Creighton vs Illinois State

Wragge helps Creighton wriggle past Redbirds


NORMAL, Ill. -- Creighton forward Ethan Wragge worked all week on his outside shooting. It showed Wednesday night when the junior scored a career-high 18 points on 6-of-9 shooting from 3-point range to lead the 16th-ranked Bluejays to a 79-72 victory over Illinois State.

The 6-foot-7 Wragge, who normally comes off the bench, made his first four attempts from behind the 3-point line. After that, his teammates were kicking the ball out to him nearly every offensive series, looking for his hot hand.

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"I worked pretty hard all week on my outside shooting," Wragge said. "They were dropping pretty good in practice, too. As soon as the first one went in tonight, I just felt it. They really started falling after that."

Grant Gibbs added 16 points for Creighton (13-1, 2-0 Missouri Valley Conference), while the team's leading scoring Doug McDermott (third in the nation at 23.5 points per game) was held to 15 points and nine rebounds.

"It was a fabulous win," Creighton coach Greg McDermott said. "There are not many teams in our league that could've come in here tonight and played a tough opponent like [ISU] and get away with a win. We'll take it."

Tyler Brown and Bryant Allen each scored 15 points to lead the Redbirds (9-5, 0-2).

Creighton led by as many as 12 points in the first half. Illinois State went on a 9-0 run over the last 2 minutes of the half that culminated with a 3-pointer by Nick Zeisloft with 2 seconds left to pull the Redbirds within 42-39.

It took Creighton until the second half to figure out the Redbirds' zone defense.

"Finally, we were able to get into the teeth of their zone. It was something we didn't recognize, and we had to make some adjustments. We picked it up eventually," Greg McDermott said.

It was a crushing loss for the young Redbirds, who felt they were in the game until the final seconds.

"Disappointed," first-year Illinois State coach Dan Muller said. "We really wanted this win tonight. And we came close. Creighton is a very good team, but we wanted this one."

The teams combined for 26 3-pointers in the game, 17 coming in the first half. As both defenses tightened, Illinois State staged another comeback late in the game, pulling ahead 63-61 on a 3-pointer by Allen with 9:15 left. Creighton regained the lead at 67-65 with 7:03 left and never relinquished it.

Illinois State's Jackie Carmichael recorded his 161st career blocked shot, passing Greg Dilligard for the most in school history. Carmichael scored 10 points and grabbed six rebounds.

Creighton's seven-point margin of victory was its lowest of the season.

Illinois State is 0-8 against nationally ranked opponents in the history of Redbird Arena.

Copyright 2018 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's Doug McDermott scores 15 points as the Bluejays knock off host Illinois State. (AP)
Creighton's Doug McDermott scores 15 points as the Bluejays knock off host Illinois State. (AP)
Creighton #16 (13-1) «423779
Illinois State (9-5)393372
CREIGH:E. Wragge 18 Pts
CREIGH:D. McDermott 9 Reb
CREIGH:G. Gibbs 7 Ast
ILLST:B. Allen 15 Pts
ILLST:J. Carmichael 6 Reb
ILLST:T. Brown 6 Ast

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CreightonIllinois State
Grant Gibbs
Tyler Brown
Creighton Bluejays
J. Manigat, G372-40-00236
D. McDermott, F355-104-593115
A. Chatman, G352-52-27427
G. Gibbs, G276-122-267316
G. Echenique, C235-62-351312
E. Wragge, F216-100-020218
A. Dingman, G172-50-03115
A. Yates, G40-10-00100
N. Johnson, G-F10-00-00010
J. Jones, GDid Not Play
W. Artino, CDid Not Play
T. Stormberg, GDid Not Play
G. Groselle, CDid Not Play
M. Oginni, FDid Not Play
A. Olsen, FDid Not Play
I. Zierden, GDid Not Play
J. Kelling, GDid Not Play
Totals 28-5310-1232191679
Illinois State Redbirds
B. Allen, G346-100-033115
J. Carmichael, F295-120-261310
T. Brown, G295-152-236115
J. Ekey, F201-70-06012
J. Hill, G80-20-20030
N. Zeisloft, G242-62-22138
K. Keane, G222-21-24617
Z. Upshaw, G184-50-021011
J. Wilkins, G-F100-10-02100
J. Threloff, C62-40-01004
G. Allen, GDid Not Play
A. Cousin, GDid Not Play
J. Jones, FDid Not Play
Totals 27-645-1029191372
Big East
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Seton Hall4-115-312
St. Johns0-610-871

Missouri Valley
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Missouri St.4-214-560
So. Illinois3-311-8138
Illinois St.3-39-988
Indiana St.3-38-10165
N. Iowa1-59-9132
Other games
PROV 62 Final
LOU 80
NEB 44 Final
PENN 57 Final
DUKE 67 Final
RUT 53 Final
SYR 78
ILL 61 Final
PUR 68
CSBAK 57 Final