TULSA, Okla. – Creighton's Doug McDermott highlighted a lot of dismal milestones for Tulsa's basketball program.
The Golden Hurricane were manhandled 83-64 by No. 23 Creighton on Monday night, for their seventh loss in nine games. Sophomore guard Jordan Clarkson scored 14 to lead Tulsa.
It was also the second-worst home loss in Doug Wojcik's seven years and dropped to 0-3 this season against old Missouri Valley Conference rivals.
McDermott scored a career-high 35 points and "singlehandedly broke the spirit of my team, particularly my post defenders," Wojcik said.
Fans of the once-proud program are staying away in droves. The announced crowd of 4,228 was easily double the actual attendance.
McDermott's 35 points tied for the most points by an opponent in the 13-year history of the Reynolds Center. The previous best was 35 points by Appalachian State's Omar Carter last year on Nov. 12, 2010.
The 6-foot-7 McDermott made 16 of 23 field goals as Tulsa elected not to double-team the nation's second-leading scorer. The Bluejays, 9-1, trailed 20-19, but went on an 8-0 run spurred by three baskets by Antoine Young. McDermott took over from there, scoring the Bluejays final 11 points of the half giving Creighton a 42-34 lead.
McDermot made 16 of 23 field goals.
"That was one impressive performance by Doug McDermott," Wojcik said. "We really wanted to defend the three-point line because they make 10 a game, but I was surprised at just how good he was in the post. His size, his strength, his stamina, his feet and just how good his hands are. He was shooting jump hooks over Kodi Maduka (6-11), who is long, and I don't think he even saw the basket and they were going in."
Tulsa (5-7) has exceeded 70 points in two games, one of those in overtime. The Hurricane did not have the offensive firepower to keep pace with the Bluejays
"This is the first time we've had a ranked team in here in a long time and this one is just as hard to swallow as they have been all year," said Tulsa guard Tim Peete, who scored 12 points. "We just have to get move on and try to get better and figure out the answer really quick before conference starts.
"Coach coaches, but it's up to us as players to produce. We have to make free throws, hit the open shots and do what it takes."
On this night, the Huricane had no answers for McDermott. Tulsa used a variety of defenders but did not double team often out of respect for the Bluejays 3-point shooters.
"Doug is very versatile in the post," said Creighton coach Brad McDermott, Doug's father. "He can go around you and loop it under if you guard him with a tall guy. Obviously Tulsa was wanting to take away the 3-pointer and you've got to pick your poison. Tonight we were able to get it inside and we executed as well as we have all year."
Center Gregory Echenique, who played just two minutes in the first half, scored nine points in the first 2:52 of the second half before picking up his third foul as Creighton pulled out to a 51-34 advantage.
McDermott hit a 27-footer with a second on the shot clock to push the lead to 60-40, then added another trey on the next possession. The Bluejays made 34 of 58 field goals for 58.6 percent. Young had 14 points, four assists, four rebounds and five steals.
"Young is a senior guard who really controls the floor for them, uses ball screens well and gets the ball inside," Wojcik said.
McDermott tied his career high of 31 on a floater with 7:30 left then ripped an offensive rebound from three Tulsa players on the next possession and laid it in to set a new personal best.
"It was just one of those games, Doug McDermott said. "I had the touch around the basket early and my teammates did a great job of finding me. Tulsa is the probably the most physical team we've played."