No. 10 Marquette tops No. 22 Creighton 72-67 to tie record with 20th straight home Big East win
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Sean Jones never stopped believing he could hit 3-point shots in critical situations, even as he continually misfired earlier this season.
His confidence was rewarded Saturday when he helped No. 10 Marquette tie a Big East record with its 20th consecutive home conference victory.
Jones scored a career-high 15 points and Tyler Kolek also had 15, leading the Golden Eagles to a 72-67 victory over No. 22 Creighton.
Jones shot 3 of 5 from 3-point range. The reserve had been 4 of 28 on 3-point attempts this season before Saturday.
“The whole season really I've been struggling, but I just stayed with the work that I've put in every day and I've stayed with the belief that I can make them,” he said.
Jones said he also has benefited from the assistance of teammates. Kolek had kept his spirits up for much of the season. Kam Jones, who isn't related to Sean, offered encouragement during Saturday's game.
“Honestly, it really carries me more than I can carry myself," Sean Jones said.
Kolek also had eight assists in a victory that helped put Marquette in the record books. The only other Big East teams to win 20 straight home games were Pittsburgh from 2002-04, Notre Dame from 2006-09 and Marquette from 2012-14.
Marquette hasn’t lost a Big East home game since falling 75-69 to Creighton in double overtime on Jan. 1, 2022. This latest victory came in front of 18,086 fans, Marquette's largest home crowd since the Golden Eagles moved into Fiserv Forum for the 2018-19 season.
“For the crowd to have that type of energy and passion and enthusiasm on Dec. 30th, when most of our students are home, it just says a lot about Marquette nation,” Marquette coach Shaka Smart said.
Marquette (11-3, 2-1) has won 19 straight home games overall. Its last loss at Fiserv Forum was an 80-77 overtime setback against Wisconsin on Dec. 3, 2022.
Kam Jones added 12 points and David Joplin scored 10, while Oso Ighodaro had seven points and 16 rebounds.
Creighton (9-4, 0-2) lost for the third time in four games despite getting 23 points from Baylor Scheierman and 18 from Trey Alexander. Scheierman went 7 of 13 on 3-point attempts and set a career high for 3-point baskets.
The Bluejays are 0-2 in conference play for the first time since 2014-15. Creighton committed 18 turnovers Saturday and had 16 in its previous game, a 68-66 overtime home loss to Villanova.
"That has not been who we've been this year or in the past," Creighton coach Gregg McDermott said. “We're going to have to clean that up in a hurry, or we're asking for trouble.”
Creighton hadn’t played since that Dec. 20 loss to Villanova. Marquette’s last game was an 81-51 blowout of Georgetown on Dec. 22.
Marquette looked rustier in the early going.
The Golden Eagles fell behind 14-3 and didn't take their first lead until 12:46 remained in the game. They missed 18 of their first 22 shots overall and 11 of their first 12 attempts from 3-point range.
Marquette pulled ahead for good when Sean Jones hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Golden Eagles a 52-48 edge with 8:40 left.
Sean Jones had some unlikely help on the perimeter. Stevie Mitchell, who had been 3 of 23 on 3-point attempts before Saturday, returned after missing four games with a hamstring injury and went 2 of 5 from beyond the arc while scoring seven points.
“Obviously we had a game plan, and our game plan was kind of to let (Sean Jones) shoot and do what he does,” Scheierman said. “Unfortunately, he made some shots. Credit to him and credit to Stevie Mitchell as well. They both made key 3-pointers throughout the game.”
Creighton: The Bluejays' 12 first-half turnovers prevented them from fully capitalizing on Marquette's cold start. That proved critical once Marquette heated up in the second half.
Marquette: The Golden Eagles entered Saturday with a negative rebound margin, but they outrebounded Creighton 42-32 and had an 18-2 advantage in second-chance points. Ighodaro had nine of Marquette's 18 offensive rebounds.
This result likely assures Marquette will stay in the top 10 and could cause Creighton to fall out of the rankings.
