Creighton Wins 9th in a Row: Tops MSU

    
February 24th, 2009
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Casey Harriman scored 10 points in the final 7:21 to lead the Creighton men's basketball team to a 65-59 win over Missouri State on Tuesday night at JQH Arena. The Bluejays trailed by 13 early in the second half before quieting the home crowd with a strong stretch of defensive stops and offensive scores.

Creighton, which won its ninth straight games, improved to 24-6 and 13-4 in the MVC. Missouri State dropped to 11-18 and 3-14 MVC while losing its first Senior Day in 20 years.

The Bluejays remain tied for first in the MVC standings with Northern Iowa, which won 69-67 in double-overtime at third-place Illinois State.

Missouri State never trailed in the first half, building an early 20-10 lead and holding Creighton to 36 percent shooting from the field. Creighton's 21 points and one first-half basket both tied season-lows for a first half and the 11-point halftime deficit marked CU's largest halftime deficit of the season.

After trailing early in the second half by 13 points (36-23), Creighton put together a 15-4 run to draw within 40-38. A chance to go ahead with 10:10 to play was wasted on a missed three-point attempt by P'Allen Stinnett.

Creighton would draw within one after two Kaleb Korver free throws with 7:40 to play, then knot the score at 45-all with 7:21 left on a free-throw by fellow sophomore Casey Harriman. Harriman would answer two free throws from Wade Knapp with a three-pointer, giving CU its first lead of the game at 48-47 with 6:57 to play. Harriman then drained a trey on the ensuing possession as CU's lead reached 51-47.

MSU senior Chris Cooks rattled home two free throws to tie the game 57-57 with 1:59 to play. On the other end, CU's Stinnett was fouled on a drive with 1:46 left. Stinnett sank both at the line to give CU a 59-57 edge. Justin Fuehrmeyer was fouled on the opposite end, but the 80 percent free throw shooter only hit 1-of-2 as CU's lead remained at one.

Harriman then hit the biggest shot of his career, a three-pointer from the top of the key to give CU a 62-58 lead with 1:14 left. Cooks was fouled with 55.8 seconds left, only to miss his first attempt before sinking the second.

The Jays would call timeout with 40.7 seconds left to set up high ball screen. Cavel Witter would roll off Kenton Walker's screen and hit a fadeway jumper in the lane, giving CU a 64-59 lead with 20.3 seconds left. Justin Carter rounded out the scoring with a free throw with four seconds left.

Stinnett and Witter both scored 11 points to lead CU, while Harriman scored 10. The Jays shot 52.2 percent after the half and finished shooting 43.8 percent for the game. CU hit 5-of-13 three-point attempts and 18-of-21 (85.7 percent) at the line.

MSU was led by 11 points from Cooks, Laurie and Will Creekmore, while Knapp scored 10. MSU hit 40.5 percent of its shots from the field and 79.3 percent from the line (23-29).

Creighton closes the regular-season on Saturday at 1:05 pm with a game against Illinois State. The game will be broadcast on KXSP (Big Sports 590 AM) and televised nationally by ESPN2. Seniors Booker Woodfox, Dustin Sitzmann and Josh Dotzler will be honored following the contest in a post-game ceremony.