NEW YORK, N.Y. — An 34-3 run spanning halftime helped Georgetown to a 73-48 over second-seeded and 17th-ranked Creighton in the championship game of the BIG EAST Tournament on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.
Georgetown (13-12) won its first tile since 2007 while becoming the first eighth seed to ever win the tournament. Creighton (20-8) had its three-game win streak snapped this season and fell to 0-3 in BIG EAST Tournament title games.
Creighton won the opening tip and started the game with a lob from Marcus Zegarowski to Christian Bishop. Zegarowski then hit a mid-range jumper to make it 4-0. Consecutive scores in transition put the Bluejays ahead 13-6 and led to Georgetown coach Patrick Ewing calling a timeout. The Hoyas responded with a 7-0 run with Zegarowski and Mitch Ballock on the bench to knot the score at 13-all. The Hoyas took their first lead at the 7:39 mark on a pull-up triple by Donald Carey to move in front, 18-16. Zegarowski answered to tie the score at 18 before the Hoyas unleashed an 18-0 blitz to close the first half as the Bluejays missed 11 straight shots in the final 5:52.
Reserve Jahvon Blair had 10 of his points during the run and led all players with 13 at the break. Creighton’s 18 points, and 26.7 percent shooting were both season-lows for a half. Zegarowski led CU with nine points at the break after making his first four field goal attempts. The Hoyas outrebounded Creighton 28-19 in the first half, led by seven from Qudus Wahab, and outscored the Bluejay reserves 15-0.
Zegarowski scored the first hoop of the second half, but Chudier Bile scored nine points as Georgetown countered with a 16-1 run as the margin stretched to 52-21 with 15 minutes to play. The Bluejays never got any closer than 25 the rest of the evening.
Zegarowski led Creighton with 17 points on 7-of-8 shooting, but he was the lone bright spot for a Bluejay offense that generated season-lows in points (48) and field goal percentage (.288). Also in double-figures was Alex O’Connell, who scored 11 points off the bench
Georgetown was led by 19 points from Bile, who added eight rebounds. Blair added 18 points off the bench and Wahab produced a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds. Tournament MVP Dante Harris recorded 10 points, eight rebounds and five assists to wrap up a strong performance in his BIG EAST Tournament debut.
Creighton will face UC Santa Barbara in the NCAA Tournament on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.