Wichita State 67,
No. 12 Creighton 64
Percentages: FG .418, FT .588. 3-Point Goals: 8-20, .400 (McDermott 4-5, Gibbs 1-2, Dingman 1-2, Chatman 1-3, Wragge 1-6, Manigat 0-2). Team Rebounds: 4. Blocked Shots: 6 (Echenique 5, Wragge). Turnovers: 14 (Chatman 4, Gibbs 4, Johnson 2, Echenique 2, McDermott 2). Steals: 3 (Gibbs, Chatman, McDermott). Technical Fouls: None.
Percentages: FG .380, FT .474. 3-Point Goals: 4-23, .174 (Armstead 2-8, Wiggins 1-3, Early 1-4, White 0-1, Van Vleet 0-1, Cotton 0-2, Williams 0-4). Team Rebounds: 7. Blocked Shots: 4 (Orukpe 2, Van Vleet, Hall). Turnovers: 7 (Armstead 2, Wiggins, Early, Williams, Cotton). Steals: 5 (Armstead 2, Cotton, Early, Williams). Technical Fouls: None.
3331–64Wichita St. 36 31 – 67
Att.–10,506. Officials–Scott Thornley, Tom Eades, Don Daily.
Nothing is free
Wichita State’s Carl Hall acted as if he would take a minimum amount of pleasure in Saturday’s win. His misses at the foul line weighed heavily on his thoughts.
“I’m sick about them,” he said. “I’ve got to make free throws.”
Hall, shooting 72.2 percent entering the game, missed 5 of 6, all in the final two minutes. He missed two with WSU leading 64-63. He split a pair to give WSU a 65-63 lead with 47 seconds to play. The Shockers led 67-64 with six seconds remaining when he missed two more.
Hall knows he gave Creighton too many chances. He vowed to get in the gym and practice.
“I can’t believe I missed free throws like that down the stretch,” he said.
Hall’s 13 rebounds tied his career high, set against Creighton last season and earlier this season against North Carolina Central.
“He was ready to play,” Creighton forward Doug McDermott said. “His game is crashing the boards and using his athleticism and toughness.”
Shocker fans wait all year for a chance to yell at Creighton and they didn’t get cheated.
Students, 100 or so, camped out before the game. They were ready to jeer the Bluejays when warmups started and most of them rarely sat quietly.
“The crowd was beautiful,” WSU guard Demetric Williams said. “They were like a sixth-man out there.”
WSU coach Gregg Marshall is used to Shocker fans giving their best effort against the Bluejays.
“It hasn’t been that loud in a long time,” he said. “They made a great impression, not only on our team, but on the recruits that we had here.”
The Bluejays enjoyed the experience as much as a losing team can.
“Wichita fans always bring it,” McDermott said. “This is as good as it gets for a college basketball atmosphere.”
Tackle the trends
Creighton usually gets the edge in low-scoring, close games against WSU.
On Saturday, WSU improved to 5-26 against the Bluejays when held under 70 points since 1994-95.
In that same span, the Shockers are 4-13 in games decided by four points or less.
One trend continued. WSU is winning more often. The Shockers defeated the Bluejays for the fourth time in five games and six of the past nine. That is WSU’s best stretch in the rivalry since it won four of five and seven of nine from 1986-1989.
Creighton center Gregory Echenique suffered a sprained right wrist in the second half after grabbing a rebound and falling after a foul. He continued to play and is expected to get the hand X-rayed on Sunday.… WSU signee Shaq Morris attended the game. Morris is a forward from Oklahoma City. Recruits Justice Green, a guard from Flint (Mich.) Carman-Ainsworth, and Omega Harris of Putnam City (Okla.) West also attended. Green and Harris are juniors.… McDermott scored 25 points. His previous high in four meetings with WSU was 13.
— Paul Suellentrop