Game #32 • BIG EAST Tournament Semifinals • Friday, March 14, 2014 • 8:32 pm CST
Xavier Musketeers vs. #14 Creighton Bluejays
Madison Square Garden (19,979) • New York, N.Y.
Radio: KOZN 1620 AM, www.1620thezone.com, Sirius Channel 93, XM Channel 191
TV: FOX Sports 1
Series History: Xavier leads, 10-7
Last Meeting: Xavier 75, Creighton 69 on March 1, 2014 in Cincinnati, Ohio
-Creighton split two meetings with Xavier this season, winning 95-89 in Omaha on Jan. 12th before falling in Cincinnati 75-69 on March 1st. In the two games, Doug McDermott
has led Creighton with 31.0 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, while Ethan Wragge
(12.0 ppg.) and Devin Brooks
(10.0 ppg.) have also averaged in double-figures.
Xavier has been paced by Semaj Christon (24.0 ppg.) and Justin Martin (20.0 ppg., 12.0 rpg.), with Dee Davis (14.5 ppg., 6.5 apg.) and Matt Stainbrook (10.0 ppg., 7.5 rpg.) not far behind. Xavier, which shoots 31.5 percent and makes 4.38 treys per game against the rest of the BIG EAST, is 21-of-42 from distance (10.5 makes per game, 50 percent) in two contests against Creighton this season.
-Creighton is 1-0 all-time in the BIG EAST Tournament after last night’s 84-62 win over DePaul. Doug McDermott
set a pair of BIG EAST Tournament records in the win, including points in a half (27) and points in a tournament debut (35) to lead the victors. Creighton shot 60.4 percent for the game, including 14-of-22 (63.6 percent) from three-point range.
Creighton has now shot 60 percent from the field and 50 percent from three-point range in four of its last seven games.
-Creighton went 12-7 all-time in 19 appearances in Missouri Valley Conference Tournament semifinal games. Creighton won the MVC Tournament nine of its last 13 times it won its initial game of the postseason. Creighton also went 12-1 in MVC Tournament finals.
-Last night’s win was Creighton’s 25th, just the fifth time in program history the Bluejays have won 25 games or more. All five times it’s happened have been since 2002-03 (2002-03, 2008-09, 2011-12, 2012-13 and now 2013-14). The school-record for wins is 29, done in both 2002-03 and 2011-12.
-Creighton has won 11 straight league tournament games decided by four points or less. That’s noteworthy since five of the first six BIG EAST Tournament games have been decided by five points or less. Creighton’s game was decided by 22 points, while the other five were decided by a combined spread of 14 points.
-Boosted by a 14-for-22 display last night from downtown, Creighton is now shooting a nation-best 42.7 percent from three-point range this season. That would eclipse the previous CU record of 42.4 percent by the 2011-12 club. Creighton’s 323 three-pointers this season also lead the nation and are a school-record.
-Creighton and Xavier are 1st BIG EAST newcomers to reach the tourney semifinals in their 1st year in the conference since Villanova in 1981. Saturday night’s final is guaranteed to feature a ‘new’ member (Creighton/Xavier) vs. one of the old guard (Providence/Seton Hall).
-Creighton improved to 2-2 on neutral floors this season with last night’s win. Creighton is now 9-6 away from home this sesaon, and 37-15 at road/neutral sites in the past three seasons. Each of CU’s last 10 NCAA Tournament qualifiers have finished the season with 10 or more road/neutral victories.
-Last night’s win improved Creighton to 72-9 the last three years when shooting 30 percent or better from three-point range, and 54-4 when shooting 40+% percent from downtown the past three seasons.
-Creighton improved to 6-0 this season in its alternate gray jerseys, including four wire-to-wire victories. Creighton won all six games by double-digits, and has outscored foes 285-161 in the first half of those games (including four leads of 20+ points). In 240 minutes wearing the gray jerseys, Creighton has trailed for a total of just 1:55.
-Xavier big man Matt Stainbrook made an unexpected return to the line-up last night, contributing eight points in 15 minutes of work. His surprise return from injury in Madison Square Garden brought back memories of Willis Reed in the 1970 NBA Finals. Reed served as head coach at Creighton from 1981-85, winning 52 games.
has shot the ball extremely well of late, making 10-of-13 three-pointers in his past eight games. He was the only member of the regular Bluejay rotation to be held scoreless on Thursday vs. DePaul.
was 4-for-5 from three-point range on Thursday vs. DePaul. Manigat (201) joins fellow seniors Ethan Wragge
(322) and Doug McDermott
(265) as one of three active Bluejays with at least 200 career trifectas. Creighton has now won 26 straight games when Manigat makes three or more treys.
