OMAHA, Neb. -- Creighton coach Greg McDermott has been
preaching all season that the Bluejays' success doesn't
begin and end with Doug McDermott.
Doug McDermott did his thing, scoring 24 points in a 73-59
victory over struggling Bradley on Saturday night.
But with two starters limited because of illness or injury, the
Bluejays (No. 14 ESPN/USA Today, No. 15 AP) needed every kind of contribution from reserve guard Josh
Jones to win their 10th straight game.
Jones finished a season-high 14 points, three timely 3-pointers
and four assists.
"He's a very capable shooter," Greg McDermott said. "He hit
some big shots at big times."
Just as important, Jones all but shut down Bradley's Dyricus
Simms-Edwards after being assigned to him to start the second half.
Simms-Edwards scored 16 points in the first half and only three the
rest of the game.
A school-record crowd of 18,436 watched as the Bluejays (20-2,
10-1 Missouri Valley Conference) beat Bradley for the 14th straight
time in Omaha since 1998.
Bradley (6-17, 1-10), which also got 16 points from Taylor
Brown, has lost 13 of its past 14. Braves coach Geno Ford said his
two meetings with Creighton have left him impressed.
"They have got a team that has a chance to make a run because
every night that they step on the floor, they basically have the
best player," Ford said, referring to Doug McDermott.
"I'm not talking in Valley games. I don't care who they get in
the (NCAA) tournament, they're going to have the best player almost
every night. And their other guys are capable shooters."
McDermott, who scored a career-high 44 points in a Jan. 7 win at
Bradley, scored Creighton's first seven points and finished 10 of
14 from the floor.
Guard Grant Gibbs played 29 minutes, scored six points, had a
dunk and six assists despite being bed-ridden because of illness on
Thursday and Friday. Guard Jahenns Manigat was limited to 13
minutes after fluid was discovered on a knee Friday.
Gregory Echenique had 14 points and 10 rebounds, but it was
Jones and a couple other bench players who stepped to the forefront
after Bradley twice cut Creighton's lead to three points in the
After Brown's layup made it 35-32, Jones made back-to-back 3s to
finish a 9-0 run.
Jones, a fourth-year junior who used to rarely turn down
opportunities to shoot, said his baskets came within the flow of
"I was just playing basketball. I'm beyond that stage. I'm a
senior, technically," he said.
But he did enjoy getting the chance to score.
"Give me a shot. I'll take it," he said.
The Braves had no more scoring runs left.
"If you have any chance to win on the road in a game like this,
you have to be able to fight through that stretch where they make a
couple," Ford said.
Creighton secured a 20-win season for the 13th time in 14 years.
No prior Bluejays team had ever reached 20 wins before February.
The Bluejays have won at least 10 Valley games for a record 16th
The Bluejays wore pink-trimmed warm-up tops and uniforms as part
of a local Creighton vs. Cancer effort that coincided with the
nationwide Coaches vs. Cancer day.
Bradley wore pink warm-up tops and shoelaces. Creighton
encouraged all fans to wear pink, and 12,000 pink shirts were
handed out at the door.
Bradley president Joanne Glasser and Theresa McDermott, wife of
Greg McDermott and mother of Doug, are breast cancer survivors.
An auction of Creighton's warm-up tops and jerseys raised more
than $20,000, and Greg McDermott said he hoped at least another
$20,000 would be raised during the game.
"When I came through the tunnel and saw the pink, it took me
aback for a second," Greg McDermott said. "I'm amazed how this
community and campus jumped on board with this."