|Aces lose despite Ryan's 25, Taylor triple-double|
|Written by Admin|
|Saturday, 29 December 2012 18:45|
Yet for the 14th straight time, Evansville left with a loss after visiting the Bluejays.
Doug McDermott scored 14 of his 29 points in a 6 1/2-minute stretch of the second half to help the No. 16 Bluejays pull away for an 87-70 victory on Saturday night.
Ryan, who scored an arena-record 43 points last season in Omaha, overcame a slow start to match his season high with 25 points for the Purple Aces (7-6) in the Missouri Valley Conference opener.
``He had a hard time getting good looks at the basket,'' Evansville coach Marty Simmons said. ``That's a credit to Creighton. I thought he stayed with it and kept working and working and working and ended up making a pretty good offensive night for himself.''
Taylor, the Aces' senior point guard, had 10 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.
``Taylor, that's the kind of kid he is,'' Simmons said. ``He plays so hard. He's pretty much done what we've asked him to do for four years. The way he rebounds from his position is extraordinary, I guess. He's got a big heart, plays really hard.''
Gregory Echenique had 13 points and 13 rebounds, Jahenns Manigat added 13 points, and Avery Dingman had 11 for the Bluejays (12-1).
McDermott, the Bluejays' returning All-American, also had 10 rebounds for his second double-double of the season.
Evansville, which hasn't won in Omaha since 1999, cut a 17-point deficit to seven early in the second half. McDermott wasn't much of a factor as he went scoreless during a span of 10:32 over the halves.
McDermott suddenly got going again, and the Bluejays built another cushion. His putback of Grant Gibbs' missed jumper and his three-point play stretched the lead to 59-46 and started his flurry of 14-point spurt.
Ethan Wragge's 3-pointer and another jumper by McDermott made it a 19-point game with under 12 minutes left.
Creighton didn't show much rust in its first game in 10 days. For the third straight game, the Bluejays never trailed. They held a 43-27 rebounding advantage against the undersized Aces.
Evansville, which hadn't played in a week, started 5 of 20 from the field and fell behind by double digits less than 6 minutes in.
``They kind of punched us right in the mouth right out of the gate,'' Simmons said. ``I thought we did a pretty good job of hanging in there. We had a hard time sustaining anything that we wanted to do. I think that had a lot to do with them.''
The Bluejays broke the game open with an 11-0 run that Manigat finished with a dazzling drive to the hoop.
Evansville had trouble getting Ryan touches early as Manigat, Gibbs and Dingman took turns defending him. Ryan, who scored 25 in a loss at Butler on Dec. 22, missed four of his first five shots but warmed up the last 5 minutes of the half to help the Aces get the deficit down to 11 at the break.
Evansville got it to 45-38 on Ryan's jumper in the lane and Taylor's layup off a steal early in the second half.
Chatman's 3-pointer restored the double-digit lead, but just briefly. Ryan hit a jumper from the wing, and there was a sense in the sellout crowd of 18,458 - Creighton's second-largest ever - that the Aces weren't going to go away.
But there wasn't much they could do once McDermott found his rhythm, and the Bluejays went on to their sixth straight win.