St. Louis, Mo – The #24 Creighton Blue Jays and Illinois State Redbirds have reached half-time at the Scottrade Center for the Missouri Valley Conference Championship game. Creighton will, with little to no doubt, make the NCAA tournament regardless of the game’s outcome while Illinois State is playing for their Big Dance lives. The Redbirds lead 31-30 at the half.
McDermott Being McDermott: One of the nation’s leading scorers , went 5-7 and 2-3 from beyond the arc for a total of 12 pints in a team high 16 minutes. He’s nabbed himself 3 rebounds and is one of just 3 Blue Jays, the only one with over 12 or more minutes recorded, to not have a foul against him.
Red Birds Flying From Deep: Illinois state went 5-10 in the first half from three point land. Ekey went 1-1, Brown 2-3, Wilkins 1-1, and also went 1-1 from beyond the arc. The only players to miss their three pointers were Moore and Cousin; both went 0-2 in the half from trey territory. As a team, the Redbirds shot 50% from deep.
Blue Jays on the Boards: Creighton out rebounded Illinois State 22-13 in the first half. They had 8 offensive rebounds versus ISU’s 2 and 14 defensive boards as opposed to their rivals 11.
Carmichael Appears Solid: Jackie Carmichael may have went 2-6 from the field in the first half but he was able to get himself to the line for another 3 points via the charity stripe (3-3) and muscled his way through for a team high 5 rebounds. His positioning has been good under the bucket and shots should start falling in the second half.
Creighton Big Man Dominance: The Blue Jays scored 20 of their 30 first half points from inside the paint. The Blue Jays two big man starters, McDermott and Echenique, combined for a total of 26 points in the first half. They totaled 4 rebounds while their 6-4 Junior guard teammate hustled for 7 more boards on his own.
Illinois State’s Late Surge: The Bloomington-Normal boys trailed by 11 points at one point in the game but they were able to put together a late half surge to put them up by 1 point after a Tyler Brown 3 pointer went in with just 3 seconds left. The Redbird faithful responded in kind, erupting inside the Scottrade Center.