Creighton’s offensive attack proved to be too much for SIU as the Jays shot 60 percent from beyond the 3-point line and easily disposed of the Salukis 81-51 at SIU Arena Sunday night.
Crieghton junior forward Doug McDermott made seven of his first eight shot attempts and accounted for 16 of his team’s 43 points by halftime. The reigning MVC Player of the Year notched a double-double for the night as he scored a game-high 21 points and nabbed 10 rebounds. McDermott was efficient from close range, and he was a perfect two-for- two from the 3-point arc.
McDermott said his team focused on detail and got back to doing the little things during this week’s practices.
“Those two loses (last week) really hurt,” he said. “This week, we really focused on the scouting reports and stuck to the game plan. Everyone seemed to know exactly what to do out there.”
Jays center Gregory Echenique, the game-leading rebounder, added an additional eight points by the end of the first. The Jays’ center also completed a double-double as he scored 12 points on five of six shooting attempts and
wrestled down 11 rebounds. The 6-foot- 9 Echenique dominated the post and scored on several passes that were simply too tall for the short SIU squad.
Creighton coach Greg McDermott said his team performed very effectively, especially on offense.
“The first half we did a good job of going over the top and getting the ball to our big men,” he said. “We played a little more loose and relaxed.
The Jays’ post offense outscored the Salukis 24-8 in the paint after the game’s first 20 minutes. Creighton’s interior unit also won the rebounding edge 39-19.
Saluki sophomore forward Dantiel Daniels scored three points on the contest, all of which came in the last half of play. By halftime, Daniels grabbed one of the Salukis’ four total rebounds. The post forward increased his rebounding production after the break to finish with five, but SIU maintained a poor rebounding theme and lost the board battle 39-19.
Junior guard Desmar Jackson led the Salukis with 16 points on six of 13 shooting from the field. Jackson hit three 3-pointers and was the only starter to connect on a shot from beyond the perimeter.
Despite being down for most of the game, the arena’s near-capacity crowd stayed until the game’s closing seconds and cheered SIU buckets even when the game was out of reach.
“I was absolutely blown away with our crowd tonight,” SIU coach Barry Hinson said. “I told our players that if you give a lot of effort, they will continue to come out and support you.”