LAWRENCE, Kan. — — Jalen Wilson remained composed when he wanted to hit the go-ahead 3-pointer for Kansas within the closing seconds.
He was equally stoic watching No. 8 Creighton attempt to match him.
The redshirt freshman calmly hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 42 seconds left Tuesday evening, solely to foul the Bluejays’ Marcus Zegarowski trying a tying 3 on the different finish. However as Wilson watched, the preseason Large East participant of the 12 months missed the final of three foul pictures, permitting the fifth-ranked Jayhawks to flee with a 73-72 win.
“I simply had quite a lot of confidence in myself. My workforce has quite a lot of confidence in me,” mentioned Wilson, who missed most of final season with an harm. “We advised one another, ‘We’re going to win this sport. We’ll win this sport.’”
Wilson completed with 23 factors and 10 rebounds, his position of hero solidified because of Zegarowski’s miss. Christian Braun added 14 factors, lacking a foul shot that would have clinched the sport with 12.5 seconds to go, whereas David McCormack contributed 13 factors because the Jayhawks (5-1) gained their fifth straight in opposition to the Bluejays.
“To have their greatest participant miss one late, yeah, we have been lucky. Very lucky,” Kansas coach Invoice Self mentioned. “However the sport ought to have by no means been in that state of affairs, regardless that it was an amazing sport and both workforce might have gained. We had an opportunity to place ourselves able the place that would not occur and we screwed it up.”
Denzel Mahoney gave Creighton (3-1) an opportunity down the stretch. He hit a 3-pointer with 1:22 left to get the Bluejays inside 70-68, then picked the pocket of Bryce Thompson and coasted for the tying layup with simply over a minute to go.
That is when Wilson drilled his 3 off a nifty kick-out from McCormack, and Zegarowski missed an answering 3 as Braun gathered the rebound and was fouled. However the sharpshooter missed the entrance finish of a one-and-one, giving Creighton an opportunity to tie. Zegarowski unloaded his try and Wilson bought the slightest little bit of arm.
Zegarowski hit the primary free throw. And the second. The third clanked off the rim.
“It was a hell of a faculty basketball sport an sort of unlucky that any individual needed to lose. Actually unlucky that it was us,” Creighton coach Greg McDermott mentioned. “Actually happy with our workforce, happy with how we competed.”
Zegarowski completed with 16 factors, although he was hounded all evening by defensive whiz Marcus Garrett and was 5 of 14 from the ground. Mahoney led the Bluejays with 19 factors whereas Christian Bishop and Damien Jefferson had 13 apiece.
“Marcus is a perfectionist so he is crushed,” McDermott mentioned, “however like I advised him, I am unable to really feel unhealthy, as a result of I do know all of the work he is put himself in to arrange him for that second. Typically you put together and put together and it does not work out.”
The Bluejays survived an early 11-0 run by the Jayhawks, and so they in flip handled an 0-for-8 droop halfway by way of the primary half. By the point it ended, Kansas had cast a 39-35 lead in a sport that — a minimum of in contrast two the fan-less first two video games at Allen Fieldhouse — had the electrical energy of March.
It took lower than two minutes for Creighton to take the lead.
Regardless of the expertise of 4 returning starters, the Bluejays started to have turnover issues halfway by way of the second half, and that allowed Kansas to start edging forward. Thompson hit a 3-pointer that tied the sport, and Braun added one other a couple of minutes later because the shot clock expired to present the Jayhawks a 58-50 lead.
Creighton went practically 4 minutes with out scoring later within the half, however the Jayhawks did not capitalize, and so they have been left clinging to a 68-63 lead when Mahoney started his late takeover try that gave the Bluejays an opportunity.
After attendance was restricted to about 100 shut family and friends for its first two residence video games, Kansas had about 2,500 followers within the constructing. They have been required to put on masks and there have been two empty rows and 6 ft between every group.
Creighton was dominated on the glass, notably the defensive finish, the place the larger Jayhawks pulled down 13 offensive rebounds and turned them into 11 second-chance factors. A few of the greatest got here with the sport on the road.
Kansas bought little offensive manufacturing from Garrett and fellow starter Ochai Agbaji. Garrett was 3 of 10 from the ground and had 9 factors, and Agbaji was 0 for six and failed to attain.
Creighton returns residence to face Nebraska on Friday. Kansas faces Omaha the identical evening.
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