Sunday’s box score
|Creighton 68, Wichita St. 65|
Percentages: FG .343, FT .667. 3-Point Goals: 7-21, .333 (Armstead 4-9, Cotton 1-2, Wiggins 1-2, Baker 1-3, Early 0-1, Williams 0-4). Team Rebounds: 3. Blocked Shots: 6 (Hall 4, Orukpe, Cotton). Turnovers: 5 (Williams 2, Early, Orukpe, Armstead). Steals: 6 (Armstead 4, Wiggins, Williams). Technical Fouls: None.
Percentages: FG .415, FT .650. 3-Point Goals: 11-24, .458 (Wragge 5-9, Manigat 4-8, Gibbs 2-2, Chatman 0-2, McDermott 0-3). Team Rebounds: 5. Blocked Shots: 7 (Echenique 6, Manigat). Turnovers: 9 (Manigat 2, McDermott 2, Echenique 2, Dingman, Chatman, Gibbs). Steals: 2 (Chatman 2). Technical Fouls: None.
2837–65Creighton 30 38 – 68
Att.–16,659. Officials–Scott Thornley, Mike Stuart, Don Daily.
Eyes on Doug
WSU guarded Creighton’s McDermott with Carl Hall, Cleanthony Early, Tekele Cotton and Ehimen Orukpe.
The numbers say the Shockers did a fine job — McDermott scored 14 points and needed 13 shots, below his usual efficiency.
Creighton led 30-28 at halftime, despite a mere two points from McDermott. He missed 5 of 6 shots in the first half and picked up two fouls.
However, his threat influences a defense and Creighton took advantage of all the attention paid him.
“You have to pick your poison with us,” Creighton coach Greg McDermott said. “The way they guarded Doug was the reason Jahenns (Manigat) was able to shoot eight threes and all of them were wide open. They way they guarded Doug and Gregory (Echenique) is the reason Ethan (Wragge) gets nine looks at the three.”
WSU devoted more than a man to McDermott on most possessions, allowing Wragge and Manigat to slip through screens and find open shots.
“Sometimes you get out of position and you turn around and, bam, the three ball’s up,” WSU guard Ron Baker said.
CBS switched much of the country away from the final three minutes of the game in favor of the start of Indiana-Michigan.
Wichita and Omaha fans were able to watch the entire game. However, markets with MVC interest such as Chicago, Peoria, Ill, Normal, Ill., Evansville, Ind., and Terre Haute, Ind., lost the game.
“This is incredibly disappointing to learn that CBS switched to another game without giving viewers the opportunity to see the conclusion of our championship game in any market,” MVC commissioner Doug Elgin said in a news release. “It is disrespectful to our two teams and to every institution in our conference. This was our championship game. CBS needs to apologize.”
Come on over
Creighton and Wichita State fans packed the approximately 10,000 seats in the Scottrade Center’s lower bowl. They also filled a good portion of the upper deck.
Sunday’s attendance of 16,659 is the second-largest in a championship game, behind a 2007 crowd of 22,612 to see Creighton defeat Southern Illinois 67-61.
The four-day total of 71,029 ranks second behind 85,074 in 2007.
Creighton’s Doug McDermott, who averaged 20.7 points and made 9 of 14 three-pointers in three games, earned Most Outstanding Player honors.
WSU’s Carl Hall and Malcolm Armstead joined him on the all-tournament team, as did Creighton center Gregory Echenique and Illinois State center Jackie Carmichael.
Hall and Armstead are WSU’s first all-tournament picks since Clevin Hannah and Garrett Stutz in 2010.
McDermott, also MOP in 2012, joins former Bluejay Kyle Korver as repeat selections.
The Shockers finished second in St. Louis despite uncharacteristically poor shooting by Cleanthony Early, who almost didn’t play Saturday because of illness.
Early, who averages a team-leading 14 points, didn’t reach double figures in the tournament. He scored two points in Sunday’s game, making 1 of 5 shots in 23 minutes. In three games, he averaged 5.0 points and made 5 of 21 shots.
Creighton improves to 6-1 vs. the Shockers in the tournament, also winning the 1981 title game 70-64 in Omaha. Armstead tied his career-high with nine rebounds. Hall blocked a career-high four shots. The Shockers out-rebounded Creighton 42-41 and grabbed 20 offensive rebounds to score 19 second-chance points.