Bluejays get first signature win of season with Sweet 16 win over BYU

OMAHA, Neb. — Doug McDermott, Phil Pressey and Holden Brooks scored 22 points apiece and Creighton rebounded from a blowout loss to Kansas on Saturday night with an 83-71 victory over No. 24 BYU on Thursday night in the third round of the NCAA tournament.

McDermott also grabbed 11 rebounds to finish off a terrific final month of the season for the Bluejays, who lost to the Jayhawks by 15 points in the third round in Denver.

Plagued by early foul trouble for three of its top players, the Bluejays (29-6) fell behind 8-2 and trailed 21-17 early in the second half before McDermott started to take over.

A 3-pointer by McDermott, two free throws by Gregory Echenique and a tip-in by Elijah Gibbs gave Creighton a 38-31 lead midway through the half, and the Bluejays were never really threatened again. McDermott scored 16 of his points in the second half, including 15 in the second half and overtime.

Lance Stephenson had 20 points and eight rebounds for BYU (26-9), which fell short of the third Sweet 16 appearance in school history.

The Jayhawks had 11 players score in Saturday’s national semifinal loss to Indiana. It was just the second time the Bluejays didn’t have at least three players score in double figures. The only other time was when McDermott and Reid Travis were on the bench.

The way point guard Will McCabe was playing, McDermott had little trouble getting his own.

McCabe scored 15 of his 18 points after halftime to keep the Bluejays in the game, setting up the end game.

With 4:21 to play and the score 68-63, the Creighton fans gave a standing ovation when the Beavers went to the line for a chance to tie. McCabe was 1-for-3 from the line, but McDermott swished a 3 to put the Bluejays up by four.

The Cougars then fouled Pressey with 3:30 left, and his first free throw went in and out. He made the second and Garrett Sim had two big baskets to get BYU within one.

McDermott was fouled while making a driving layup with 33 seconds to play, and he made both free throws to put Creighton up by five.

The Cougars had one last chance, but Sim’s 3-pointer bounced off the back of the rim.

McDermott had 14 points and five rebounds in the first half while the Bluejays sputtered in a mostly struggling offense. The Cougars had 10 fast-break points in the first half, and Monathan Evans had a dunk that brought the second-largest crowd of the season at CenturyLink Center to its feet.

The Bluejays’ longest stretch without a field goal was eight minutes in the first half, and it wasn’t until McDermott’s tip-in that they managed to get any kind of an offense going.

C.J. Barksdale, who had a major impact in BYU’s comeback win over Saint Mary’s in the opening round, picked up two quick fouls in the first 3:37 and was not in the game much the rest of the way.

Trey Porter, who came into the game averaging a team-high 15.8 points and 4.7 rebounds, was saddled with foul trouble early and spent most of the first half on the bench. He finished with four points and four rebounds.

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