Creighton Beats St. Joseph's in OT

    
December 9th, 2007

OMAHA, Neb. -- Creighton seniors Nick Bahe, Dane Watts and Pierce Hibma combined for 60 points as Creighton won a 90-84 overtime game over Saint Joseph's on Sunday. The game was the the first between the Jesuit schools since 1981, and all six meetings have now been decided by 10 points or less.

The game featured eight ties and 12 lead changes but the host Bluejays needed to stage a big rally to force overtime. Creighton (6-1) trailed 67-63 with 1:09 left in regulation before getting a lay-up from Watts, a three-point pointer from Bahe and two free throws by Watts with 14.2 seconds left to tie it. SJU did score three points in that run, but 6'10" guard Pat Calathes split two free throws with 20 seconds left that gave CU the opportunity to tie it on Watts' shots at the line. Calathes later missed a three-pointer with two seconds left in the second half that could have given SJU a late lead.

In overtime, Creighton never trailed. Watts won his first jump ball of the season, then made two free throws to give CU a 72-70 lead. He added a tip-in on the next possession, and Bahe followed with two free throws to give CU a 76-70 lead just 50 seconds into the extra session.

Saint Joseph's (4-4) got within four points on five occasions after that, but could not get any closer. The Hawks have now lost two overtime games and two games in regulation, all by five points or less. Creighton made 15-of-18 shots at the line in overtime while scoring 20 points in the five-minute overtime session.

Watts had a career-best 29 points, hitting 8-of-9 from the field and 12-of-15 at the line. He also added eight rebounds in a season-high 32 minutes. His 29 points were three more than his previous best, done Nov. 17 against Mississippi Valley State. Hibma also had a career-high with 17 points, three more than his previous best of 14 against Akron in the 2006 NIT. Hibma, who hadn't scored more than six all season, was 6-of-10 from the field, including three treys, in 26 minutes. Bahe's 14 were one away from his career-high, and his three-pointer from the corner with 1:09 left keyed the Bluejay comeback. Bahe hit four three-pointers and added three steals in his career-high 30 minutes. Josh Dotzler added 10 assists, most in Qwest Center Omaha history by a Creighton player, while also adding four points, seven rebounds and two steals.

Creighton shot 50 percent for the game (26-52), including 13-of-21 (61.9 percent) after intermission. The Jays owned a 35-30 lead on the glass and made 11-of-25 from downtown and 27-of-35 at the line on the afternoon.

Saint Joseph's was paced by 23 points, nine assists and five rebounds from Iowa State transfer Tasheed Carr before he fouled out with 2:08 left in overtime. Calathes, Darrin Govens and Rob Ferguson each scored 14 points. Big man Ahmad Nivins, a member of the Preseason Naismith Award Watch List, did not attempt a field goal in 31 minutes before fouling out. SJU also made 11-of-25 from three-point range, and hit 17-of-27 at the line. The Hawks' bench, which had scored just 35 points all season, outscored Creighton's vaunted bench by a 17-13 margin.

- Creighton Media -