One of the hardest things about being a journalist (ok, blogger) is having to write after really s****y things happen. If you watched that Creighton game, well, you know what I mean.
The Musketeers dropped their first matchup in the season series with the Bluejays, falling by a score of 72-67. It was a game of turnovers, missed free throws, and, yes, highly questionable officiating.
Creighton lost Maurice Watson Jr., their All-American point guard, early in the game with an apparent knee injury. Couple the injury with the fact that Bluejay big man Justin Patton played only 18 minutes because of foul trouble and you have a game that is Xavier’s for the taking.
Every time Xavier got within sniffing distance of a lead, or a one-possession game, Creighton would hit a big shot. The Bluejay lead sat at three for what seemed like an eternity until about eight minutes to play in the contest. A, umm, “blocking” foul on Malcolm Bernard put Creighton at the line for two with a chance to make the lead seven. But, before the shooter even stepped to the line, Coach Mack was hit with a technical.
I’m not much of a lip reader, but it seemed like Mack was calling the ref a duck.
I’d also like to point out that early in the game, Creighton’s coach, Greg McDermott, walked THE ENTIRE LENGTH OF THE FLOOR to get in the ref’s face. No technical.
So anyways, The Creighton lead got up to 61-50 before Xavier started to play the basketball we’ve expected them to play all season. Some outstanding defense propelled the Musketeers on a 17-5 run to, you guessed it, take a one point lead with a little over a minute to play.
Good news: after 43 fouls in 40 minutes, the ref show ended.
Bad news: the no-call of the game gave Creighton a one point advantage with 51 ticks left.
After Marcus Foster missed a go-ahead jumper for the Bluejays, Patton tipped the ball in for what seemed to be an obvious offensive goaltending.
But hey, not the end of the world. Xavier ball, down one, time left to play.
On the ensuing possession, Trevon had a good look on a three that missed by a hair. Ed comes down with the board! Missed putback. RaShid with the board! Missed putback. RaShid grabs his own miss! Missed putback.
If you’re keeping score at home, the Musketeers missed three putbacks in a matter of five seconds.
Creighton tacked on two more free throws to push the lead to three, giving Xavier a final shot to tie the game with 14 seconds remaining.
The end result of the possession was a Trevon missed three in the corner, which seemed heavily contested. The shot went up with 11 seconds on the clock. I’d like to think that Xavier could’ve gotten a better look that they did.
And that was the game.
It’s important to note that Xavier went 16-29 from the line, which included Trevon, Malcolm, RaShid and Myles Freaking Davis all missing multiple free throws.
Also of note: Xavier turned the ball over 17 times, including 12 in the first half.
The Musketeers also shot 3-15 from distance.
After losses to Nova and Butler on the road, this one stings. Creighton was without their two stars for the majority of the game and the team couldn’t capitalize.
Xavier’s next game is this Sunday, the 22nd, against Georgetown. The game is at 2:00 p.m. from the Cintas Center.
I’ll probably be at Dana’s until then.