ST. LOUIS (AP) -Doug McDermott had 33 points and Antoine Young
scored eight of his 14 in overtime as No. 25 Creighton survived an upset
bid in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament final with an 83-79
victory over Illinois State on Sunday.
Grant Gibbs added a career-high 20 points for second-seeded Creighton
(28-5), which won the conference tournament for the seventh time in 14
seasons and earned its first NCAA bid since 2007.
The Bluejays were 3-0 against fourth-seeded Illinois State (20-13),
which beat top-seeded and 15th-ranked Wichita State in the semifinals,
the first two wins by nine and 28 points.
Freshman Nic Moore had 20 points for Illinois State and drove the
length of the court for a layup with 6.5 seconds to go in regulation
that forced overtime. Young tried to duplicate that feat on the other
end but missed with two seconds left and Gregory Echenique missed a tip-in
at the buzzer.
Jackie Carmichael added 17 points and nine rebounds for Illinois
State, which hasn't made the NCAA tournament since 1998. Tyler Brown had
16 points and John Ekey added 13.
McDermott, the conference player of the year, was potent inside and
out, making 12 of 18 shots with three three-pointers while exhausting an
assortment of defenders. He broke the school's season scoring record set
in 1968-69 in the first half and put Creighton on his back much of the
second half, scoring 17 of the Bluejays' 19 points in one stretch.
The Bluejays led by nine points with 1:15 to go after Josh Jones' fastbreak dunk.
Coach Greg McDermott, Doug McDermott's father, became the first
Valley coach to win the tournament at two schools. He won in 2004 at
Northern Iowa in a double-overtime title game.
Creighton was 3 for 12 from 3-point range in the first half, a day
after starting 8 for 11 from long range while building a 19-point lead
against Evansville. Illinois State took advantage of the misfires,
closing the half on a 15-3 run capped by Tyler Brown's 3-pointer with
4.8 seconds to go that gave it the lead.
Creighton had one basket over the final 6:47 after McDermott's
one-handed tip-in made it 27-16.
Creighton will depart St. Louis tonight at 9:30 pm on Southwest flight 1433, arriving in Omaha at 10:45 pm.
NOTES: Creighton improved to 11-1 in the MVC Tournament final ...Creighton's 11 titles, 40 Tournament wins and .667 win percentage are all best in event history. No other league school has more than five titles. ...Creighton's Doug McDermott was named Tournament MVP, and was joined on the All-Tournament Team by teammates Antoine Young and Gregory Echenique ...Grant Gibbs' previous career-high was 12 points ...Selection Sunday is March 11th ...This will be Creighton's first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2007 ...The 33 points by Doug McDermott tied the Creighton record for an MVC Tournament game held by Nate Funk.
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