NEWARK, N.J. – The 79-66 victory over Seton Hall on Saturday was in the books. Creighton improved its record to 12-2 and a perfect 2-0 start in Big East play. Doug McDermott, Creighton’s outstanding 6-8 senior, put together another sterling 30-point, 10-rebound effort. Both were game highs. Both left the Prudential Center crowd duly impressed. For McDermott and his teammates, it was seemingly another day.
This one, in the words of head coach Greg McDermott, was a bit special because it was the school’s first Big East road game. They defeated Marquette at home on New Year’s Eve in their first conference meeting.
A veteran team putting four players in double figures, Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard heaped praise on Doug McDermott and the entire Creighton club. “They are just so hard to defend,” Willard said. “Everyone knows their roles and no one cares who gets the shots. They get shots off offensive rebounds and limit you to getting yours as we found out.”
On the afternoon, Creighton pulled down 11 offensive rebounds while limiting Seton Hall to one.
The thing that really stood out in Willard’s mind was the Creighton defense. That is often overlooked due to Doug McDermott’s presence and effectiveness. “Doug (McDermott) gets talked about and rightfully so but they are one outstanding defensive team,” said Willard. “They are not overly quick but get great position. Opponents are shooting only 39 percent from the floor against them. They just play super, solid defense. Creighton will play man to man. They like to double the post on catches on the blocks. To their credit they close out well on the post passes out to the perimeter.”
For the game Seton Hall shot 45 percent from the field. Creighton coach Greg McDermott was pleased with his defense except in the second half, when they sent Seton Hall to the line to attempt 28 free throws. Despite those frequent charity stripe visits the Bluejays were never severely threatened after intermission as they constantly enjoyed double-digit leads.
The Hall was led by Sterling Gibbs with 17 points. Patrik Auda, back from an injury, contributed 10 points, 5 boards in 30 minutes for the Hall now 10-5 and 1-1 in conference.
In terms of defensive efficiency, Creighton holds all opponents to a 95, the leading defensive number in conference. Through two Big east games, the position has averaged a 91 efficiency. “They (Creighton) remind me so much,” Willard said, “of how Georgetown plays defense.”