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No. 25 Creighton tops Drake

Fri 2nd, March 2012

St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - Doug McDermott scored 26 points and pulled down 10 rebounds, as 25th-ranked Creighton topped Drake, 68-61, in the quarterfinals of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.

Antoine Young tallied 16 points and Gregory Echenique scored 10 for the second-seeded Bluejays (26-5), who won their fifth straight contest. Creighton will play third-seeded Evansville Saturday afternoon in the semifinals at Scottrade Center.

Rayvonte Rice scored 15 and Kurt Alexander had 14 for the Bulldogs (17-15), who also received 11 points and 11 rebounds from Jordan Clarke. Ben Simons also had 11 points for Drake, which struggled to a 1-of-15 performance from three-point range.

"Last night we had a tough game with Bradley, but it was a one-game season, really. So we knew we had to lay it on the line," Simons said. "There is no guarantee tomorrow to make it to Saturday. So we played as hard as we could. Gave Creighton a good battle. In the end we were a little short, but we were proud of how we played and how we fought."

Young's jumper in the waning seconds of the first half boosted the Bluejays to a 35-34 edge at the break.

Alexander's jumper with just under 18 minutes left had Drake ahead, 38-37, but then McDermott ignited Creighton's offense by sinking a jumper and canning a pair of three-pointers. That was sandwiched around Clarke's tip in.

Echenique's layup capped the burst for the Bluejays, boosting them to a 47-40 cushion with 12 minutes remaining, and Creighton widened the gap to double- digits before watching Drake crawl within three.

That came at 63-60 on a Rice jumper with nearly 1 1/2 minutes to go, but McDermott and Young converted a pair from the foul line to seal the outcome.

"We have a bunch of confidence in each other," McDermott said. "We didn't get off to the best start, and they were shooting lights out. We couldn't get anything to fall. We turned it over a couple times, but we just had to keep our cool out there and stick together, and we knew good things would happen."

Game Notes

Drake came into the game ranked No. 1 in the MVC in three-point field-goal pct. defense (.308). The Bulldogs limited Creighton to 5-of-19 (26.3 percent) from beyond the arc...The Bulldogs have not allowed an opponent to shoot higher than 50 percent from the field in any of their last 17 outings. Creighton ended at 46.3 percent Friday...The Bluejays last won the MVC tourney in 2007.

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