FULLETON, Calif. — Creighton guard Austin Chatman admitted he was one tired dude after Thursday's game against Arizona State.
He should be after the effort he turned in on defense against Arizona State's high-scoring Jahii Carson. Chatman was primarily responsible for holding Carson to 15 points — eight below his average — in the Bluejays' 88-60 win at the Wooden Legacy tournament.
“Austin did a great job on Jahii, making him work to get his shot,” Creighton coach Greg McDermott said. “I think the culmination of that over 40 minutes wears on a guy.”
Carson came into the game shooting 54.8 percent from the field and 56 percent from 3-point range. Against the Bluejays, Carson finished 5 of 12 from the field and made just 1 of 3 3-point attempts. He also had five turnovers.
Chatman sensed Carson's frustration level growing as his lack of success mounted during the game.
“He wasn't hitting shots he normally hits and he wasn't getting to places where he normally gets,” Chatman said. “He was getting frustrated, and he would voice his opinion at times.
“With any scorer, keeping him from getting to where they want to get to is key. We had a game plan against him and we stuck to it.”
Creighton wanted to keep Carson from driving the ball to his right, and Chatman repeatedly kept the Arizona State sophomore going to his left. The Bluejays also were willing to help off to keep him from finding open space.
“They loaded the paint and made it tough for us to drive and penetrate,” Carson said. “We didn't follow the game plan of moving the basketball. We knew coming into the game that they were going to load the basketball, swipe, reach and take charges.”
Creighton also held Arizona State's Jermaine Marshall four points under his 16.0 average, while 7-foot-2 center Jordan Bachynski got into first-half foul trouble and scored just four points — 10 under his average.
“Not following the game plan,” Carson said, “caused us not to score the way we've been able to.”
Zierden provides spark before halftime
Creighton got a big lift near the end of the first half with redshirt freshman guard Isaiah Zierden converted a four-point play that put the Bluejays up 44-31.
Zierden found himself open on the perimeter and let his attempt fly just as Marshall made contact with him.
“I knew right away when I shot it that it was going in,” Zierden said. “I got hit a little bit and I probably sold it a little more than I needed to but we got the foul. I was pretty excited.”
Zierden had been battling a slight wrist injury but has been able to get into the gym the past week to get up some extra shots. The one he hit against the Sun Devils, Creighton forward Doug McDermott said, was a momentum-shifter.
Creighton's offense had hit a stagnant spell before Zierden's basket helped the Bluejays close the first half on a 7-0 run. They then scored the first seven points of the second half to take a 52-31 lead.
“I don't know if my basket was the biggest turning point in the game,” Zierden said, “but it did give us some momentum.”
Manigat lays out; Doug brings it down
Creighton had 15 assists on its 31 field goals but none was prettier than the one Jahenns Manigat delivered to set up Doug McDermott's dunk midway through the second half.
With Creighton leading 68-49, Manigat went to the floor to come up with a steal near the Sun Devils' free-throw line. While on his knees, Manigat spied McDermott breaking down the court and fired a spinning, one-hop bounce pass that McDermott caught in stride and finished with the dunk.
“I had a guy standing right in front of me and he had his legs open,” Manigat said. “I thought the only way I could get it to Doug was throw the ball around him (defender) and put a little spin on it or try to bounce it between his legs and let it roll to Doug. I choose the first option, and luckily it worked.”
Manigat recalled a similar pass he made as a freshman from halfcourt in the College Basketball Invitational against Oregon. McDermott scored on the play when an Oregon player got called for goaltending.
“I had a better angle this time around,” Manigat said. “I think that one kind of broke their spirits. They were kind of hanging around and I think that basket kind of broke the camel's back.
“It was a big play, and I'm glad Doug finished it the way he did with authority because I feel it really demoralized them.”
Bits and pieces
Zierden's four-point play was just Creighton's fourth in 115 games over the past four seasons … The 28-point loss was the second-largest for Arizona State in seven seasons under coach Herb Sendek … Doug McDermott finished with 27 points, and now has scored 20 points or more in seven straight games dating back to last season … Creighton had about 300 to 400 fans in attendance for the game. First-day attendance for the tournament totaled 1,865, with about 1,000 attending the ASU-Creighton matchup … Manigat finished with a season-high five assists.