Creighton: At Georgetown on Tuesday.
Marquette: At Seton Hall next Saturday.
Jensen has 20, Townsend has career day, No. 21 Creighton tops St. John's 67-56
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Lauren Jensen scored 20 points, Kennedy Townsend added a career-high 14 off the bench and No. 21 Creighton eased to a 67-56 win over St. John's on Saturday.
Jensen was 7-of-10 shooting, Townsend 5 of 8 and the pair combined to go 7 of 10 on 3-pointers, to spark the Bluejays. The rest of the team was 12 of 31 overall and 3 of 14 behind the arc.
Molly Mogensen added 10 points for Creighton (10-2, 1-1 Big East Conference). Jensen had six assists, Townsend had six rebounds, also a career high, and Mallory Brake contributed four steals.
Jillian Archer had 19 points for the Red Storm (7-7, 1-1) and Unique Drake had 16. St. John's shot 41% but was 2 of 10 on 3-pointers.
Townsend converted a three-point play and had a running buzzer-beating 3-pointer t o lift the Bluejays to a 16-12 lead after one quarter. Mogensen's buzzer beater pushed the lead to 33-23 at the half.
The Red Storm got within eight twice in the third quarter but Creighton closed the period with three-straight 3s, with Mogensen's trey with 3 seconds left making it 56-41. Jensen and Townsend both had two triples, including one each in the closing flurry.
In a low scoring final quarter, St. John's never got closer than 10.
Creighton is home against No. 15 UConn on Wednesday while No. 18 Marquette is at St. John's.
Sherrod scores a career-high 34 points to lead No. 8 Colorado past No. 12 Utah 76-65
BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — Jaylyn Sherrod had a career-high 34 points, Aaronette Vonleh scored 18 and No. 8 Colorado rode a strong finish to a 76-65 win over No. 12 Utah on Saturday in the Pac-12 opener for both teams.
Sara-Rose Smith added 11 points and 12 rebounds for Colorado (11-1), which has won five straight since its lone loss of the season to NC State on Nov. 25.
Alissa Pili scored 27 points to lead Utah (10-3). No other player scored in double figures for the Utes, who were held to a season low in points. All three of the Utes' losses this season have come against ranked teams.
Sherrod said the Buffaloes, who scored 23 points off Utah's 20 turnovers, maintained their defensive pressure on the Utes throughout the game.
“I don’t think our defense changed (down the stretch),” she said. “We just kept the same intensity for 40 minutes. ... At the end of the day, no matter what’s on the scorecard, everybody did their job today. I think that’s what got us through."
Colorado coach JR Payne said the team's defensive play had been a point of emphasis in recent practices.
“We have not been defending as well as we’ve wanted to throughout the year and we refocused on that the last couple of weeks," Payne said. "I thought our defense creating offense today was great."
Matyson Wilke hit a 3-pointer and Lani White a layup in the final minute of the third quarter to put Utah up 54-51 going into the final quarter. The sequence was part of a 10-0 Utah run carried into the fourth quarter and capped by Kennady McQueen’s 3-pointer giving Utah a 59-51 lead with 8:41 to play.
But Colorado responded with a 12-2 run, tying it at 61-all when Sherrod converted a three-point play and moving in front by two on a pair of free throws by Kindyll Wetta with 5:27 left to play.
Colorado later closed the game out with a 9-0 run. Sherrod scored the last five points in the closing burst on a jumper, layup and free throw.
“It was a game of runs,” Utah coach Lynne Roberts said. “And we knew it would be. We just kind of died there on the vine in the last four minutes.”
Added Pili: “They played hard, and they had runs. And I think in the end, that was just a little too much for us.”
Utah: Pili's offense was not enough against the strong defensive play put up by Colorado. The Utes came in as the nation's second highest scoring team but could not sustain its overall offensive wherewithal on this day.
