In a big-time Big East matchup, Creighton was able to beat a strong Marquette team at the Fiserv Forum, 73 to 65. Coming into this game, the Bluejays stood at 20-6 and 9-4 in Big East play, winning 7 of their 8 games. The Golden Eagles were at 17-7 and 7-5 in conference play, coming off a tough loss to Villanova last week. These are two of the best scoring and 3 point shooting teams in the conference and the country.
Two of the highest-scoring teams in the Big East could not seem to find the bottom of the basket. Marquette shot a dreadful 9 of 28 from the field and 2 of 17 from 3. Worse, Markus Howard missed all three of his shot attempts and committed two fouls, with Howard sitting the final four minutes of the half. Sacar Anim lead the way for the Golden Eagles with 9 points. For comparison, the Bluejays also started out slow but were able to start hitting shots, finishing the half strongly. They shot 14 of 33 from the field, hitting only 2 of their 10 attempts 3. Denzel Mahoney was instrumental for the Bluejays, providing a scoring spark off the bench and playing good defense. The half ended with the Bluejays having a comfortable 10 point lead, 32 to 22.
The second half began with a Markus Howard 3 for his first points of the game. The half was marked by a lot more offensive from both teams, living up to the initial billing of the game. Marquette quickly got right back into the game and within five minutes they tied the game up at 38 all. But then Creighton went on an 8-0 run over the next two minutes. Creighton and Marquette traded baskets and after building a twelve-point lead, Creighton seemed ready to run away with the game. However, Marquette went on a run of their own, cutting the lead to 5 with two minutes left. Creighton was able to hold on, make free throws and leave the Fiserv Forum with 73-65 win.
Keys to the game
For the Bluejays, Ty Shon Alexander played phenomenally, hitting tough shots, scoring 22 points on the night. Marcus Zegarowski was superb scoring 17 points on attacking the basket and hitting tough layups. The Bluejays although struggled at times on offense, they were able to put together runs and defensive stops to seal the win.
College basketball’s leading scorer Markus Howard played poorly tonight, only scoring 14 points on 4 of 14 shooting. Sacar Anim lead the Golden Eagles in scoring with 18. As a team, Marquette shot a dreadful 8 of 33 from beyond the arc and only converted 7 of 13 attempts at the free-throw line. Theo John was great for the Golden Eagles as he scored 12 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and swatted away two shots.
The Bluejays, now winners of 8 of their last 9 games played, will return home to face 21st ranked Butler on Sunday. Creighton now stands at 21-6 overall and 10-4 in Big East play, with a serious shot at winning the regular-season crown. Creighton has the conferences best NET rating and no Quad 2, 3 or 4 losses. There were some questions concerning Creighton coming into the season, but they have answered them and then some. As for Marquette, this is their second straight loss and they sit at 17-8 and 7-6 in conference play. They will visit Providence on Saturday for a crucial game for both teams.