Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Creighton Outmuscles Tough Drake

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Creighton Outmuscles Tough Drake

Article excerpt

Drake did not bow meekly from the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.

The Bulldogs pushed, prodded and nudged top-seeded Creighton on Friday afternoon during their quarterfinal game at the Scottrade Center. They held the Bluejays without a field goal during a five- minute stretch of the first half.

Drake trailed 33-26 at the half, then clawed within three points of the Bluejays midway through the second half.

"We knew they would go on a run," Creighton guard Austin Chatman said. "They are a great shooting team. We knew we just had to be resilient and bounce back."

With the game in the balance, big men Doug McDermott and Gregory Echenique took over and lifted the Bluejays to a 65-53 victory.

"It was really a hard-fought game," Drake coach Mark Phelps said. "Defensively, if you would have told me that we would have held Creighton to 65 points coming into the game, I would have thought we would have had a great chance to be right there to win the game. We forced 17 turnovers. They shot 25 percent from three. I thought our defense was very good."

Echenique triggered the late surge by dunking over Drake forward Jordan Clarke, drawing a foul and converting the three-point play. Then McDermott converted on a drive and a 3-point jumper, pushing the Creighton advantage to 57-46 with 7 minutes, 22 seconds left to play.

The Bulldogs remained stuck on 46 points for more than seven minutes.

"Throughout the whole game, they would go on a run and we would respond with a run of our own all the way until midway through the second half," Drake center Seth VanDeest said. "We eventually didn't answer."

Echenique played a big hand in that.

"I thought Gregory really changed the game defensively in the second half," Creighton coach Greg McDermott said. "There was nothing happening in the paint because of his energy and ability to block some shots and change shots and go get the basketball off the board. …

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