Creighton completely dominates Providence to reach Big East Tourney final

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It felt like a heavyweight combat gone incorrect Friday evening on the Garden. 

One of the fighters landed a giant punch, after which one other one, and one other one. The opponent by no means responded. 

Only, as an alternative of the combat being known as, as it might be if it had been boxing, it dragged on although it had been all however determined a couple of minutes into the second half. 

Fourth-seeded Creighton rode a surprising 31-2 run to an unexpectedly dominant 85-58 victory over top-seeded Providence to reach its second straight Big East Tournament final and enhance to 4-0 within the league’s semifinals. 

Picked to end ninth within the Big East, the younger Bluejays (22-10) far surpassed expectations throughout the common season, getting into the convention event as a projected NCAA Tournament workforce. They obtained there regardless of shedding Big East Freshman of the Year Ryan Nembhard to a damaged proper wrist in a win over St. John’s on Feb. 23. The harm hasn’t derailed their season. Creighton, which moved fellow freshman Trey Alexander into Nembhard’s spot, is 3-2 since, having defeated Connecticut, Marquette and Providence, which suffered simply its fifth loss in 29 video games. 

Alex O'Connell hits a three-pointer during the second half.
Alex O’Connell hits a three-pointer throughout the second half.
Robert Sabo

“These young guys just haven’t wavered,” stated Creighton coach Greg McDermott, who begins two freshmen and a sophomore. “Maybe it’s because they don’t know any better. They don’t know the stage that they’re on. But they don’t really care.” 

The recreation turned late within the first half, when Creighton all of the sudden caught hearth, scoring 17 of the final 19 factors of the stanza to take a 15-point lead into the break. The Bluejays then scored the primary 14 factors of the second half, making this a laugher. 

Providence (25-5) didn’t have a solution for Creighton at both finish of the ground in absorbing the biggest margin of defeat in Big East Tournament historical past for a No. 1 seed. Its first two possessions of the second half resulted in shot clock violations and it missed its first 9 pictures. 

Creighton
Greg McDermott celebrates a basket with Rati Andronikashvili.
Robert Sabo

Creighton’s star ahead, Ryan Hawkins, scored simply eight factors on 4-of-11 taking pictures, however the Bluejays cruised, as their 4 different starters — Arthur Kaluma, Alex O’Connor, Ryan Kalkbrenner and Alexander — all completed in double figures. The 7-foot-1 Kalkbrenner owned the paint, producing 15 factors, 9 rebounds and 4 blocks whereas limiting Providence star massive man Nate Watson to an impact-less 5 factors. 

“He impacted the game in every way in front of the rim,” Providence coach Ed Cooley stated. “I think we went two days without a basket. And I think he was a big reason why.”

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