Doug McDermott continued to light up the scoreboard, scoring 32 points as the Bluejays advanced to the title game in their first Big East tournament in New York. The nation's leading scorer delivered another strong performance for Creighton (26-6) after scoring a career-high 45 points against Providence in the regular-season finale and pouring in 35 - a record for a player in his Big East tournament debut - in Thursday's quarterfinal win over DePaul. McDermott finished 10-of-20 from the field and 10-of-10 from the foul line, while Ethan Wragge was 5-of-9 from 3-point range en route to 17 points. The second-seeded Bluejays, who shot 55.1 percent from the field and a crisp 21-of-24 from the line, will face fourth-seeded Providence in Saturday's title game. The third-seeded Musketeers (21-12), who appear to be on the safe side of the NCAA tournament bubble, were led by Isaiah Philmore's 23 points and Semaj Christon's 18. McDermott made a layup and a 3-pointer on the Bluejays' first two possessions and Creighton, playing in its inaugural Big East tournament after migrating from the Missouri Valley Conference, never trailed in winning for the seventh time in nine games. McDermott had 19 first-half points as the Bluejays led 45-33 at the break. Creighton surged ahead by 19 midway through the second half before Xavier scored 10 straight points to pull within single digits with just over five minutes left. The Musketeers clawed as close as 77-72 on Dee Davis' 3-pointer with 1:27 to go, but the Bluejays received two free throws from Jahenns Manigat, McDermott, Austin Chatman and McDermott again in the final minute to seal the win. GAME NOTEBOOK: Wragge has attempted 220 shots this season, 213 of which have come from 3-point range. ... F Zach Hanson and C Will Artino gave Creighton a boost off the bench with 11 combined points on 5-of-5 shooting. ... Justin Martin contributed 12 points for Xavier, while Chatman pitched in 11 for the Bluejays.
Creighton 86, Xavier 78
ProSportsDaily | Mar 15