1. Even in a loss, Creighton played solid defense
Creighton is mostly known for high-powered offenses. But what they have proved this season and in this game is that their defense is on par with some of the best in the nation. They don’t force a ton of turnovers or block a lot of shots, but they play solid team defense. This was on display for most of this game. In the first half, Creighton held Marquette to only 28 points. The Golden Eagles shot under 28 percent from the floor and made only 15 percent from three.
Creighton did a good job keeping their man in front of them while on defense. This forced Marquette to play longer into the shot clock and take shots they normally wouldn’t. The Bluejays defended the lane well when Marquette would drive the ball to the hoop. It’s hard enough to get a clean shot off in the paint with Ryan Kalkbrenner in your way, but Creighton would pack the lane limiting passing lanes and forcing tough shots.
The second half wasn’t as strong defensively for Creighton. They gave up 44 points on nearly 47 percent shooting. A large part of this was because Marquette started making threes. It also didn’t help that the Golden Eagles ended the game with 18 offensive rebounds and 18 second-chance points.
Creighton didn’t rebound the ball well in this game, losing the rebounding battle 42-32. And Kalkbrenner only recorded three rebounds for the game. The Bluejays are one of the better rebounding teams in the country, especially on the defensive end. I don’t think this will be an issue moving forward, but Creighton can’t afford to give up 18 offensive rebounds to any opponent and expect to win the game.