Creighton overcame a slow start Tuesday against the Salukis and put up record numbers in the process.
The Bluejays beat SIU 88-69 Tuesday at the SIU Arena, setting a Missouri Valley Conference-record of 77.5 percent shooting from the field.
“They got away from us and we panicked,” said coach Chris Lowery.
The Salukis kept pace with Creighton in the first half, until a 16-5 run by Creighton in the last 5:09 of the first half that put them up 39-30 at halftime.
The Salukis forced Creighton to commit 16 turnovers while committing just six of their own. SIU also shot 50 percent from the field, but weren’t able to overcome Creighton’s record pace.
“It’s disappointing to play that well offensively, and to allow them to shoot 77 percent is just astronomical,” Lowery said.
Creighton came into the game on a three-game losing streak where they shot 41 percent from the field and 23 percent from beyond the arc. In Tuesday’s game, Creighton shot 85.7 percent from beyond the arc in addition to the MVC-record from the field.
“The last couple games, we had been struggling from the field, and just to see some go in, it helps everyone,” Creighton forward Ethan Wragge said. “It just makes you more comfortable out there, more relaxed, not uptight, and I think that was some of our problems in the last couple games.”
Wragge had 15 points on five of six shooting, all from beyond the arc.
Creighton forward Doug McDermott only played six minutes in the first half because of foul trouble, but he came alive in the second half, scoring 15 of his 18 points in the last 20 minutes.
“I just kind of told myself that as long we keep (the score) within a possession or two, we were going to try and save him for the second half,” said Creighton coach Greg McDermott.
In the last two games, Saluki opponents have only missed two shots from beyond the arc. Indiana State Saturday made 12 of 12 while Tuesday, Creighton made 12 of 14.
“Our closeouts have been poor,” said junior guard T.J. Lindsay. “We have to be quicker to get to the shooters (on defense).”
Senior forward Mamadou Seck had a team-high 16 points, while freshman forward Dantiel Daniels had 12 points and six rebounds.
The Salukis go on the road Saturday to Muncie, Ind., to take on Ball State at 1 p.m.