-Creighton’s senior class of Grant Gibbs
, Ethan Wragge
, Doug McDermott
and Jahenns Manigat
are 105-36 in the past four years, including MVC Tournament titles in 2012 and 2013. The class owns or share Creighton records for most wins in a one-year (29), two-year (57), three-year (82) and four-year (105) span.
As a group, they’ve combined for 5,775 points, 2,194 rebounds and 1,031 assits while shooting a combined 845-for-1,932 (43.7 percent) from downtown.
has become the sixth man in NCAA history to post three straight seasons of 800 points or more, joining an exclusive club featuring Lionel Simmons, Freeman Williams, Wayman Tisdale, Larry Bird, Pete Maravich and Oscar Robertson.
owns 830 points through 31 games this season, four shy of the school-record 834 points he set last season in 36 games as a junior. McDermott, who also had 801 points as a sophomore, is the only player in Creighton history to score more than 740 points in any season.
has had a busy week collecting hardware. He’s been named National Player of the Year by Sporting News, USA Today, BleacherReport.com and NBCSports.com. He was also named BIG EAST Player of the Year to become the first player ever to win a league MVP honor in multiple conferences.
’s 35 points on Thursday were his 11th game this season of 30 or more points, breaking a CU record he held with Bob Portman. It was also his 25th career game of 30 or more points, extending another record. Creighton is 24-1 all-time when McDermott scores 30 or more, and 20-0 when he scores 31+ points.
McDermott owns 20 or more points in 27-of-31 games (and he had 19 in two of those four misses), and 83 such games in his career overall.
McDermott also has reached double-figures in 131 of 141 career contests. The NCAA record for double-figure scoring games in a career is 132, held by Danny Manning.
continues to race up the NCAA’s all-time scoring chart. He enters Friday’s semifinal vs. Xavier with 3,046 career points. Sixth on the list is Keydren Clark (3,058) while in fifth place is Harry Kelly (3,066). McDermott owns 20 or more points in 11 straight games (scoring 25+ in 10 of those).
had 35 points in 32 minutes, and now owns 80 points in 68 minutes during the past two games. He’s averaged 40.0 points and 6.0 rebounds in those contests, shooting 31-for-47 from the floor (66.0 percent), including 12-of-17 (70.6 percent) from downtown.
established a BIG EAST Tournament record with 27 points in the first half on Thursday. It was the seventh time this season he’s had 20 or more points by the halftime break, and 10th time in his career he’s done it. McDermott’s career-high for any half is 31, done as a sophmore when he finished with 44 points. McDermott now owns 18 halves in his career of 20 or more points compared to just six scoreless halves.
By comparison, McDermott’s current teammates own a combined nine games of 20 points or more in their college careers.
has been Creighton’s leading scorer in 12 straight games, and 23 of the past 24 contests. The game he didn’t pace the team in that stretch was a 28-point win at No. 4 Villanova where he had 23 points, but teammate Ethan Wragge
had a career-best 27 on a school-record nine three-pointers.
made NCAA history on Wednesday when he was named a unanimous choice for BIG EAST Most Valuable Player. McDermott, the winner of the Larry Bird Most Valuable Player in the Missouri Valley Conference the previous two years, is the first player in NCAA history to win league MVP honors in multiple conferences.
appears on the cover of Sports Illustrated this week along with Jays Dancers Kelsey Saddoris and Kayleigh Begley in a remake of a classic 1977 cover that features Larry Bird and two cheerleaders. A seven-page story written by Luke Winn accompanies the photos.
-Many people thought that Doug McDermott
would have an advantage the first time he faced a BIG EAST schedule, but would struggle his second time through the league as defenses adjusted and he wore down. They were wrong.
In the nine games his first time through the league, McDermott averaged 25.3 points and 6.9 rebounds per game while making 51.2 percent of his shots from the floor and 46.2 percent from three-point range.
In the 10 games during his second trip (and third vs. DePaul yesterday) through the BIG EAST, McDermott has averaged 30.5 points and 7.1 rebounds per game while shooting 57.7 percent from the field and 50 percent from three-point range.
owns 98 three-pointers this season. The only man with more in one season in Creighton history is Kyle Korver (100 in 2000-01 and 129 in 2002-03). Wragge’s 48.0 percent marksmanship from three-point range is tied for the fourth-best mark in CU history with Korver’s senior season. The last BIG EAST player with more than 100 treys in a season was Pitt’s Ashton Gibbs, brother of Seton Hall hero Sterling Gibbs.