No. 19 Seton Hall tops Creighton 68-67 on Gibbs' late 3
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) His team down two points, Sterling Gibbs went into the huddle for Seton Hall's final timeout and told coach Kevin Willard he wanted a play drawn up for him to shoot a 3-pointer.
Willard was happy to oblige and even happier after Gibbs made that 3-pointer with 2.1 seconds left, lifting No. 19 Seton Hall over Creighton 68-67 on Saturday.
Gibbs had made three 3s in the first half and felt confident he could get the Pirates out of CenturyLink Center with a win.
''Honestly,'' Gibbs said, ''I really wanted to just end that game because if we had gone to overtime, I think it would have been tough for us.''
Willard agreed. The Bluejays only seemed to get stronger as the game went on despite playing without two of their best players.
''On the road, I like shooting 3s and not going into overtime,'' Willard said.
The Bluejays had one more chance after Gibbs' 3, but James Milliken's 3-point try at the buzzer bounced off the rim, sending Creighton to a fifth straight loss for the first time since 1996-97.
Gibbs bounced back from an eight-point night in a loss to Xavier on Wednesday night to score 22 points, making 4 of 8 3-pointers. Khadeen Carrington had 11 points and Brandon Mobley matched his career high with 13 rebounds for the Pirates (13-3, 3-1 Big East).
Milliken had 20 points in his first start, Will Artino had 14 points and 11 rebounds in a career-high 35 minutes and Rick Kreklow added 10 points for the Bluejays (9-8, 0-4).
The Bluejays were without point guard and leading scorer Austin Chatman for the final 29 minutes and top 3-point shooter Isaiah Zierden for the entire second half. Chatman left after taking a hit to the head, and Zierden hurt his right knee. They also were without big man Zach Hanson, who hurt his shoulder in practice.
''We had 50 reasons to pack it in today, from guys with the flu, to Zach being out, to `Z' and Austin being out,'' Creighton coach Greg McDermott said. ''That's as proud as I've felt, win or lose. They competed and didn't doubt each other. It's a make-or-miss game, and they made a tough one and we got a pretty good look and missed it.''
After the Bluejays took the lead with 17 seconds left, the Pirates called timeout twice before the winning play. After Gibbs swish his winning 3, he turned his heels, walked to mid-court and saluted with his right hand.
The shot was reminiscent of his last-second 3-pointer that beat then-No. 3 Villanova in the Big East tournament last season.
''We have the utmost confidence in Sterling,'' Willard said. ''He's carrying us right now.''
Seton Hall: Angel Delgado was back in the starting lineup after coming off the bench for the first time against Xavier. ... The Pirates got a brief scare in the first half when Gibbs dropped to the floor after an apparent collision with a teammate. An athletic trainer looked at his right leg, and then he returned to the game looking no worse for the wear.
Creighton: Milliken made his first start, and guard Avery Dingman was on the floor to begin the game for the first time in three games. They replaced Zierden, who had started six straight, and Devin Brooks, who had started all but five games. ... Dingman blocked his second shot of the season on the first shot attempt of the game, stuffing Jaren Sina as he drove to the basket. The Pirates returned the favor a few minutes later when Desi Rodriguez swatted Dingman's fast-break layup try.
Seton Hall hosts Butler on Tuesday night.
Creighton visits Marquette on Wednesday night.