No. 10 Creighton beat Nebraska, 77-62, in Lincoln on Wednesday. It was perhaps a closer game than the final score indicated, but Creighton owned the start of each half, and ultimately, that was the difference.
“We got off to a great start,” Creighton coach Greg McDermott said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “We were up 18-4 to start the game and realyl set the tone with our defense. To Nebraska’s credit, they got back in the game and then we started the second half on an 18-7 run and we were very sound defensively. It’s the first game we had to find a way to win when our offense wasn’t exactly clicking. We had to do it with the defense tonight.”
Creighton improved to 9-0 and has four players – Marcus Foster (18.0), Maurice Watson (13.4), Khyri Thomas (13.0) and Justin Patton (12.3) – averaging at least 12 points per game.
“We have so many pieces offensively,” McDermott said. “Maurice Watson makes us go. Does a terrific job getting in the lane and spreading the basketball. Our wings, Khyri Thomas and Marcus Foster, have been really consistent. They didn’t score it as well tonight, as they have in the past, and Justin Patton inside does a terrific job putting pressure on the rim and running in transition. We’ve got a lot of weapons and we’re an improving team defensively. I’m really excited about where this team can go before the season’s over.”
Watson, Thomas, and Cole Huff are all shooting over 50 percent from three, while Foster is shooting 40.4 percent.
“We’ve been one of the better three-point shooting teams in the country during the last five or six years, and that’s continued this season,” McDermott said. “Even though we didn’t shoot it well tonight, the threat of us being able to shoot it really creates some driving lanes.”
Creighton is one of the top teams in a stacked Big East, which includes No. 1 Villanova, No. 13 Xavier, and No. 16 Butler, among others. Butler suffered its first loss of the season Wednesday, losing 72-71 at Indiana State.
McDermott wasn’t stunned. He knows Butler is darn good, but, well, so is Indiana State.
“There’s a lot of great basketball in the Big East,” he said. “Having come from the Missouri Valley, I know how hard it is to play at Indiana State. Greg Lansing is a heck of a basketball coach, and they’re very passionate about their basketball there. So that’s a difficult environment to go in and win, much like the one we went into tonight.”
Creighton hosts Longwood (2-4) on Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET.