Following an 81-62 win at DePaul on Tuesday, the 23rd-ranked Creighton Bluejays will return to Omaha from their first BIG EAST road trip 2-0 but may not return home entirely unscathed.
Grant Gibbs left the game in the first half with an injury to his right knee and did not return. The severity is not yet known, but Gibbs was seen being carried to the locker room during the game, presumably for further medical testing. The sixth-year senior is expected to undergo a MRI on Wednesday.
Without Gibbs the rest of the way, Avery Dingman stepped into extra minutes and performed nicely. The junior from Branson, MO scored 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting. Dingman hit a pair of threes, including a four-point play, and scored numerous times on strong drives to the basket and offensive rebound tip-ins throughout his 18 minutes of action.
Doug McDermott was held scoreless early in the first half, but when Devin Brooks fed him for a layup as time expired in the first half, the two-time All-American had seven points, and the Bluejays owned 37-32 lead. McDermott finished with 19 points, five rebounds, four assists and two blocks. McDermott also played banged up after hurting his shoulder in the first half. McDermott is also expected to undergo an MRI on his shoulder.
With Gibbs and McDermott ailing, and Ethan Wragge benched with foul trouble, Coach McDermott looked to a couple of reserves to step up. Former starter, Will Artino, and Dingman provided when their numbers were called. Artino finished the half with seven points and four rebounds in eight minutes, and added three more points and as many rebounds in four minutes in the final twenty.
After hitting just one three in the first half, Wragge hit three in the second, finishing with 12 points on 50 percent shooting from deep. Austin Chatman added a pair of threes and finished with 10 points to round out the Jays in double figures.
As a whole, the Bluejays out-rebounded the Blue Demons 37-32. DePaul's Brandon Young led all scorers with 24 points on 9-of-16 shooting, while Cleveland Melvin added 16 points and six rebounds.
The win moves Creighton to 13-2 on the year and 3-0 in the BIG EAST. Creighton now sits alone atop the conference, while DePaul falls to 8-8 and 0-3 in conference. The Bluejays will return to action Sunday in Omaha when they host fellow conference newcomer Xavier for a 2:05 p.m. tip.
Bluejays Return Home Unbeaten but Beaten Up
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