Saint Joseph's loses 80-51 to 11th-rated Creighton
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Saint Joseph's second meeting with a Top 25 opponent didn't go nearly as well as the first.
Doug McDermott scored 18 of his 23 points in the first half, and No. 11 Creighton rode a fast start to an 80-51 victory over the Hawks on Saturday.
Gregory Echenique added 16 points and six rebounds for the Bluejays (7-1), who bounced back after being upset by Boise State on Wednesday.
Langston Galloway scored 10 points to lead the Hawks (4-2), who played their first true road game.
It also was their first ranked opponent since they beat then-No. 20 Notre Dame 79-70 in overtime on Nov. 16.
"Now we have some good food for thought,'' Martelli said. "Was it the road? Was it the way we practiced? We have to look at everything there for improvement. We walk out with our head down over getting whipped, but we don't walk with our head down and say, `Woe is us, that's the end.' "
Saint Joseph's season-scoring leader Carl Jones, who had 29 points in a win over Creighton last season, was held to nine.
The Bluejays played their best half of the season and led 47-20 after breaking the game open with 12- and 13-point runs. They shot 57 percent, had assists on 13 of their first 17 field goals, and converted 10 turnovers into 16 points.
Martelli took a couple timeouts to try to stem Creighton's momentum, but nothing seemed to work.
"In those situations where there's an onslaught, you are just trying to get your feet underneath you and win the next four minutes,'' he said. "I believe you can look into an eye and know what's in a heart. There were some of our eyes, they're looking at me like, `Coach, fix this, fix this.' I can't fix it at that point. I can shake it, twist it, whatever word you want to use. You're not going to fix it if a guy's ball isn't dropping.''
Saint Joseph's shot 30 percent in the first half and a season-low 38 percent for the game. The Hawks committed a season-high 17 turnovers in their most lopsided loss since a 95-58 defeat at Charlotte in February 2010.
McDermott made four of his first five 3-pointers and scored 18 points in less than 12 minutes. He finished 5 of 7 on 3s and added six rebounds and three assists.
Echenique was 7 of 9 from the field and is 31 of 42 for the season (73.8 percent). Grant Gibbs had nine assists and no turnovers.
McDermott and his teammates played inspired ball from the outset after coming out flat against Boise State.
He recorded his first assist when he passed up a shot from the top of the key and fed Echenique in the post for a three-point play. As Echenique's shot went down, McDermott turned and let fly a giant fist pump like a baseball umpire calling a runner out on a close play.
Echenique had his way inside, overpowering anyone the Hawks put up against him. He threw down a couple of dunks during the 13-0 run that made it 39-10.