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Marquette Beats Creighton For Shaka Smart’s 300th Career Victory

Not to mention a 1-0 start in Big East play!

NCAA Basketball: Creighton at Marquette Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

If I told you before the game that Creighton’s Baylor Scheierman and Frederick King were going to both have double-doubles against Marquette on Friday night, what would you have said the outcome of the game was?

What if I added on that Kam Jones was going to shoot 4-for-11 from the field and commit three turnovers as well? And Tyler Kolek would shoot 2-for-9? AND David Joplin would shoot 3-for-11? Now what are you thinking about that result?

Are you thinking Marquette wins, 69-58? Are you figuring that the Golden Eagles led by as many as 18 in this game, including with 3:49 to go when they tallied their final points of the game?

I’d have to say that I wouldn’t have guessed that, but here we are, with exactly that happening, and Marquette is now 1-0 in Big East play. That has them in a three-way tie for the time being with St. John’s and Xavier for the top spot in the Big East standings.

Marquette started out the game on the sloppy side, missing some shots kind of badly, and Creighton helped out by getting a few deflections much like we like to see the Golden Eagles doing on their defensive end of the floor. The lead finally went past one possession one way or another when Arthur Kaluma drained a pair of freebies with 12:04 left in the first half thanks to the very first foul of the game. That made the score 17-12 favoring the visiting Bluejays. A three-pointer from Scheierman with 10:30 to play made it a 22-16 ballgame.... and that would be the high water mark of the game for Creighton.

Ben Gold (!) answered Scheierman with a triple of his own on the other end, and then after a Kam Jones steal and an offensive rebound, Jones poured in a three of his own to tie the thing up at 22. Those were the first six points of a 19-2 run that lasted nearly eight minutes and left Marquette up 35-24. That’s where the margin would peak here, and it looked like MU was going to go into the half up 11, but a floater at the horn from CU’s Trey Alexander made it just nine, 40-31 after 20 minutes.

40-31 might not really get it across, but that’s a great half of basketball for Marquette, even with the Bluejays doing a good job and hitting shots. Thanks to nine turnovers, the Jays scored just 0.86 points per possession in the first half on their way to just 0.81 for the game and oooops, did I just spoil how the second half went?

Tyler Kolek popped home a three to break the ice on the second half and put Marquette up 12. Creighton, facing a sixth straight loss dead in the face at this point, did put up a rally. They cut it to just eight on back-to-back-to-back possessions about two minutes after intermission, but Marquette responded to CU’s response, sending in six straight, including a pair of buckets from Kam Jones, to go up 14. Creighton responded again, getting it back to eight, 13:20 to go, 12:17 to go. Stevie Mitchell took advantage of picking Kaluma’s pocket for a sweet runout dunk to kick off a 9-0 by the Golden Eagles, and that made it a 17 point game, 64-47, with 7:27 to play.

That’s it. The lead never got back to single digits, and that was that.

Oso Ighodaro took full advantage of Creighton center Ryan Kalkbrenner missing this game with an illness, running wild for a game high 16 points and six rebounds plus an assist and kind of doing whatever he wanted against anyone who was defending him. Did CU’s Frederick King go a perfect 8-for-8 from the field and add 10 rebounds to his 16 points? Yes, and it did not matter at all in the slightest.

Olivier-Maxence Prosper was quietly kind of great, shooting 6-for-8 to finish with 14 points, six rebounds, and an assist. David Joplin fought through his rough shooting to get to 10 points in this one. Tyler Kolek had seven assists to lead all players in that one, while Ighodaro and Prosper tied for the team lead in rebounds.

How about some highlights, courtesy of and Fox Sports?

Up Next: The Golden Eagles return to action on Tuesday, when they’ll hit the road for the first time in Big East play. That will come in the shape of a trip to Rhode Island to tangle with Providence. The Friars are 8-3 on the year with a Saturday road game against Seton Hall on tap before Marquette makes it to the AMP.