Creighton holds on, edges Wichita St. for MVC title
St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - Jahenns Manigat's lay-in with 11.5 seconds remaining gave Creighton just enough room to hold on for a 68-65 decision over Wichita State, enabling the Bluejays to capture the 2013 Missouri Valley Tournament title and an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.
Manigat finished with a team-high 16 points on four made 3-pointers and added five rebounds for the Blue Jays (27-7), who won their second straight MVC Tournament title and have recorded five straight victories. Doug McDermott scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half for Creighton, while Ethan Wragge had 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting from 3-point range in the victory.
Wichita State's Malcolm Armstead, who scored a game-high 28 points, attempted a tough fadeaway 3-pointer at the buzzer, but it clunked off the rim.
Armstead added nine rebounds and four steals for the Shockers (26-8), who remain alive for an at-large NCAA berth despite dropping three of their final five games. Carl Hall donated 13 points, six rebounds and four blocks in defeat.
The two schools met just eight days ago in a game that determined the MVC regular-season title. The Bluejays took that meeting, 91-79, on March 2.
As the contest came to a close, Creighton stayed in control and led by 13 with just over five minutes remaining. Just 1 1/2 minutes later, Austin Chatman made it 66-55 with one free throw, but Wichita State wasn't done yet.
The Shockers batted down the hatches as Armstead and Ron Baker nailed back-to- back threes -- in between a missed shot for Creighton -- to get within five with 2 1/2 to play.
Hall got to the free throw line after battling down-low, but made just 1-of-2 to make it 66-62.
After forcing a missed McDermott layup, Wichita State got the ball back and turned to who else but Armstead, who nailed a NBA-range 3-pointer with 43 seconds to play to bring the Shockers within one point.
In a high-energy, high-tempo first half, it was Creighton which jumped out to a 19-7 lead as Wragge hit a 3-pointer at the 8:50 mark.
Wichita State, though, and Armstead, who had 10 points during a 12-2 spurt, fought back to get within 21-19 with just under six minutes remaining. Tekele Cotton capped of the run with a corner jumper.
The Jays led at the break, 30-28, while Armstead had 18 points, although the Shockers shot just 32.4 percent (11-of-34) from the floor. McDermott was limited to 1-of-6 shooting for just two points.
The Jays opened up the second half with the two-point cushion and added to it with a 14-7 flurry as Manigat hit a triple to make it 44-35 five minutes in.
Baker hit a jumper at the 11:34 mark of the second half to close Wichita State's deficit to six, though Grant Gibbs then hit a 3-pointer, and 1-of-2 free throws, nearly one minute later to push the edge to 10 points.
Creighton is 12-1 all-time in the MVC Tournament finals, including a perfect 9-0 mark in St. Louis ... The Shockers are 2-3 in the tournament final -- including 0-3 in St. Louis -- and haven't won the crown since in 1985 and 1987 ... Wragge had 12 first half points, all on 4-of-6 shooting from behind the arc ... The Bluejays have won 31-of-42 in the series ... It is the 12th MVC title for Creighton.
03/10 17:57:34 ET