Tahlequah Daily Press

College Sports

November 25, 2013

Winless Hurricane loses to No. 23 Creighton

OMAHA, Neb. — A Creighton flurry to start the second half was too much for Tulsa to overcome.

The Golden Hurricane trailed by a point at halftime, but the 23rd-ranked Bluejays picked up their play after the break and went on to an 82-72 victory Saturday.

"They came out and made some plays right off the bat and staggered us some," Tulsa coach Danny Manning said. "By the time we recovered they had created some separation. We have to come out and start second halves better than we did tonight."

The Bluejays (4-0), playing as a Top 25 team for the first time this season, opened the second half on a 13-4 run to increase its 42-41 halftime lead to 55-45. Doug McDermott had eight points during the spurt, closing the surge with two straight 3-pointers.

Rashad Smith had 21 points, Pat Swilling added 18 and James Woodard 11 for Tulsa (0-4). Shaquille Harrison, who was averaging a team-high 19.5 points, was held to seven.

McDermott scored 21 of his 33 points in the second half and Austin Chatman had a career-high 19 for the Bluejays (4-0).

McDermott recorded his 16th career 30-point game. He also became the first Creighton player since Cyril Baptiste in 1969-70 to open a season with four straight 20-point games.

"Doug is a fun player to watch," Manning said. "I appreciate his style of play. He's unselfish, he plays hard, he's skilled. He's going to have a very successful career at the next level for a long time."

McDermott played a strong all-around game, grabbing 15 rebounds. He also made three 3-pointers and 12 of 15 free throws. Chatman was 4 for 5 from long range and had nine assists.

Creighton held an eight- to 12-point lead for most of the second half until Tulsa made a late run. Rashad Smith banked in a shot off Rashad Ray's fast-break pass, got fouled by Devin Brooks and made the free throw to make it a seven-point game. Smith scored again after a Brooks turnover to make it 73-68 with 3:51 left.

The Hurricane had a chance to make it a one-possession game with 2 minutes left, but Swilling was way off with a 3, and McDermott hit a long shot on the other end to restore the Bluejays' eight-point advantage.

Chatman came into the game with 16 assists and no turnovers in three games, but he was needed as a scorer against a Hurricane team that hung tough through the first half.

He made seven of his first eight shots, and his 3-pointer with five seconds left in the half gave Creighton its one-point lead at the break.

Chatman's fourth 3-pointer came early in the second-half run that broke open the game. McDermott followed with two shots from beyond the arc, the second one ripping the net as he fell backward.

The Bluejays led by as many as nine in the first half. Tulsa went on a 16-7 run to tie it, and Swilling's layup gave the Hurricane a brief lead.

The Bluejays have won four straight in the series against their one-time Missouri Valley Conference rival. Now they're off until they play Arizona State on Thanksgiving night at the Wooden Legacy tournament in Fullerton, Calif.

Creighton has won 45 of 46 regular-season November home games since 1990.

Tulsa hasn't beaten a ranked opponent since Dayton in the 2003 NCAA tournament. The Hurricane, who lost at home to Wichita State on Wednesday, was playing a second straight ranked opponent for the first time since 2002.

The Hurricane plays Indiana State at the Great Alaska Shootout on Wednesday.

"We've got to get better," Manning said. "We're on a skid. The only way we can benefit from the position we're in now is to go win some games when we go to Alaska. That's kind of our mindset and where we're at. We have to continue to grind and battle and get better."

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