Doug McDermott scored a game-high 25 points, including nine of the Jays' final 10, but it wasn't enough to power No. 12 Creighton past the host Wichita State Shockers as Creighton lost 67-64 Saturday afternoon.
It was the Jays' first loss in Missouri Valley Conference play as they fell to 17-2 and 6-1 in the MVC. Creighton had won 11 in a row with the only other loss coming at home on November 28th, 83-70 to Boise State. Wichita State moved to 17-2 and 6-1 in MVC action.
Interior buckets by Malcolm Almstead and Carl Hall as well as a Jays' foul gave the Shockers an early 5-0 cushion. That minimal separation was enough for Wichita State to hold the Jays at bay throughout the opening half. Creighton drew as close as one at 15-14 on a three-pointer by Austin Chatman and a layup by Grant Gibbs, but the Shockers responded by pushing their lead to 23-16 by the 10:07 mark.
Down the stretch of the first half, the two teams battled back and forth into the final minutes, but a trey from McDermott in the closing seconds sent the Jays into the break with momentum, down 36-33. McDermott buoyed the Jays in the first half with 11 points, but Creighton was just 7-of-13 from the line (53.8 percent).
Almstead and Hall continued to pace the Shockers throughout the half as the duo combined to score 21 of Wichita State's 36 points. The rest of the team was a combined 6-of-21 from the field (29 percent).
The momentum of the final first half shot gave the Bluejays a boost in the second as they pulled even for the first time at 38-38 behind a 5-2 run. Chatman knocked down a short jumper in the paint to open the half, then following a Wichita State bucket, McDermott drained his third trifecta of the game to knot the contest with 19:01 remaining.
The Shockers, however, scored five of the next seven to reclaim the lead and held a 51-45 edge with 14:45 on the clock.
For the ensuing three minutes the Jays' defense took over the game, holding Wichita State without a point as Creighton claimed its first lead with a 7-0 run. McDermott got the Jays rolling with a fade-away shot to make it 51-47. Ethan Wragge followed with a three from the right wing to bring Creighton to within a point at 51-50. Finally, Chatman pulled up from just outside the free-throw line to give the Jays a 52-51 lead with 11:29 remaining.
Unfortunately, the Shockers rallied once again, claiming seven of the next nine including two on a flagrant foul called against Gibbs to retake the lead, 58-54 with 7:40 left. McDermott delivered back-to-back buckets to tie the game at 58-58 with 6:28 remaining, but Demetric Williams and Hall answered for the Shockers to push it back to a four-point game at 62-58.
Gibbs was Creighton's only other player to reach double-figures in points with 13. Gregory Echenique led Creighton with 12 rebounds and also tossed in nine points.
Wichita State had four players in double-figures, led by 16 from Hall. Armstead and Cleanthony Early each posted 13 while Williams finished with 10.