CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Gregory Echenique and Doug McDermott had double-doubles as Creighton snapped a two-game losing streak with a decisive 81-51 victory at Southern Illinois on Sunday night. The victory was CU's 10th in a row over the Salukis, and fifth consecutive at SIU Arena.
Creighton improved to 18-3 on the year and reaches the midway point of Valley play with a 7-2 league mark. Southern Illinois dropped to 8-12 and is 1-8 in MVC play.
The win was the 350th in Greg McDermott's head coaching career, and he's just the sixth man to win 70 or more games in his first three seasons at an MVC school.
Echenique had his highest-scoring game since early January and finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds. McDermott had 21 points and 10 rebounds on 9-for-13 shooting.
Desmar Jackson SIU scored the game's first four points before Creighton answered with the next nine points. Creighton continued its surge, making eight of its first 10 attempts while building a 20-12 lead.
The Jays continued to score with regularity, building a lead as large as 43-22 before settling for a 43-25 halftime edge. The Jays shot 73.9 percent in the first half, paced by 7-of-8 marksmanship from McDermott, who had 16 points by the break. Echenique added eight points and eight rebounds by the break. SIU was paced by 12 points at half from Jackson, but he did not score in the final 8:30 of the period.
Creighton scored the first nine points of the second half and was never seriously threatened after the break.
In addition to the double-doubles from McDermott (21/10) and Echenique (12/11), Grant Gibbs (13), Jahenns Manigat (12) and Ethan Wragge (12) combined to give CU five men in double-figures for the first time all season.
The Jays shot 63.0 percent for the game, making 12-of-20 three-pointers. CU also outworked the MVC's smallest team on the glass, 39-19.
SIU was paced by 16 points from Jackson. The Salukis shot 37.0 percent for the night but did claim 12 steals while forcing 17 CU turnovers. Josh Swan had five steals while Jackson added four.
Creighton returns home on Wednesday for a 7:05 pm game vs. Missouri State.
NOTES: Creighton's coaches wore bright pink shoes as part of the Coaches vs. Cancer weekend ...With four first half assists Grant Gibbs became the second-fastest
player in Creighton history to 300 career assists. He needed 56 games,
traioing only Ralph Bobik (53) ...Creighton has won 17 straight games against teams that have red/cardinal/crimson/scarlet/garnet/maroon in their official school colors ...Creighton has won 12 straight games against teams from the state of Illinois ...Creighton has won 27 straight when tied or leading at halftime ...Doug McDermott passed Bob Portman's school-record for most points in a
player's first three years and now is fourth in CU history in scoring
Creighton is 16-0 this season when outrebounding the opposition, and has
won 23 straight games when the rebounds are tied or in its favor ...Doug McDermott moved into 20th in MVC history and now owns 1,879 career points ...Doug McDermott moved into seventh in CU history for career rebounds with 720, passing Rodney Buford (716).