If you weren’t at the Qwest Center tonight, you missed a great game. All of the drama. All of the missed calls. All of the scrappy efforts. The team effort at the end. Southern Illinois and Creighton played like rivals do. Close to the end and the surprising turn of events. Jays win 73-72 in Overtime. The Whiteout was in effect
(As a little side note–I counted 10 people on the sidelines for SIU in suits tonight. How many coaches can they have and really does it take with a team that has 9 players? I couldn’t figure that one out.)
(Thanks to I’mStuckInShockerLand)
Towards the end, the Jays were looking like they were in dire straits. Fortunately for the Jays, they had one last shot to force overtime to tie down by three. Cavel Witter went for the 3-pointer and was blocked, however a foul was called. Witter went to the line and like ice in his veins, made all three to tie it up and able to get it into overtime.
After a couple of questionable and botched calls by former Northern Iowa AD Rick Hartzell and his buddy Steve Olson in overtime they almost helped seal the game for Southern Illinois as they were up 69-65 and a charge called on Witter. However on the inbound, Josh Dotzler came up with a steal and found P’Allen Stinnett wide open for the 3. Stinnett had a whale of a game with 29 points and was the go-to guy for the Jays in the 2nd half. P also lit it up in the first with 4 3-pointers and really had a hot hand.
So now the lead for SIU was down to 1 and on the next possession, P’Allen took a charge from SIU’s Ryan Hare and the Jays had the chance for the last shot with 33 seconds left in OT.
I thought the Jays would hold for the last shot, but then a wide open Booker Woodfox (who has been hobbling around on one good leg and had a tough game) gutted the basket with a 3-pointer and all of a sudden the Jays were up 2 with 27 seconds left in OT. The crowd was deafening as SIU tried to come up with a play, but forced to put up a bad shot and a big rebound by Kenton Walker (9 in the game) who was fouled with 3 seconds left. Made two huge free throws to put the Jays up 4 and Bryan Mullins from SIU hit a half-court 3 at the end to make it the one point win. Creighton was 25-28 from the free throw line while SIU was 11-17 and that, folks, will win you games.
What a game and what a way for the Jays to fight back and save a win at home. Again, this comeback was a total team effort with Dotzler, Stinnett, Witter, Walker, Woodfox and some inspired defense by Antoine Young and some late rebounding by Kenny Lawson.
And at the end after the players shook hands, a fight almost broke out at center court and Coach Lowery had to restrain a couple of his SIU players from taking it any farther. The Salukis get another loss and their season continues to go down the tank.
In the end, this game was an instant classic. It is too bad the state of Nebraska outside of Omaha didn’t get to watch this game on Fox Sports Net since they double booked the two D-1 teams from Nebraska and bumped the CU/SIU game in favor of showing Nebraska the Nebraska/Iowa State game. That one wasn’t nearly as exciting. Luckily the fans in Omaha that did not brave the cold (while over 15,000 did)and not at the game could watch it on a different channel. The rest of Nebraska doesn’t know what they are missing. What a great game. One my voice won’t forgive me for tomorrow.