Rapid Reaction: Creighton 91, DePaul 80

Creighton shot 13-of-26 from beyond the arc Sunday in a 91-80 win against DePaul at Allstate Arena. At 4-2 in the Big East, the Bluejays are tied for third place in the Big East. Meanwhile, DePaul remains winless in the conference at 0-6.

 

—Isaiah Zierden will burn you if you let him loose.  He’s one of the Big East’s best 3-point shooters, and DePaul left him alone on the perimeter several times.

Zierden led all scorers with 31 points, using 8-of-11 3-point shooting to get there.

Creighton has several 3-point threats, but Zierden is one guy opponents absolutely have to lock down on if they are going to beat the Bluejays. When Loyola upset Creighton in December, the Ramblers shut out Zierden on 0-of-7 shooting.

 

—Eli Cain played his best game of the season. The 6-foot-6 freshman has struggled in Big East play after a promising non-conference performance.

Cain was money in DePaul’s upset of George Washington last month, scoring 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting. He also scored 20 points in a Dec. 5 win against Chicago State, although he also coughed up the ball six times in that one.

Against Creighton, Cain recorded 21 points on 6-of-8 shooting. He turned the ball over only once.

 

—Tommy Hamilton had a dominant first half offensively, but then disappeared. The 6-foot-11 junior paced the Blue Demons with 13 points in the opening 20 minutes, shooting 4-of-4 from the field and 3-of-3 at the foul line. He made a pair of 3-pointers.

Hamilton struggled defensively in the first half against Creighton’s high-powered offense. He also received a technical foul for spiking the ball after the officials whistled him for a loose ball foul.

Hamilton was a non-factor offensively in the second half, shooting 0-of-2 from beyond the arc and not attempting a single two-pointer. He also threw the ball away at a critical juncture with 1:38 remaining and DePaul trailing 80-75.

 

—All things considered, DePaul was not that bad defensively — at least in the second half. The Blue Demons were going up against one of the nation’s best offenses.

DePaul’s transition defense in the first half was pretty brutal. The Blue Demons also let Zierden get loose way too often. But in the second half, the Blue Demons actually gave a respectable effort against a very good offensive team.

They got torched in the first half for 1.47 points per possession but held the Blue Jays to 1.19 points per possession in the second half. That’s not a good number, but it’s not a terrible one either. With a better first half, DePaul could have pulled out a win in this game.

 

 

Author: Jesse Kramer

Jesse Kramer is the founder of The Catch and Shoot. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. He has had work featured on SI.com, College Insider, The Comeback/Awful Announcing, and 247Sports.

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