Saturday, February 02, 2013 5:22 pm
McDermott's 25 pts help No. 21 Creighton win 75-58
By ERIC OLSONAP Sports Writer
The Bluejays (20-3, 9-2 Missouri Valley Conference) beat Bradley for the 15th straight time at home and have won 20 games for the 14th time in 15 seasons.
Bradley (13-10, 5-6) lost its fifth straight road game and eighth in a row against a ranked opponent.
Austin Chatman, who had 16 points, drilled a 3-pointer after Bradley had closed to 53-48. Then McDermott went to work, hitting a 3, a layup and four straight free throws to make it 65-48 with 5 minutes to play.
The Bluejays finished with a 33-24 advantage on the boards after outrebounding the Braves 18-4 in the second half.
Gregory Echenique had eight of his 10 points in the second half, and he blocked three shots.
Dyricus Simms-Edwards had 18 points, Walt Lemon Jr. added 15 points and Tyshon Pickett 11 for the Braves.
Creighton has won 26 straight against Braves when scoring 70 points or more.
The Bluejays, the nation's top 3-point shooting team, came into the game after making 15 of 28 from long range against Missouri State.
Try as they did, repeatedly, the 3s weren't falling in the first half. They trailed by three points at half after launching 21 of their first 29 shots from 3-point range and connecting on seven.
Creighton scored its first four baskets of the second half in the paint to turn a 30-27 deficit into a 35-30 lead.
Jahenns Manigat found McDermott alone underneath for an easy two points before Echenique hit a short left-handed hook. After the Bluejays missed a couple 3s, Echenique took an entry pass for a third-chance bucket. Then Grant Gibbs threaded the ball into the lane to McDermott, who converted for an easy basket.
Bradley closed to 43-41 on Lemon's three-point play. But Will Artino, who just entered for McDermott, made it a five-point game by converting a three-point play after his off-balance, left-handed putback of Avery Dingman's miss.
The Bluejays didn't hesitate to shoot more 3s once they took control. Ethan Wragge and Chatman hit a couple in a row before McDermott struck from long range to start his 9-0 run that all but finished off the Braves.
McDermott had averaged 26 points and 10.3 rebounds in four previous games against Bradley.
Bradley shot 44 percent in the first half, which was good enough for a lead against a Creighton team struggling to find its shooting touch.
Pickett scored five of his seven first-half points during a 9-2 run that gave the Braves their three-point lead at the break.
Creighton wore jerseys with pink trim and pink shoes as part of its third annual Creighton vs. Cancer Pink Out, and the first 14,000 fans received pink T-shirts. A jersey auction raised $24,444, with $5,002 bid for McDermott's No. 3.