For the second consecutive night, a top Missouri Valley Conference team went on the road and lost. The opponent was much more formidable, but the way things unfolded was just as surprising.
Indiana State asked their fans to dress in as much black as possible - they say it was to "Black Out" Creighton, though it was more likely in order to offset all the empty blue seats. No matter, the Sycamores took care of the "blackout" portion of tonight's program on the basketball court.
Want me to summarize Creighton's night in a single sentence? Alright.
- In the final fifteen minutes of this game, Doug McDermott had more turnovers (2) than shot attempts (1), and more shot attempts than points.
- Or how about: McDermott shot 2-for-3 from three-point range; his teammates shot 3-for-15 (including one with 10 seconds left to get the final margin under 20).
On the Jays second possession of the game, Justin Gant crashed hard to help in the paint - too hard, and couldn't recover in time to keep McDermott from draining an open look from three.
With 10:23 left to play, some great ball movement by the Bjuejays left Dawon Cummings racing to the short corner, somewhere you should never leave Doug McDermott alone, and McDermott made his second three-pointer of the game.
With 1:37 left to play in the first half, McDermott initiated a very pretty high screen and roll (very Kelly Olynyk), caught the ball at the foul line and feathered in a lay-up.
Ladies and gentlemen, three sentences later we have concluded the part of tonight's conversation where we review Doug McDermott's offensive highlights in their entirety.
For anyone who has spent this season wondering what the big deal is about Jake Odum, go to ESPN3 and watch the replay of this game. He did an incredible job all night of using his athleticism and some ridiculous body control to crash the lane, create space, and make what ISU's play-by-play announcer accurately referred to as "difficult Jake Odum type shots" on the way to scoring 16 points in the first half and 22 for the game.
Gant and Manny Arop (who chipped in 13 points of his own) spent the night hounding McDermott on defense, forcing him to burn up all his energy fighting around screens and gradually reducing him to chucking up whatever wild jump shot he could get his hands on. Even R.J. Mahurin, who is on record as wanting to set the new school record for four point plays, salted away the Jays by scoring 14 of his 17 points in the second half.
I will admit, it was equal parts depressing to watch Creighton struggle like this and entertaining to hear the announcers' bewildered tone as they sat there wondering about a Creighton scoring run that never materialized.
Saturday should be very interesting - will Creighton be able to right the ship against an Illinois State team that has suddenly won five of their last six? Can Indiana State avoid the same fate as Wichita State, as they welcome in a Southern Illinois team that found a way to defeat the Shockers? Stay tuned, folks.