It’s a new year for Creighton men’s basketball as the Jays swept past Wayne State in a 93-46 exhibition win at the CenturyLink Center on Friday.
The crowd of 15,128 fans cheered as junior transfer, Marcus Foster, drained a 3-pointer to start the game. Foster led the team with 13 points overall. Afterwards Foster told reporters that he wanted to “give his all to his teammates.”
Division II Wayne State trailed 13-0 behind the Bluejays in the first six minutes. The Wildcats got within 20-12 at the 10:55 mark. However, a 16-0 run by Creighton was triggered after sophomore Khyri Thomas and senior, Cole Huff made back-to-back 3-pointers. Overall, Creighton shot 53.8 percent from the field and 38.1 percent from 3-point range while sinking 68.2 percent at the line.
The matchup on Friday was the second exhibition game of the year for Wayne State, which defeated Midland on Tuesday. Jordan Cornelius scored a team-best 13 points for Wayne State, while Vance Janssen had a total, four assists for the Wildcats.
After a series of “stale” practices, the No.22-ranked Bluejays were glad to play another team for a change.
“This felt like the longest offseason ever because we just wanted to get on the court and play somebody else other than Creighton,” junior Ronnie Harrell said.
“Our goal was to try and give as many guys time on the court as possible and we did that,” Creighton coach Greg McDermott said. ‘
All 14 of Creighton’s players had at least four minutes of court time, with 12 of them scoring. McDermott said that it will be a “challenge” to set up a secure lineup for the season with so many talented players.
“All in all these guys need to get their feet wet,” McDermott said in a press conference.
“I think we have a lot of good energy, I liked how cohesive it was on the court so going forward I hope we can keep it together,” Harrell said. “If we can keep competing on defense, working on rebounding, and just fixing a lot of the little stuff; I think that will bring us together.”
Harrell scored 10 points overall and had the highest field goal percentage at 83 percent.
The contest on Friday also hosted several new faces including freshman, Kobe Paras who scored seven points for the Bluejays. Even though it was only an exhibition game Kobe felt that the “atmosphere was amazing.”
Redshirt freshman Justin Patton saw his first appearance on the court, opening with a total of eight points.
“It was good to get back on the court, it brought back memories from high school; It was an overwhelming feeling of excitement,” Patton said.
It’s been two years since the Bluejays have made it to the NCAA Tournament and the team is on the hunt for the opportunity. McDermott stressed how hard the team would have to work to be in the top echelon of the conference.
“I’ve felt that this year this group comes in and attacks practice rather than survives it,” McDermott said. “They are really engaged the whole time.”