Creighton goes thermal from beyond the arc in 96-68 win at Villanova

Tuesday January 21st, 2014

Ethan Wragge Ethan Wragge (right) connected on nine of his 14 shot attempts against Villanova -- all of which were from three-point range. (Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Creighton went ham from deep and everything's coming up Milhouse for the state of Nebraska recently as the Bluejays won at No. 4 Villanova, 96-68, thanks in part to a combined 50 points from Ethan Wragge and Doug McDermott.

For a little bit there, it looked like Creighton was going to build a lead so great in the first half that Villanova would take the second half off to watch a couple episodes of Parks and Recreation and wrap themselves in some warm blankets. The Bluejays led 47-19 with 7:17 left in the first period before the Wildcats shook themselves out of the paralysis induced from watching a team bury three pointer after pointer. The fact it was only a 13-point deficit at the break was in many ways a minor victory.

The 'Jays finished 21-of-35 from beyond the arc on the night, including nine made triples from Wragge.

All that effort to get the lead down by halftime took a lot of energy out of Villanova, and Creighton slowly built its lead back up in the second half with yet another array of jumpers. It felt like Creighton was playing on Rookie mode in NBA Live. Every three looked like it was going in and the ones that missed were just the computer saying, "hey slow down this isn't fair at all you realize you're playing your six-year-old cousin right?"

Creighton is a team that doesn't necessarily need to be hitting its threes to win, but it makes things a lot easier on the Bluejays when they do. They were already the No. 1 offense in the country according to KenPom ratings coming into this 96-point explosion on the road against a Top 5 team, and they shoot almost 55 percent on their two-point shots. This wasn't your typical unranked team upsetting a ranked opponent on the road. The 'Jays only recently fell from the rankings themselves, and they're a sneaky pick to make it to the second weekend in the NCAA Tournament. This shouldn't say much about 'Nova other than that No. 4 ranking sure won't last long. But the way the Bluejays were hitting shots on Monday, they would've beaten just about anybody.

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