PHILADELPHIA, PA. 1/20/2014 – The Creighton Blue Jays set a Big East and program record making 21 three-point baskets as they easily defeat the #4 Villanova Wildcats 96 – 68 at the Wells Fargo Center. Creighton forward Ethan Wragge led the way for the Bluejays as he made 9 of 14 three-pointers, the most ever made against Villanova, en route to a career-high 27 points. The nine three-point baskets were a career mark for Wragge.
“This was my best game this year,” Wragge said. “I try not to think about it too much. I got extra shots at shoot around. You can’t over think it, just let it fly.”
The game started with the Bluejays making their first nine field goal attempts of the game. They were all three-point baskets. Wragge made his first seven attempts of the game, all from beyond the arc.
“They were outstanding,” said Villanova Coach Jay Wright. “We’ve played a lot of good games and we’ve had some good games where we haven’t been on top of it. We didn’t execute well defensively; they executed extremely well offensively. They were just really on top of their game. Getting behind the team like that, the way they moved the ball and with their quickness, was really tough to overcome. You have to give them a lot of credit. Wragge was just incredible.”
Early in the game Creighton led Villanova 9 – 5. The Blue Jays went on a 15 – 0 run to stretch the lead to 24 – 5. Wragge had 12 of his points in that stretch. Afterwards, the closest Villanova would come would be 13 points. For the game the largest lead for Creighton was 41 points.
“That was one of the more incredible things that I have been a part of as a coach,” said Creighton Coach Greg McDermott. “The start of the game and the way Ethan shot the basketball and our guys shared the basketball. And probably and equally important was the way we defended in the first eight minutes that allowed us to get separation.”
Villanova is known as a second half team. In the first 8 minutes Creighton out-scored Villanova 21 – 6 to move on front by 30.
“I thought the first possession of the second half, we got a great stop and didn’t rebound it,” Wright said. “The second possession, we got a great stop and again didn’t rebound it. Right there, I could tell we just weren’t ourselves.”
In addition to Wragge Creighton got 23 points from All-American Doug McDermott. Guard Jahenns Manigat scored a career-high 19 points and guard Austin Chatman handed out 10 assists. Wragge’s outburst came after a loss at Providence where he went 2 for 8 from distance.
For Villanova (16 – 2, 5 – 1 in the Big East) senior guard James Bell led the way with 19 points. Junior forward JayVaughn Pinkston scored 11 points, and junior guard Darrun Hilliard added 10 points. Coach Wright will use this game as a teaching point. The lessons learned will be seen as the Wildcats will continue conference play on January 25 at Marquette.
The 96 points allowed and the 28 point margin was the largest against Villanova at the Wells Fargo Center.
Written By: Glenn Papazian