Recap: Creighton vs. San Diego St
Fullerton, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Xavier Thames had a career-high 26 points as San Diego State held off No. 20 Creighton, 86-80, in the semifinals of the Wooden Legacy on Friday night.
Winston Shepard added 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Aztecs (4-1), who will play No. 25 Marquette in the title game on Sunday.
Doug McDermott netted a game-high 30 points for Creighton (5-1), which will face George Washington in the third-place game.
Creighton trailed by as many as 19 during the early stages of the second half before Ethan Wragge hit a pair of triples, the second of which capped 10-0 burst to claw the Bluejays within 51-42 with 13:16 to play.
Later, another Wragge 3-pointer and a McDermott three-point play, sandwiched around two Shepard foul shots, whittled the gap further to 72-68 with 3:08 left.
A few minutes passed and Shepard split a pair from the line to give San Diego State a 78-72 lead with 59 ticks left.
McDermott sunk 1-of-2 free throws and Austin Chatman made two foul shots on back-to-back Creighton possessions to pull the Bluejays within 78-75 with 43 seconds left, but they never got any closer.
"When Creighton came into our town two years ago we were up 17 points in the first half and they came back and won so we knew we had lots and lots of time and this a game of runs," San Diego State head coach Steve Fisher said.
Thames made two foul shots at the other end before Chatman raced in for a layup. Thames was then whistled for an offensive foul on the ensuing inbounds, but McDermott and Gibbs both missed layups and San Diego State made 4-of-5 from the foul line during the waning seconds to seal the outcome.
Creighton raced out to a 14-2 start, but were outscored 49-18 over the next 20 minutes as San Diego State opened up a 51-32 advantage with 16:20 remaining.
"I'm disappointed in what transpired for us to get down 19 points. We had some foolish turnovers," Creighton head coach Greg McDermott said.
The Aztecs led 40-30 at the break.Game Notes
San Diego State's bench outscored Creighton's 11-0 in the first half ...
Friday's first half was the first time all season the Bluejays didn't score 40
points in a half.