Creighton vs Missouri State

No. 19 Creighton edges Missouri St. wire reports

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Coach Greg McDermott and No. 19 Creighton knew Missouri State would be a formidable opponent, something the Bears proved Dec. 28 when they upset the Bluejays in Omaha.

Missouri State almost got the best of the Bluejays again Wednesday night, but Creighton rallied late in the second half for a 66-65 victory over the Missouri Valley Conference rival.

"I have all the respect in the world for Missouri State. Baskets were difficult to come by. Missouri State made it difficult to score," McDermott said.

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Gregory Echenique scored 16 points, and Doug McDermott added 15 to help Creighton (17-2, 7-1) win its seventh straight game since the loss to Missouri State in Omaha.

Echenique was 5 of 6 from the field, made all six of his free throws and added seven rebounds.

"We knew they were coming off two straight losses and they were going to try to get us. We needed this win," Echenique said. "We were getting stops in the second half and defense is our strength. It shows we're improving in that area."

Anthony Downing had 14 points for Missouri State (11-9, 4-4). Kyle Weems added 13 points for the Bears, 11 in the second half.

Missouri State had two late chances, but missed both shots en route to its third straight loss.

Weems missed a jumper from the baseline, and McDermott was fouled on the rebound with 6.4 second left.

McDermott then missed a free throw, giving the Bears another chance.

Missouri State's Caleb Paterson grabbed the rebound and passed to Downing, who drove the length of the court and missed a jumper from near the free-throw line as time expired.

"Our effort was great," Weems said. "The ball just didn't bounce the way we needed it to and we ended up with a one-point loss."

Creighton, which trailed 56-53 with 7:37 left, took the lead at 61-58 on Josh Jones' 3-pointer with 4:46 left. The Bears rallied to tie it at 63 with 2:50 to play on Weems' jumper and Downing's two free throws.

Grant Gibbs scored with 1:06 left to give Creighton a 66-63 lead, and Jarmar Gulley completed the scoring with 55.1 seconds left.

There were 16 ties and 10 lead changes. Creighton's biggest lead was four, and Missouri led by eight early in the second half.

"We had 14 assists and three turnovers and held one of the best scoring teams in the country to 66 points," first-year Missouri State coach Paul Lusk said. "We played a solid game. At some point, we're going to get some bounces."

Creighton had 11 turnovers in the first, but the leading field-goal shooting team in the country shot 57 percent only trailed 34-30.

"We just had to take care of the basketball in the second half. We came out tentative in the first half, We weren't taking care of the ball," Gibbs said.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Creighton star Doug McDermott adds 15 points in a close one against Missouri State. (AP)
Creighton star Doug McDermott adds 15 points in a close one against Missouri State. (AP)
Creighton #19 (17-2) «303666
Missouri State (11-9)343165
CREIGH:G. Echenique 16 Pts
CREIGH:G. Echenique 7 Reb
CREIGH:A. Young 6 Ast
MOST:A. Downing 14 Pts
MOST:K. Weems 7 Reb
MOST:M. Bizoukas 8 Ast

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CreightonMissouri State
Gregory Echenique
Kyle Weems
Creighton Bluejays
D. McDermott, F356-121-261315
A. Young, G324-91-20609
G. Echenique, C305-66-670116
G. Gibbs, G244-61-23249
J. Manigat, G200-10-04100
J. Jones, G171-30-04213
A. Chatman, G161-22-24304
E. Wragge, F121-20-02023
A. Dingman, G111-20-01003
W. Artino, C32-20-00024
R. Ferrarini, GDid Not Play
M. Dorwart, FDid Not Play
D. Sebastian, G-FDid Not Play
T. Stormberg, GDid Not Play
G. Groselle, CDid Not Play
N. Johnson, G-FDid Not Play
M. Oginni, FDid Not Play
A. Olsen, FDid Not Play
Totals 25-4511-1431151366
Missouri State Bears
M. Bizoukas, G332-51-22816
K. Weems, F335-162-271113
A. Downing, G335-113-423214
J. Gulley, G-F254-123-430111
C. Kirk, F183-50-05036
C. Patterson, C225-110-040111
N. Scheer, F221-30-03153
K. Pickens, G140-11-22111
I. Rhine, CDid Not Play
C. Copeland, GDid Not Play
C. Thomas, FDid Not Play
D. Williams, GDid Not Play
D. Wilson, FDid Not Play
Totals 25-6410-1428141565
Big East
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Seton Hall10-821-1244
St. Johns7-1114-19140

Missouri Valley
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Wichita St.17-131-532
Illinois St.17-128-733
So. Illinois9-917-16145
N. Iowa9-914-16162
Missouri St.7-1117-16209
Indiana St.5-1311-20233
Other games
MRST 66 Final
Mhead St 60
Cincinnati 70 Final
UConn 67
Indiana 69 Final
Nebraska 70
Texas 80 Final
K-State 84
Miss St 68 Final
Ole Miss 75
SDSU 75 Final
N Mexico 70
TCU 78 Final
UNLV 101