Tulsa-Creighton Preview

December 18, 2012

Creighton's opponents haven't succeeded in their recent attempts to slow down All-American forward Doug McDermott. The Bluejays' next foe knows just how difficult that task is.

McDermott had one of his best scoring performances in last season's matchup with Tulsa and will try to duplicate that when No. 17 Creighton returns home from a hard-fought win Wednesday night.

McDermott became his program's first player since Bob Harstad in 1990 to score 30 or more points in back-to-back games with a season-high 34 in a 74-64 win at California on Saturday. He made 10 shots for the third straight contest, including four from 3-point range, despite the Golden Bears sending multiple players to try to stop him.

"I'm kind of used to that by now," said the junior, who hit all 10 of his foul shots. "Teams have shown a lot of different stuff."


McDermott also made a key 3-pointer after Cal had cut an 11-point lead to three in the second half. The Bluejays helped themselves by holding the Bears to 34.6 percent shooting and a 3-of-17 performance from 3-point range.

"This is a great win for our program," coach Greg McDermott said. "Our guys competed tonight, defensively especially. I was really proud of our defense."

Doug McDermott, now averaging a career-best 23.7 points, has 20 or more in seven consecutive contests for Creighton (10-1), winners of four in a row overall and 51 of 54 non-conference home games. Benoit Benjamin was the last Bluejays player to score 30 or more in three straight contests in 1985.

"He's scoring in a lot of ways," Greg McDermott said of his son.

Doug McDermott scored what was then a career-high 35 points on 16-of-23 shooting in an 83-64 rout at Tulsa on Dec. 19, 2011, in the school's first meeting since 2000. Only one other player scored in double figures for Creighton, but the Bluejays made 34 of their 58 shots (58.6 percent).

The loss was the Golden Hurricane's 19th in a row to a ranked team, and they haven't faced one since.

Tulsa (6-4) arrives in Omaha having dropped three of five and has lost its last three games away from home. It couldn't overcome a 17-point deficit in the second half in its latest game, a 72-65 defeat at Arkansas-Little Rock on Saturday. The Golden Hurricane cut that lead to four with 3:23 remaining but couldn't get any closer.

Freshman forward D'Andre Wright had a career-high 15 points, giving him double digits in back-to-back games for the first time. James Woodard, a freshman averaging 13.6 points per game and a team-best 5.7 rebounds, recorded his second collegiate double-double (12 points, 10 rebounds).

The Golden Hurricane have played six straight games without leading scorer Rashad Smith (14.5 ppg). The sophomore forward is dealing with an injured foot.

Tulsa leads the series against its former Missouri Valley Conference rival 43-33.