The Creighton Bluejays have now won on the road in Newark, Philadelphia and Milwaukee.
Thanks to a 22-point performance from Ty-Shon Alexander, coupled with Marcus Zegarowski and Damien Jefferson’s combined 28 points, Creighton took down the Marquette Golden Eagles from their lurch at Fiserv Forum. The Jays’ 73-65 win propped them up to 10-4 in Big East play, and they now are just one game back of the Seton Hall Pirates in the loss column for first place in the conference.
The Jays and Golden Eagles traded blows throughout much of the first half. Marquette’s Markus Howard couldn’t quite get it going, but Sacar Anim, Theo John and Koby McEwen were willing to pick him up. Zegarowski and Alexander propped them up 16-13 at the 7:29 mark, which was followed up by a layup from Anim. Denzel Mahoney hit a 3-ball, and McEwen would respond with a jumper to make it 19-17 in favor of the Jays.
From there though, Creighton would go on an 8-0 run. Christian Bishop hit a layup, which was followed by a layup from Jefferson. Zegarowski hit two free throws, and Mahoney closed up the 8-0 run with a layup. The 27-17 deficit by Marquette was quite the task for them to climb, and John and Greg Elliott to their credit responded with a jumper and a 3-ball. But Mahoney and Mitch Ballock went for five quick points to end the half, giving CU a 32-22 lead heading into the break.
Marquette would come out firing in the second half though. Howard opened things up with a 3-pointer and John hit a jumper to give them five quick points. They would then make it a 9-2 run to bring them within three. A 3-pointer by Anim later, coupled with a layup from John and a jumper by Howard would soon tie the game at 38 points by the 14:38 mark. But things would spiral from there. Creighton went on an 8-0 run spurred by the production of Zegarowski, Ballock and Alexander, and widened it out to an 18-5 run by the time the 6:55 mark came around.
That stretch effectively ended any chance of a comeback for MU. They would get some buckets, and get it to within five at the 1:49 mark. But Jefferson hit a layup and Ty-Shon dropped in a seriously clutch bucket to essentially wrap the game up.
This was yet another stirring performance for Creighton, who is now the highest-ranked Big East team on KenPom. Their AdjEM of 20.65 eclipses Seton Hall’s mark of 20.34, so the margin is thin for sure. But the Jays are absolutely doing work right now. Next time we see them will be Sunday, as they have a titanous showdown at home against the Butler Bulldogs.
Marquette, meanwhile, is trending in the wrong direction. Their three-game winning streak and 6-1 run from January 15-February 9 is looking like a thing of the past now, as they’ve lost two in a row to Creighton and the Villanova Wildcats. They will look to avoid a three-game losing streak this weekend when they travel to Friartown to face the Providence Friars.