This game was all built up and I expected to see a barnburner. But after the first 5 minutes of the games where everyone seemed a little jittery and sloppy, the Jays settled down and started hitting shots. Antoine Young, the freshman, only played 10 minutes, but they were minutes that got the Jays going and got the offense into gear. The Jays went scoreless until the under 16 minute timeout, but it was Antoine that came into the game and gave them the spark they needed. He drove to the basket fearlessly, got fouled and got the Jays on the board. Then it was two huge assists to Kaleb Korver for two three-pointers (4-5 from three for the game) and then it was almost no looking back for Creighton as they dominated the game for the most part and won 77-59.
After Korver hit those 2 shots, then it was like Dayton forgot about the other guy that shoots the three ball quite well. Then it was the Booker Woodfox show again as he went 4-5 from three in the first half and 5-8 for the game from three. Add in a couple other baskets and free throws and he led the Jays again in scoring with 21 points. With Korver and Woodfox over the past two games, they are a combined 19-26 (a blistering 73%) from 3-point land.
The other story of the game was the rebounding. I thought Dayton had a distinct advantage in this category, but the Jays out rebounded them by 11, 42 to 31 and Casey Harriman again fought in the paint for 7 rebounds along with Kenny Lawson getting 7. Creighton got 14 offensive rebounds (6 by Harriman) and several second chance points. P’Allen Stinnett had 13 points and 4 assists, Cavel Witter had 14 points and the 6 footer grabbed 5 rebounds. Justin Carter only played 12 minutes but got 5 rebounds. So as you can tell a total team effort on the boards.
The Creighton defense was tough too. Chris Wright of Dayton was totally shut down tonight. He had 8 points and 8 rebounds, but I almost forgot that he was in the game because he did nothing of significance. When you shoot 35% for the game, 32% in the second half there are not many games you are going to win. Dayton didn’t handle the full court press very well and just couldn’t make shots.
Creighton was 13-25 from three and are 26-53 from 3 the past two games now.
The sharing of the ball was great too–17 of the 23 field goals by Creighton had assists.
Overall, this was about as complete a game with contribution from all that I have seen for a while from the Jays and really gets me excited for the rest of the season. The only worry is that the past couple of games, they haven’t gotten baskets in the paint and can’t get the ball down low. Hopefully over the next 2 games against Northern Colorado and Southern that can be developed a little more before the trip to Vegas.
The other thing that bothered me a little bit was that as much of an impact and spark that Antoine Young had in the game in the first half, he didn’t get into the game again until under a minute to go in the game. This is a game that would have been good to get him some good what felt like crunch time minutes to see how he handled it. It always seemed that Dayton was still in the game and about to make a run and it was too bad he didn’t get a couple minutes in there. My whole section wondered if he had gotten hurt or something and surprised he basically didn’t play the second half.
Anyway it is off to playing in the Las Vegas Classic hosting a couple games at home before heading to Vegas to play Fresno St. and either Depaul or St. Louis. Not heavily exciting, but winnable games. If they keep playing like they did tonight, unselfish and crashing the boards, this team will be tough to beat.
As for Dayton, they couldn’t blame the refs this time. They just got taken to the woodshed.