OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Doug McDermott had 29 points to become one of the top-10 scorers in college basketball history, and No. 11 Creighton survived shaky free throw shooting at the end to post a hard-earned 72-71 victory over Seton Hall on Sunday.
Grant Gibbs added a season-high 16 points, and the Bluejays (23-4, 13-2) took a half-game lead over Villanova in the Big East standings.
McDermott made a free throw late in the second half to pass Alfredrick Hughes for 10th on NCAA all-time scoring chart. McDermott now has 2,917 points.
Fuquan Edwin had 21 points to lead the Pirates (14-13, 5-9), who have lost four of five.
Creighton missed five of its last six free throws, allowing Seton Hall to stay in the game to the end. McDermott, an 89 percent foul shooter, missed two before Austin Chatman fouled Edwin on the other end. Edwin made both free throws to make it a one-point game with 8.2 seconds left.
Wragge missed two free throws with 4 seconds left, but Edwin’s desperation 3-pointer bounced off the backboard at the buzzer.
The Pirates played without suspended point guard Sterling Gibbs, who had started 20 games.
McDermott, who has had 25 or more points in seven straight games, was 8 of 14 from the floor and 12 of 16 from the line.
The Bluejays, who won their record 17th straight at CenturyLink Center, could never put away the Pirates. The 6-foot-9, 270-pound Teague was a tough matchup for the Bluejays, and he made 6 of 8 shots.
The Bluejays led by 10 points after an 8-0 spurt to start the second half. The Pirates closed pulled to 59-58 on Auda’s three-point play with 8:38 left.
Gibbs’ 3 from the corner put Creighton back up by four and brought the sellout crowd of 18,742 to its feet. Edwin’s pull-up jumper trimmed Creighton’s lead to 64-63 with 5:45 left. That was the Pirates’ last field goal, but they made all eight of their free throws the rest of the way.
The Bluejays were able to get the lead back to five points, 72-67, with 2 minutes left on McDermott’s fade-away jumper in the lane after Gibbs stuffed Edwin from behind as Edwin started to go up for a shot.
McDermott looked motivated coming out of halftime, scoring 13 points in less than 7 minutes. He opened the half with a 3-pointer from the top of the key and, after getting popped in the chin while reaching for an entry pass, he scored on a left-handed finger roll where the ball spun upward on the rim and dropped in.
Moments later, when Isaiah Zierden missed a 3 from the corner, McDermott moved in under the basket, tipped the ball straight up as it came off the rim and then went back up to tip it in for a 52-44 lead.
Wragge and Zierden hit back-to-back 3s to put Creighton up 33-25 late in the first half. Seton Hall went on an 11-2 run to take a one-point lead before Gibbs’ 3-pointer with 3.6 seconds left in the half put the Bluejays up 38-36 at the break.