Creighton ushered in a new era of basketball Tuesday night by administering an old-fashioned whipping on Marquette.
Matching the Golden Eagles' muscle on the defensive end, the Bluejays showed they aren't all about offense in posting a 67-49 victory in their inaugural Big East game.
The juiced-up sellout crowd of 18,525 at the CenturyLink Center took as much delight in Creighton's ability to go toe-to-toe with a team that generally was regarded as one of the toughest in the old Big East as they did in the offensive might that has been the Bluejays' calling card.
“It was big in the way that we won,” Creighton guard Jahenns Manigat said. “It's not like we shot 60 percent. We did a good job defensively, and we won it a pretty ugly way.
“It was good to get that first one under our belt but it's just the first of many. We have 17 more of these in the Big East, and we just have to start thinking about our next opponent.”
Creighton held Marquette to 35.8 shooting from the field, forced 15 turnovers and never trailed in running its winning streak to six and improving to 11-2. The Bluejays also won the rebounding battle 38-36.
All-American Doug McDermott battled hard for his team-leading 19 points, while Manigat had 16 and Ethan Wragge 12. Creighton shot 40.3 percent from the field and took 35 of its 62 attempts from outside the arc.
“Obviously, I'm thrilled with my team and very proud of team, to stay in this fight and outrebound Marquette,” Creighton coach Greg McDermott said. “We didn't necessarily win in the style that we won in the past. Forty percent from the field, that's pretty low to us.”
The Bluejays also got a big lift from junior guard Devin Brooks, who had six of his nine points to pull Creighton out of a scoring rut early in the second half.
Marquette, the preseason championship favorite, dropped to 8-6. The Golden Eagles got 10 points apiece from Jamil Wilson and Chris Otule.
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It's hard to turn the ball over on 22 percent of your possessions and win,” Marquette coach Buzz Williams said. “In many regards, to hold them to 67 points, 40 percent from the field, 4 free throws, I thought a lot of the stuff was good.
“But they put a lot of stress on you because they always have five guys on the court that can shoot the 3.”
Creighton connected on 13 of those 35 attempts from beyond the arc, with Wragge and Manigat each knocking down four.
Marquette, down by 13 points at halftime, came out more intense on the defensive end to start the second half. Creighton's lone points in the first four minutes came when McDermott worked free for a long 3-pointer, and the Bluejays missed their other seven shots, including having two blocked.
But the Golden Eagles couldn't take advantage as they missed eight of their first 11 shots, and saw their chances of closing within eight points fade when Jamil Wilson missed two free throws with 15 minutes to play.
That's when Brooks heated up for the Bluejays. He snaked his way to the basket for a pair of layups that stretched the lead back to 44-30. He made it six points in a row when he scored on a pinpoint assist by Manigat.
Manigat followed an Avery Dingman steal with a 3-pointer from the corner, and Creighton found itself ahead 49-30 with 12:39 left. After the Golden Eagles used a 9-0 spurt to pull within 49-39 with 8:32 to play, Manigat buried another 3-point shot and, on Creighton's next possession, Wragge bombed one in from deep to hike the advantage back to 55-39.
Creighton came out firing in the opening 20 minutes, launching 25 3-point attempts and draining nine, in building a 37-24 lead. McDermott and Manigat each had 10 points, with McDermott doing most of his damage early as the Bluejays blew out to a 21-9 led before the game was eight minutes old.
The Golden Eagles clawed back to within seven points at 21-14 and within six at 26-20 before back-to-back 3-pointers by Austin Chatman and Manigat had Williams burning his second timeout of the first half with 5:46 to play.
After Jamil Wilson's basket closed Marquett's deficit to 32-24, Manigat stepped in front of pass and drove the court for a fast-break dunk. Two possessions later, he made his second 3-point shot of the half to give Creighton's its biggest lead at 37-24.
Neither team scored on its final three possessions of the half. Marquette finished the first half shooting 34.5 percent from the field and committed nine turnovers that helped Creighton build an 8-3 edge in points off turnovers.
The Bluejays shot 41.2 percent overall in the first 20 minutes and stayed within two rebounds (21-19) of the physical Golden Eagles on the boards.
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>> Video: See Fox Sports highlights from Creighton's 67-49 win over Marquette:
>> Video: See more highlights from the game:
>> Video: See the postgame press conference with CU coach Greg McDermott, Doug McDermott and Jahenns Manigat: