Creighton tried to downplay the impact two physical games in Las Vegas had on its performance Wednesday in the 83-70 loss to Boise State.
The Broncos upset the No. 11 Bluejays four days after Creighton had won the tournament with Saturday’s victory over Arizona State. The night before, Creighton had posted a 10-point victory over a bruising Wisconsin squad.
“We have to be prepared for a game like this,” Creighton forward Doug McDermott said. “I think we celebrated a little too much with those wins, and I think we got away from how we prepare as a team.
“We have to do a better job of moving on to the next one and with our focus on the scouting report.”
The Bluejays knew Boise State, which narrowly missed pulling off an upset last week at No. 13 Michigan State, were capable of doing plenty of damage.
Creighton coach Greg McDermott acknowledged that his team had expended a great deal of energy and effort in winning the two games in Vegas.
“Our preparation issues could be related to the Vegas deal,” he said. “A lot of energy and emotion went into those two games. We had to follow that with some travel, but Boise traveled to get here and had played a game on Saturday.
“I don’t think that’s an excuse. We have to be above that and be more mature and be able to prepare regardless of how we feel physically. It’s something I have to look at, coming off a trip like that. How much time do you take off? Obviously, what we choose to do didn’t work.”
Guard hits his Marks
Derrick Marks recorded the 10th-highest scoring game in Boise State history in scoring 35 points against the Bluejays. Marks also established his career high, topping his previous best by 11.
Marks scored 28 after halftime in making 10 of 15 shots, most of which came on a variety of drives to the basket.
“My teammates just kept telling me to drive, so I listened to them,” Marks said. “I was getting layups.”
Boise State coach Leon Rice butted in before Marks could continue.
“I don’t think they were exactly layups,” Rice said with a smile. “There were some tough shots in there. Maybe they felt like layups.”
Marks’ success underscored the Bluejays’ point that their attention to detail might not have been the best. The scouting report on Marks was to get him moving to his right. Most of his success came when he drove the ball to the left.
Greg McDermott tried a variety of defenders on Marks, but none was able to slow the sophomore from Chicago.
“Once a guy gets going like that, it’s hard to get him stopped,” McDermott said. “Especially the way he was scoring those baskets. He’s driving to his left and he flips it back over his right shoulder. Those are hard shots, but we have to figure out a way to get that stopped.
“It’s not just the guy guarding him or the guy helping off the ball screen. It has to be a collective effort by all five guys on the floor. Too often tonight, we’d have a decent possession and then there was one breakdown that led to the basket.”
Boise’s best shooting
Boise State had shot better than 50 percent from the field in just one of its first five games. The Broncos also had finished under 50 percent from 3-point range in four of the games.
They torched the Bluejays, notching season highs by shooting 60.4 percent from the field and 52.6 percent from beyond the arc. They made 9 of 13 3-point attempts in the first half alone, with Jeff Elorriaga converting 4 of 7 outside shots.
Elorriaga, who did not score after halftime and finished with 12 points, had been shooting 40.6 percent from 3-point range.
“I just had that unconscious state of mind in the first half,” Elorriaga said. “Creighton was so focused on Derrick and our guards penetrating that I just got some open looks. Thank God I knocked them down. I got lucky — right man in the right spot.”
Boise State made just 1 of 6 shots from beyond the arc in the second half.
“We want our guys to love the rim and like the 3,” Rice said. “In the first half, we were really loving the 3, including myself. I was loving them when they were going in.
“On a couple of our (first-half) drives, it looked like we could have gotten to the hole. We didn’t want to just keep settling for the 3. We wanted to attack and get some stuff going to the basket.”
Bits and pieces
Creighton finished 1-3 in its four games in the Mountain West-Missouri Valley Challenge. The Bluejays lost to New Mexico in 2009, Brigham Young in 2010 and Boise State this season, while winning at San Diego State last season. … The Broncos are 6-34 against rated teams, 2-18 on the road. … The loss snapped streaks of 42 straight wins at home in the month of November and 41 consecutive victories at home versus unranked nonconference teams. … Doug McDermott’s 21 points hiked his career total to 1,530 and moved him into 11th place on Creighton’s career scoring chart.