Xavier (20-9, 10-6) gave Creighton (23-5, 13-3) a taste of its own medicine in the Musketeers' 75-69 win over the ninth-ranked Bluejays Saturday afternoon in Cincinnati.
Instead of the Jays nailing threes in front of a packed house, the hosts drained 9-of-16 shots from deep in front of a Cintas Center record crowd of 10,483. Dee Davis knocked down 4-of-5 from deep, while Justin Martin finished 3-of-7 and Semaj Christon went 2-of-4.
Christon led Xavier with 21 points, but Martin may have been the man of the night. In addition to his 19 points, the junior from Indianapolis added 16 rebounds and two assists.
Doug McDermott produced another performance expected of a Player of the Year candidate, but CU's other options struggled to get going. McDermott finished with 27 points and 10 rebounds, but left the floor as the only Jay to reach double figures. Ethan Wragge, who lost some minutes due to foul trouble, and Grant Gibbs finished with nine points apiece.
Just as they did in Omaha, the Musketeers started the game on fire. McDermott scored the game's first bucket, but Martin, Christon and Davis responded with threes, giving XU a 9-6 lead early. McDermott and Gibbs hit threes on consecutive possessions, putting CU up 12-11, but that would be the last time CU owned the lead.
The Musketeers used a late run to extend their halftime lead to 43-34. The Jays threatened in the second half behind a strong finish from McDermott, but for every CU burst, XU answered.
With 5:29 left in the game, McDermott sunk one of his five threes and cut the host's lead to three. Davis answered with a layup and a triple on consecutive trips, putting Chris Mack's squad back up six. Creighton was not able to get within a possession the rest of the way.
Unfortunately for Creighton head coach Greg McDermott, the bad news doesn't end with the loss. Redshirt freshman Isaiah Zierden got his right leg tangled as he fell to the floor midway through the first half. Zierden was immediately taken to the locker room where he was diagnosed with a dislocated kneecap, the same injury Gibbs suffered earlier this season. An MRI to determine whether or not there is ligament damage will be done when the Jays arrive in Washington D.C. ahead of Tuesday's game against Georgetown. McDermott does not anticipate having the combo guard the rest of the season.
Martin, Musketeers Beat Bluejays
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