Colorado: Sherrod led Colorado's defensive performance with six steals and helped maintain the Buffaloes offensive attack amid the struggles of team scoring leader Frida Formann, who was held to three points on 1 of 9 shooting.
Utah: Goes on the road again to play at Arizona State on Friday night.
Colorado: Visits Arizona on Friday night.
Northern Colorado wins 92-77 over Northern Arizona in the Big Sky opener for both teams
GREELEY, Colo. (AP) — Jaron Rillie had 18 points in Northern Colorado's 92-77 victory against Northern Arizona on Saturday night in the Big Sky Conference opener for both teams.
Rillie was 6-of-7 shooting and 4 of 6 from the free-throw line for the Bears (6-6). Langston Reynolds scored 17 points and added five assists. Brock Wisne finished 8 of 8 from the floor to finish with 16 points.
The Lumberjacks (6-7) were led in scoring by Trenton McLaughlin, who finished with 20 points. Diego Campisano added 12 points for Northern Arizona. In addition, Oakland Fort finished with 11 points and two steals.
No. 14 BYU blasts former conference rival Wyoming 94-68 for fourth straight win
PROVO, Utah (AP) — Trevin Knell and Noah Waterman scored 17 points apiece to lead No. 14 BYU to a 94-68 victory over Wyoming on Saturday.
Waterman also had eight rebounds for the Cougars and Atiki Ally Atiki chipped in a career-high 14 points and eight rebounds. Jaxson Robinson tallied 10 points in his return to action after sitting out a game with an ankle injury.
The Cougars (12-1) scored 16 points off turnovers and knocked down 14 3-pointers in their fourth straight win. They finished with a 17-4 edge in fastbreak points.
BYU had 27 assists on 39 baskets – more than double the number of assists that Wyoming tallied.
“We’re not selfish,” Ally Atiki said. “If someone is open, we share the ball. I think that’s really important and it’s hard (for opponents) to guard when you move the ball a lot.”
Sam Griffin led Wyoming with 25 points and Mason Walters added 12.
The Cowboys (7-6) lost their 14th straight game in the series with BYU. The teams were conference rivals in the WAC and Mountain West until the Cougars joined the West Coast Conference in 2011.
Wyoming struggled to match BYU’s pace and depth over 40 minutes.
“It’s a slow drip,” Wyoming coach Jeff Linder said. “If your intensity, your discipline, and your effort doesn’t match theirs, they score the ball too well and they move the ball too well.”
Ally Atiki scored three baskets to ignite an 18-0 run midway through the first half. The Cougars scored on six straight possessions during the run, culminating in a jumper by Robinson that gave BYU a 27-10 lead.
Ally Atiki has averaged 13 points and six rebounds over his last two contests even while playing with a broken thumb. He’s scored more points in the last two games than he tallied over his previous six.
“I’m more comfortable now,” Ally Atiki said. “My team trusts me and I trust my team too.”
Wyoming went 7 1/2 minutes without scoring a point until Akuel Kot ended the drought with a layup. The Cowboys missed eight straight shots and committed three turnovers during that stretch.
“What’s interesting is we’re actually performing at a higher level defensively than offensively,” BYU coach Mark Pope said. “I’m really proud of what we’re doing defensively.”
BYU led by double digits for the remainder of the game. After Wyoming cut the deficit to 11 on back-to-back baskets from Kot, the Cougars countered with a 19-3 run and pushed their lead to 75-48 midway through the second half. Ally Atiki and Robinson fueled the run with a pair of baskets apiece.
Wyoming: The Cowboys struggled on the glass and gave BYU far too many extra possessions. Wyoming allowed 22 second-chance points on 15 offensive rebounds.
BYU: The Cougars’ ability to get meaningful contributions on offense from every player kept Wyoming on its heels. Nine BYU players made at least one basket before halftime and four scored in double figure.
Wyoming hosts San Jose State on Tuesday in its Mountain West opener.
BYU hosts Cincinnati on Saturday in its Big 12 debut.