In a game that saw 16 tie scores and 10 different lead changes, No. 19 Creighton used two defensive stops in the final 10 seconds to beat defending Valley champ Missouri State, 66-65, on Wednesday night in Springfield.
Creighton improved to 17-2 overall and is 7-1 in MVC play for the first time since a similar start in 2002-03. Creighton has started 4-0 in conference road games for the first time since 1942-43. This is also the first time that Creighton has started 7-1 or better in true road games since 1974-75. MSU drops to 11-9 overall and 4-4 in Valley play with its third straight loss.
With Creighton (17-2, 7-1) ahead 66-65 in the final minute, the Bears forced the visitors into their 14th turnover of the night with 22.6 seconds remaining. An errant pass by Grant Gibbs gave the ball back to MSU with a chance to complete the upset. The Bears quickly called a timeout, and set up a play for Kyle Weems who found resistence along the right baseline but still got off a partially-blocked jumper. Creighton’s Doug McDermott snagged the rebound and was fouled with 6.4 ticks left.
McDermott missed the front end of the one-and-one, and the Bears — who were out of timeouts — put their fate in the hands of Anthony Downing who dribbled to the elbow, pulled up and narrowly missed the potential game-winner, which bounced off the rim as the horn sounded.
Gregory Echenique had game-highs 16 points and 7 rebounds for Creighton, which won its seventh game in a row since a Dec. 28 loss to MSU in Omaha. McDermott added 15 for the Bluejays.