No. 20 Creighton beats St. John’s 63-60

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) Doug McDermott hit a 25-footer with 2.5 seconds left to finish his season-high 39-point night, and No. 20 Creighton defeated St. John’s 63-60 after squandering all of an 18-point lead Tuesday.

The Red Storm had just tied the game on Rysheed Jordan’s two free throws before McDermott took a pass from Jahenns Manigat on the left wing and got off his winning shot as Chris Obekpa tried to get a hand in his face. Phil Greene IV’s desperation 3-point try at the buzzer didn’t even touch the net.

It was a fitting end for McDermott, whose monster game offset an otherwise poor offensive showing by the Bluejays.

D’Angelo Harrison scored 13 of his 15 points in the second half to lead St. John’s. Obekpa and Jordan had 11 apiece and JaKarr Sampson added 10.

The two-time returning All-America carried his team to its 13th win in 14 games, keeping the Bluejays (18-3, 8-1) in first place in the Big East. St. John’s (12-9, 2-6), playing in Omaha for the first time since 1966, had its three-game winning streak end.

Sampson tied it 58-all, but McDermott answered with a left-handed floater.

Austin Chatman fouled Jordan with 11.1 seconds left, and the freshman made both free throws to set up McDermott’s dramatic shot.

The Bluejays looked as if they would blow out the Red Storm early in the second half. Sampson’s basket pulled St. John’s to 29-27, but McDermott really got going. He scored 10 points during a 17-1 spurt that bumped the Bluejays’ lead to 46-28. The lead grew to 18 points before the Red Storm went on runs of 11-2 and 12-2.

McDermott scored every way imaginable, from in close to well beyond the 3-point line.

He flashed a baby hook along the baseline and even led a fast break, only to have the ball stripped as he went down hard, drawing a round of boos at CenturyLink Center. He grimaced as he got up but stayed in the game.

That’s about all that went wrong for McDermott, who had his seventh 30-point game of the season. It was a good thing for Creighton that McDermott was on, because his usually reliable teammates were off the mark with most of their shots and careless with the ball.

McDermott finished 15 of 26 from the field, including 5 of 9 on 3s. He had six rebounds, including a couple of big ones late after the Red Storm missed free throws.

The rest of the Bluejays shot 8 of 21 from the field and committed 17 turnovers.

Creighton 3-point marksman Ethan Wragge had difficulty getting open. Orlando Sanchez, Sampson and others took turns denying him the ball, and the Red Storm did a good job switching defenders when the Bluejays tried to set up a screen.

Wragge’s first 3-pointer came just over 5 minutes into the second half, and that was after he broke free from Sampson, who had grabbed a handful of his jersey.

McDermott bounced back from an off shooting night against Georgetown on Saturday. He made 7 of his first 10, including 3 of 4 from 3-point range, and scored 20 points to lead the Bluejays to a 29-25 halftime lead.

He was animated as he called for the ball, he aggressively drove to the rim and showed no hesitation to shoot his patented fade-away jumper over St. John’s long defenders. He regained his touch from deep after missing 4 of 5 3s against Georgetown. He made 3 of his first 4 against the Red Storm.

Avery Dingman and Manigat both threw entry passes out of bounds, and the Red Storm converted 10 Creighton turnovers into 10 points in the first half. The Bluejays went the final 4:56 of the half without a field goal, and Wragge didn’t even get a shot off until 2 1/2 minutes into the second half.