03/08 21:22 CST Creighton's McDermott scores 45, goes over 3,000
Creighton's McDermott scores 45, goes over 3,000
AP Sports Writer
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) --- Doug McDermott scored a career-high 45 points and became
the eighth player in Division I history to go over 3,000 for a career, and No.
13 Creighton rolled to an 88-73 victory over Providence on Saturday night.
McDermott passed the milestone with a 3-pointer midway through the second half.
After the ball went in, he ran backward with his right hand in the air, three
fingers raised. At the next timeout Doug and his coach-father, Greg McDermott,
shared a long embrace on the court as the team huddled at the bench.
McDermott scored 22 points in the first half as the Bluejays (24-6, 14-4 Big
East) put away the Friars (20-11, 10-8) quickly.
Bryce Cotton, the Big East's second-leading scorer, had all of his 23 points in
the second half for Providence. LaDontae Henton added 21.
Creighton, which avenged an 81-68 loss at Providence in January, won all 16 of
its games at CenturyLink Center for its first perfect home record since
2000-01. The Bluejays finished behind Villanova in their first season in the
Big East and will be the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament, which starts
Wednesday at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Before the game, McDermott rubbed elbows with billionaire Warren Buffett, who
was on hand as a guest of Creighton President Timothy Lannon.
One of the world's richest men, Buffett wore a long-sleeved striped Creighton
shirt and had Bluejays logo tattoos affixed to his cheeks and forehead. He was
given a McDermott bobblehead, and he mixed for a while with the inhabitants of
the Creighton student section. Buffett, known as the "Oracle of Omaha," smiled
as a student dressed in a Superman outfit offered him stock tips.
The Bluejays surely meant business in a party atmosphere on Senior Night. They
made fast work of the Friars after the sellout crowd of 18,868 --- the largest
in the arena's 11-year history --- roared during pregame introductions for
McDermott and fellow seniors Ethan Wragge, Grant Gibbs and Jahenns Manigat. The
class helped lead Creighton to a 104-36 record the past four years. The 104
wins are the most over a four-year span for Creighton.
McDermott, who has scored 25 points or more in nine of the last 10 games,
looked determined from the start to reach the 3,000-point milestone in front of
the home fans. He drove hard to the hoop for the game's first basket, then let
loose a big scream as he sprinted back on defense.
The two-time first-team All-American made two 3-pointers while scoring 10
straight points at the start of a 24-5 run that put Creighton up 32-12 in the
middle of the first half. He also assisted on 3s by Austin Chatman and Wragge.
Creighton led 45-22 at half and never let the Friars get closer than 14 points
the rest of the way.
McDermott, who has scored 40 or more points four times in his career, started
the night eight points behind Oscar Robertson for eighth place on the NCAA
scoring list and 34 points away from 3,000.
McDermott dunked in transition off Devin Brooks' long pass, bringing the fans
to their feet. They were standing again a few minutes later when he took the
ball well behind the top of the key and swished the 3-pointer that put him over
the top for a 68-45 lead with 11:27 to play. Fans in the "Whiteout" crowd
high-fived and cheered throughout Providence's next possession, and they didn't
stop until Greg and Doug McDermott had broken their embrace.
They hugged again, with father giving son a rub on top of the head, when
McDermott went to the bench for the last time with 1:17 to play.
Providence came in off wins in four of five games and fighting to stay in
contention for an NCAA tournament bid. The Friars were trying to match their
highest win total since 2000-01.