Published January 13, 2015
Doug McDermott scored a season-high 39 points behind a torrid second-half shooting display that carried 13th-ranked Creighton to a 74-52 victory over Missouri State in a Missouri Valley Conference matchup.
McDermott made good on 10-of-11 field goal attempts after halftime and racked up 28 of his points following the break, leading an effort that enabled the Bluejays (16-1, 5-0 MVC) to outscore the Bears by a 42-25 margin over the final 20 minutes. The reigning MVC Player of the Year also pulled down a game- high 10 rebounds to propel Creighton to its 10th straight win.
Jahenns Manigat went 3-of-3 from three-point range while chipping in 11 points for the Bluejays, who shot 57.4 percent from the floor as a team and were a sizzling 15-of-21 (71.4 percent) in the second half.
Keith Pickens led Missouri State (5-12, 3-2) with 11 points, with Gavin Thurman and Anthony Downing each finishing with 10 in the setback.
The Bluejays started out slow in missing seven of their first 10 shots, and trailed 25-23 after Thurman canned a 3-pointer with just under four minutes remaining in the first half.
Creighton's Nevin Johnson knocked down a trey on the ensuing possession, however, igniting a 9-2 run to close out the period that Manigat capped with a triple with 35 seconds left, allowing the Bluejays to enter the break owning a 32-27 edge.
McDermott then took over the early stages of the second half, accounting for all the scoring during a 7-0 burst to begin the frame and pouring in 18 points in a span of less than 7 1/2 minutes. Behind the All-American forward's performance, Creighton built a comfortable 50-32 advantage.
"[Missouri State] fought us that first half," said Creighton head coach Greg McDermott. "We made a few adjustments, fortunately. Doug got on an unbelievable roll. When that happens with him, we've got to get him the ball and get out of his way and let him play."
The Bears would cut the deficit to 13 when Michael Simpson's 3-pointer with 8:17 to go pulled Missouri State within 57-44, but McDermott buried another long-distance bucket on Creighton's next trip to kick off a 15-2 stretch that put the contest out of reach.
That basket was part of a string of 10 consecutive successful field goals for McDermott in the second half, with his only miss coming at the 4:13 mark of the session.
"I was just in the zone," he said. "Everything was going in and my teammates just kind of saw that and kept feeding me the ball."
A Manigat make from beyond the arc followed by Andre Yates' successful jumper pushed the Bluejays' lead to 72-46 with less than three minutes to play.
McDermott's point total was five shy of his career high of 44, set at Bradley on Jan. 7, 2012 during his sophomore season and he's now shooting 58.5 percent (31-of-53) from three-point range over his last 11 outings ... Creighton improved to 21-1 during Manigat's career when he makes three or more 3- pointers in a game ... Missouri State, which had won six of the last seven meetings in the series coming in, shot just 35.5 percent and went 3-of-15 from beyond the arc in the second half.