Chicago Sun-Times

Road blues con­tinue for Demons

- BY ERIC OLSON

OMAHA, Neb. — Creighton has be­gun to pull it­self out of the funk that set in with the sea­son- end­ing in­jury to star Mau­rice Wat­son Jr.

Khyri Thomas scored 18 points, Mar­cus Fos­ter had 15 and the 16thranked Blue­jays beat DePaul 83- 66 on Satur­day.

Justin Pat­ton added 14 points as Creighton ( 19- 3, 6- 3 Big East) won for the first time in three games since Wat­son was shelved by a ma­jor knee in­jury.

Play­ing only their se­cond game in 12 days, the Blue Demons ( 8- 13, 1- 7) started 1- for- 14 from the field on mostly rushed or bad shots. Starters Eli Cain, Tre’Dar­ius McCal­lum and Gar­rett each com­mit- ted three fouls in the first half.

“We were men­tally and physically to start the game a lit­tle be­hind where we nor­mally are and should be,” DePaul coach Dave Leitao said. “You can’t have an ex­pec­ta­tion in this en­vi­ron­ment that you can walk in and try to go blow for blow if you’re not as locked in.”

Billy Gar­rett Jr. scored 18 points and Bran­don Cyrus 12 for the Blue Demons, who lost their fourth in a row and re­main win­less on the road.

Creighton led by 21 early, but the Blue Demons closed to 44- 29 at half­time and were within 46- 37 on a Gar­rett three- pointer early in the se­cond half.

The Blue­jays put away the Blue Demons with three dunks in two min­utes. Thomas passed to Pat­ton on back- to- back pos­ses­sions for a dunk and an easy layup, Fos­ter dunked off Tyler Cle­ment’s pass and Thomas got a jam of his own to make it 75- 58 with five min­utes left.

Creighton has won 10 of its last 11 meet­ings with DePaul, in­clud­ing eight of nine since join­ing the Big East in 2013. Each of the last nine meet­ings has been de­cided by 10 or more points.

“The most im­por­tant thing is it’s good to see these guys smile again,” coach Greg McDer­mott said. “It’s been a tough 10 days or so for our pro­gram. Every­one un­der­stands why. There have been a lot of ad­just­ments and tin­ker­ing and ex­per­i­men­ta­tion, for lack of a bet­ter word, to try to fig­ure out what’s best going for­ward.”

The Blue­jays looked lost with­out Wat­son in their pre­vi­ous two games, losses of 102- 94 at home to Mar­quette and 71- 51 at Ge­orge­town. A con­vinc­ing win over the Big East’s last- place team was a good tonic, but next up is a trip to No. 11 But­ler, a team the Blue­jays beat 75- 64 at home two weeks ago.

“This is just one game, and it’s a step in the right di­rec­tion,” for­ward Cole Huff said. “I still think we have a lot of stuff we’ll watch on film that we need to clean up. But­ler might be a top- 10 team next week. They came here and prob­a­bly weren’t too happy with the re­sult. To­day’s a start. We hope to keep going and see what hap­pens.”

 ?? | NATI HARNIK/ AP ?? DePaul’s Eli Cain drives to the bas­ket be­tween Creighton’s Mar­cus Fos­ter ( 0) and Khyri Thomas. The Blue Demons lost their fourth con­sec­u­tive game Satur­day.
| NATI HARNIK/ AP DePaul’s Eli Cain drives to the bas­ket be­tween Creighton’s Mar­cus Fos­ter ( 0) and Khyri Thomas. The Blue Demons lost their fourth con­sec­u­tive game Satur­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA