No. 23 Creighton downs Illinois StateJan 14, 2012 - 5:17 AM Creighton held off a furious second-half rally to down Illinois State, 87-78, on Friday night.
Jahenns Manigat and Ethan Wragge finished with 14 points apiece and Antoine Young contributed 13 points and five rebounds for the Bluejays (15-2, 5-1 MVC) who have won five straight games since losing to Missouri State on December 28.
Grant Gibbs donated 12 points to go with seven rebounds and 10 assists and Gregory Echenique added 10 rebounds and seven points for Creighton.
Bryant Allen drained five three-pointer en route to a game-high 29 points for the Redbirds (11-6, 3-3) while Jackie Carmichael contributed 14 points. Illinois State has lost two straight.
Trailing 64-46 with 9:49 to play, Illinois State began its comeback effort, ripping off a 26-11 run, capped by a Johnny Hill layup, to cut the deficit to 75-72 with two minutes left in regulation.
Coming out of a timeout, McDermott sank a jumper to give Creighton a five point lead, but Allen answered with a three-pointer on the Redbirds' next touch to make it 77-75 with a minute to go.
Following a Redbirds timeout, Hill was forced to foul and put Gibbs on the line. where he made 1-of-2 shots to give the Bluejays a 78-75 lead with 41 seconds remaining in the contest.
Hill then missed a trey attempt on Illinois State's next possession and was again forced to foul. Gibbs went to the line and calmly drained two free throws to give Creighton an 80-75 lead.
Young made a pair of free throws with 23 seconds left following a foul on Nic Moore to make it 82-75, but Illinois State refused to go down quietly as Allen dropped another three-pointer with 17 seconds to play to make it 82-78.
Creighton made enough free throws over the final 17 seconds to seal the victory.
"We beat a really good basketball team tonight," Creighton head coach Greg McDermott said. "We didn't have an answer for Allen, but did a decent job on Moore and didn't allow him to get into the flow of the game."
A tightly played opening 20 minutes saw neither side lead by more than six points. Creighton held a 40-35 edge at the break.
Creighton shot 61 percent from the floor in the opening half, while Illinois State shot 46 percent in the first 20 minutes of play.
Illinois State kept it close early in the second half, trailing, 43-39 with just under three minutes gone, but then Creighton went on a 21-7 burst to build up an 18-point lead -- its largest of the night.
The Redbirds still lead the all-time series with Creighton by a count of 40-27, and the Jays have taken 19 of the last 29 matchups...Illinois State shot 46 percent from the field and 8-of-32 from three-point range, while Creighton shot 58 percent from the floor and 10-of-18 from beyond the arc...Creighton struggled from the charity stripe, shooting only 62 percent, while the Redbirds made only 6-of-10 free throw attempts...The game featured six ties and 12 lead changes...Illinois State got 43 points from its bench, to only 21 points off the bench for Creighton.
- CREIGHTON: 87
ILLINOIS STATE: 78
Jan 13 11:09 PM
- CREIGHTON: 40
ILLINOIS STATE: 35
Jan 13 9:43 PM
- CREIGHTON: 0
ILLINOIS STATE: 0
1st Half - 20:00
Jan 13 9:05 PM
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