Wichita State demonstrated today how far the Missouri Valley Conference is ahead of the Horizon Conference. Now, after watching Creighton, I know how far the MVC is behind the top of the West Coast conference.
In the first half, Doug McDermott and Gregory Echenique scored 13 and 8 points respectively, which accounted for roughly 90% of the Bluejays offense. Between that and Echenique's low post non-presence on defense, Creighton trailed by 14, 38-24.
In the second half, coach Greg McDermott was clearly determined to establish Echenique down low to take advantage of Saint Mary's low-post-by-committee situation, and it worked. Echenique found his way to 18 points by game's end. Unfortunately, Echenique was getting his points at the sake of everyone else. McDermott didn't get his first points of the second half until under eight minutes to go, and with five minutes remaining the Jays two leading scorers still had 38 of the team's 49 points.
In the final minutes, Jahenns Manigat finally came alive and helped get the deficit to single digits and make things interesting, but the Gaels had little difficulty breaking the Bluejay full court press. This kept Creighton from ever getting closer than eight points as the clock wound down.
Brad Waldow's 12 points and 12 rebounds were a nice compliment to Dellavedova's 19 points, and Stephen Holt and Mitchell Young also reached double digits for the Gaels, who now hit the road to take on Pepperdine. The Bluejays need to find a way to even out their scoring as they take on Bradley, or there is little hope of them ending the season with a win over Wichita State.
Last but not least, Mr. Jimmy Dykes: stop talking about this result like it's some sort of shocking upset. Creighton is not that good, and Saint Mary's is not that bad.