Ty-Shon gets a steal, couldn’t cash

Eli Cain charges on Zeggy

Martin gets ball down low, gets held, misses both

Cashaw Checks in 14:57 9-0

Ty-Shon strips Strus

Zeggy throws it into the DePaul bench

14:18 9-0 Jays lead

DePaul scored 13:57 - Eli Cain lay-up

Ballock inbound trey ball from the corner 12-2

Ty-Shon to the hole with ease, 14-2 12:50

Christian Bishop down low, feed from Ballock, 16-2 12:08

Kaleb Joseph checks in 11:48 16-2

Davion missed contested three

Foul on Ty-Shon

Davin Gage gets fouled by Bishop, makes both free throws, 10:54 16-4

Eli Cain fouled, makes both, 16-6 10:40

Cashaw called for a foul on Jaylen Butz, makes both, 16-9 10:20

Zeggy to Martin for an alley oop 18-9 9:46

Missed 2-on-1 for Davion 9:28

Paul Reed dunk on the other end 9:19

Ballock responds with a trey 9:09

21-11 9:00

Zeggy fouled, makes both, 23-11 8:35

Tip-in by Olujobi 23-13 8:09

Foul on Joseph, Gage makes both freebies 23-15 with 7:43 left

Martin makes one freebie, 24-15 with 7:20 left

Gage gets an and-one, Ballock called for the foul. Makes the free throw, 24-18

Kaleb Joseph dribbles it off his foot

Olujobi misses down low

Martin draws a foul on Olujobi, putting them into the bonus 6:29. Makes both. 26-18 6:25

Schreiner makes a bucket down low 26-20

Strus makes a bucket in the paint on a floater, first bucket of the night, 26-22

Martin slams one home on a slick pass from Davion, 28-22

Cain makes a mid range bucket, 28-24 5:04

Ballock steps out of bounds

Jumpball called, should’ve been a timeout 4:42

Cashaw gets clobbered, foul called on him, DePaul to the line

Damien Jefferson checks in 4:42

Paul Reed misses the front end of the freebies

Bishop gets no-look pass from Davion, 30-24 4:20 left

break in action to see who the foul was on lol 4:14

Eli Cain makes one of two, 30-25 4:14 left

DePaul starts to press

Ballock sticks a three ball in their eye

Reed gets an and-one on other end, makes it, 33-28 3:33

Ballock hits a three from Red Cloud to make it 36-28 with 3:00 left

Damien Jefferson hits baseline floater

Max Strus hits a three ball 38-31 1:50 left

Strus draws a foul on Davion, makes one, 38-32 with 1:38 left

Butz gets offensive rebound, makes put back

Ballock makes trey ball from WAAAAAY DEEP

Zeggy misses contested jumper

HALF: 41-34 JAYS OVER DEPAUL

Olujobi lays it in on an offensive rebound off a Strus miss 41-36

Ballock nails a trey, contested, 44-36

Eli Cain responds with a trey

Davion Dunk

Gage hits a jumper

Ballock hits another three

Reed misses a jumper, follows, gets a rebound

Zegarowski makes two free throws 51-41 17:50

Cain makes a three

Martin makes a bucket, and-one, over Olujobi 17:12, makes freebie, 54-44

Missed three by Cain

Zegarowski gets fouled on a drive, on the floor

Ballock misses a three

Ballock & Ty-Shon collectively get a block

Ty-Shon misses a three

Krameplj gets called for a flagrant one foul?

Butz makes two freebies, 54-46 16:06 left

Strus hits a three 54-49

Davion hits an and-one, misses the freebie, Cain’s fourth foul 56-49 with 15:50 left

Strus nails a three over Davion 56-52 with 15:24 left

Max Strus gets called for a bad foul

Davion collides with Strus. Mintz exits the game, travel called on Mintz.

Kaleb Joseph enters. 56-52 14:30

Butz gets called for over-the-back call on Martin

game grinding to a standstill.

Ballock hits ANOTHER THREE 59-52

Butz DUNKS

Zeggy hits a three 62-54

Strus hits an and-one three ball from way deep 12:53 - makes the freebie - 62-58

Zeggy draws a foul, misses the free throw

jump ball i guess

Strus misses a three

its getting tense

BALLOCK HITS ANOTHER FUCKING THREE 65-58 11:39 TWENTY NINE POINTS

Ballock drives, gets fouled by Olujobi - his third - gets two freebies

makes one freebie 66-58

Strus nails a three, 66-61 10:50

Bishop misses down low

Olujobi falls on it, jump ball is called. Creighton ball. good scrum, four Jays diving on it.

Joseph throws a bounce pass down low, it goes out of bounds

Butz backs down and hits a shot.

Martin responds with a shot of his own down low

Martin gets called for a foul

Butz draws a foul. Kaleb gets called for it. Misses both.

Kaleb Joseph nails a wide open trey 71-63 8:20

Gage gets a jumper to fall

Strus gets called for a travel

BALLOCK HITS A THREE! SCHOOL RECORD 74-65

Cain hits a jumper, 74-67 6:00

Martin draws a foul, makes both free throws, PIZZA 76-67 5:50 left

BALLOCK FOR THREE AGAIN

Jumper good by Cain, 79-69

Ballock shoots a three, gets fouled, makes all three, 39 points. thirty fucking nine. 4:56

Ty-Shon gets fouled, makes both free throws. 84-69 4:18

Olujobi dunks the basketball 84-71 3:47

Ty-Shon laserpass to Martin, who dunks it. not a lob. 86-71

Cain makes a three, 86-74

Olujobi with a make inside 86-76

Zeggy gets fouled, makes one of two, 87-76

Cain gets a bucket slicing through the lane 87-78

Ballock rolls a ball to a cutting Ty-Shon, easy bucket, 89-78

Max Strus called for an intentional foul, Ty-Shon gets freebies. 1:07 left, makes one. 90-78

Zeggy misses a layup

Gage misses a three

Joseph and Cashaw exit, 32 seconds left, standing ovation.