The Creighton men’s basketball team snapped out of its shooting slump – and its three game losing streak – in a big way by setting a conference record for field goal percentage in an 88-69 victory over the Southern Illinois University Salukis on Tuesday night.
The Bluejays made 31 of their 40 field goal attempts (77.5 percent) including 12-14 (85.7 percent) from beyond the 3-point arc en route to the 19-point win. With their performance, the Jays broke a 28-year-old record in the Missouri Valley Conference for field goal percentage in a single game.
Seven of the nine players that attempted at least one field goal finished above 50 percent for the game, three of whom didn’t miss a shot.
Sophomore forward Doug McDermott lead the Jays with 18 points despite only playing 23 minutes after picking up two early fouls. Sophomore guard Jahenns Manigat scored 17 points and sophomore forward Ethan Wragge added 15 off the bench as each went 5-6 from deep.
Junior center Gregory Echenique scored 15 points and hauled in a game-high nine rebounds, while senior point guard Antoine Young added 15 of his own and dished out eight assists, also a game-best.
Three men reached double figures for the Salukis lead by forward Mamadou Seck’s 16 points. Guard T.J. Lindsay and forward Dantiel Daniels added 13 and 12 respectively.
The Jays out-rebounded SIU 33-16, attempted 10 more free throws and finished with 21 team assists.
The game went back and forth throughout the first half. Creighton lead 17-15 with 10:53 when McDermott picked up his second personal foul and had to take a seat on the bench. Both teams continued to battle throughout the half and Southern Illinois even took a 25-24 lead with 5:09 left.
However, Creighton closed out the half on a 15-5 run thanks to three triples, two by Wragge and one by Manigat, and six points by Young to take a nine-point lead into the break.
“We had to fight through some foul trouble, and we really pleased with that run we put on late in the first half to get up nine points at halftime,” head coach Greg McDermott said.
The Jays came out in the second half and pounded the ball inside, building up a 14-point lead less than four minutes in. The Salukis fought back to make the deficit nine with 13:15 remaining, but a pair of 3-pointers by junior guard Josh Jones and Wragge pushed it to 15 and CU’s lead remained in double-figures for the rest of the night.