- Associated Press - Saturday, February 8, 2014

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Doug McDermott’s shooting struggles didn’t stop his Creighton teammates from getting him the ball with the game on the line.

McDermott scored 32 points - 11 during a 14-2 run after DePaul pulled within a point in the second half - and the No. 12 Bluejays beat the Blue Demons 78-66 on Friday night.

McDermott was 9 of 21 from the field and made 13 of 14 free throws, including 9 of 10 in the last 7 minutes as the Bluejays pulled away.

“We’re a team, and anyone is capable of putting points on the board,” McDermott said. “I was just trying to be aggressive. It’s great that they were finding me in the right spots. I didn’t finish a bunch of them, but I was able to get to the line. It’s great to close out the game like that.”

The Bluejays (19-3, 9-1 Big East) have won 14 of their last 15 games. DePaul (10-14, 2-9) has lost six in a row.

“Our guys fought hard, but we cannot be satisfied to fight hard and not come up with the victory,” DePaul coach Oliver Purnell said.

DePaul trailed by 14 in the first half, but closed to 59-58 after dominating the boards. They had four shots on their first possession after halftime and grabbed nine of the first 10 rebounds of the second half.

Durrell McDonald’s layup got DePaul to 59-58 with 7:35 to play. The Blue Demons made one more field goal before Edwind McGhee’s meaningless layup with 18 seconds to play.

The Bluejays, playing for the first time in 10 days, made 13 of their first 20 shots but finished 26 of 56 (46.4 percent).

“Sometimes you don’t shoot it the best and you have to find a way to win,” Creighton coach Greg McDermott said, “and that’s what we did tonight.”

Austin Chatman added 11 points for the Bluejays. McDermott grabbed nine rebounds to go over 1,000 for his career.

Brandon Young had 16 points and Forrest Robinson added 11 for the Blue Demons, who held a 41-31 advantage on the boards but shot just 39.7 percent. R.J. Currington was held to two points after scoring in double figures in three straight games.

The game marked the return of Creighton guard Grant Gibbs, who dislocated his right kneecap in the first meeting with DePaul on Jan. 7 and missed six games. He entered to a standing ovation three minutes after the opening tip.

“It was pretty special,” Gibbs said. “When injuries like that happen, you don’t know if you’ll get another opportunity. I’m grateful it wasn’t any worse. It felt great to get that reception.”

The first two times Gibbs touched the ball he assisted on baskets by McDermott. Gibbs sat out 4 minutes, then came back and threw a lob from the 3-point arc to set up McDermott’s dunk that gave the Bluejays a double-digit lead.

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