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Jahenns Manigat
Courtesy: Steven Branscombe

Men's Basketbal Rings In New Year With Win in BIG EAST Debut

OMAHA, Neb. -- Creighton never trailed in a 67-49 win in its BIG EAST debut over preseason league favorite Marquette. Creighton's win wrapped up a five-game homestand in which the Bluejays never trailed and improved the club to  11-2 on the season.

Marquette fell to 8-6 on the year and 0-1 in league play.

A rowdy New Year's Eve crowd of 18,525 was on hand, the third-largest turnout in school history.

Creighton seniors Doug McDermott (19), Jahenns Manigat (16) and Ethan Wragge (12) scored in double-figures to pace the hosts. MU was led by 10 each from Jamil Wilson and Chirs Otule.

McDermott had 10 early points as Creighton raced to a 15-6 lead in the opening minutes. Marquette closed within 26-20 after consecutive scores by Wilson, but the lead would double after treys by Austin Chatman and Manigat on CU's next two possessions.

Creighton took a 37-24 lead into the half after Manigat closed the half with a personal 5-0 run that included his first collegiate dunk and another trey. He was tied with McDermott at the break with 10 points as Creighton launched 25-of-34 first half attempts from downtown.

Marquette outscored Creighton 6-3 in the first four minutes of the second half while also sending Chatman to the bench after he picked up his second and third fouls in quick succession. Devin Brooks came to the rescue, leading a bench brigade that also featured Will Artino and Avery Dingman as CU extended the lead and put away the defending BIG EAST tri-champions.

Brooks knifed his way through the defense for three scores in a personal 6-0 run, then fed Manigat for a three-ball and all of the sudden it was 49-30. Marquette would call a timeout, during which the electric crowd broke into a stirring rendition of "Sweet Caroline", continuing to sing even after play resumed. The singing seemed to inspire the Golden Eagles, who quickly answered with a 9-0 run on five points from Jake Thomas and four more by Jajuan Johnson.

Creighton regained momentum with three-pointers by Manigat and Wragge, and the 16-point lead with 7:42 to play proved insurmountable. CU would lead by 20 points on three occasions, including 63-43, 655-45 and 67-47 before the buzzer sounded with a 67-49 score.

Creighton outrebounded MU 38-36 and wound up making 13 three-pointers on a record-tying 35 three-point tries. CU was also perfect in four free throw attempts.

Marquette shot 35.8 percent for the night, including just 2-for-12, and didn't help itself with 15 turnovers that CU converted into 20 points.

Creighton returns to action on Saturday with a 2 pm Central game at Seton Hall.

NOTES: The 49 points were the fewest allowed by Creighton this season, and MU's 35.8 percent shooting made its the ninth foe in 13 games the Jays held under 40 percent from the field ...Creighton has not trailed in five straight home games, a streak of 220:07 dating to late in the first half vs. Tulsa on Nov. 23 ... During Creighton's 10-game home win streak dating to last year, it has trailed for all of 8:06, and never in the second half ...Doug McDermott extended his school-record free throw streak to 41 straight with two makes in the second half ...With 19 points, Doug McDermott moved from 59th to 51st in NCAA history with 2,532 career points, passing players such as Shawn Respert and Andrew Toney on the evening ... Davante Gardner's four points were a season-low ...Creighton took three charges in the opening 10 minutes, one each by Gibbs, Manigat and Artino ... The victory was Creighton's first over Marquette since 1988, and it the was the first meeting between the program's since a 1998 NIT contest ... The game was the final contest of the 2013 calendar year nationally.
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