OMAHA, Neb. — The game was safely in hand, but Creighton’s Marcus Foster couldn’t resist taking one more 3-point shot.
With L.J. Peak guarding him, Foster pulled up and let fly a shot from above the top of the key. As the ball went through, he pounded his chest twice and smiled.
His fourth 3 of the game gave him a career-high 35 points in the 20th-ranked Bluejays’ 87-70 victory over Georgetown on Sunday.
“Yeah, I kind of did know I was peeking on my career high,” Foster said, laughing. “I knew he wasn’t giving me anything closer than where I got, so I pulled it up in his face.”
Creighton (22-5, 9-5 Big East) shot 53 percent while avenging a 20-point road loss to the Hoyas on Jan 25. Georgetown (14-13, 5-9) shot just 38.5 percent in its first game since Feb. 11 and was 3 of 22 from 3-point range.
Isaiah Zierden added 13 points and Justin Patton and Cole Huff had 10 apiece for the Bluejays.
Peak, held to two points over the first 16 minutes, finished with 23 to lead Georgetown.
“It’s an important win for us,” Bluejays coach Greg McDermott said. “Our league is crazy right now. I’m not sure there is a ton of difference between the middle eight teams with some of the injuries and things that have happened. You have to be ready to hook it up every game, and I thought our guys were really focused and understood what had to happen defensively.”
Khyri Thomas, scoreless in the first half, blocked Peak’s shot from under the basket and then hit a 3-pointer during a 19-6 run that gave Creighton a 60-44 lead. The spurt also featured two 3s by Foster and a couple of dunks by Patton, who was on the bench for the last 8 minutes of the first half with two fouls.
“Start of the second half, I think we scored the first four or six points, and then they went on a run,” Hoyas coach John Thompson III said. “Against them in this building, with the way they were moving the ball and sharing the ball today, we couldn’t climb out of that hole.”
The Hoyas looked to be gaining momentum as they pulled within 66-55, but then they went scoreless for nearly 4 1/2 minutes.
Rodney Pryor added 16 points and Jessie Govan had 12 for the Hoyas.
Foster, who scored 23 points in a loss to Seton Hall on Wednesday, was 13 of 19 from the field, including 4 of 6 on 3s. He had come into the game shooting 43.1 percent in Big East games, 23.1 percent on 3s.
Foster said he and his teammates are still adjusting to playing without star point guard Maurice Watson, who went out for the season eight games ago with a knee injury. Foster said he sensed a big game coming against the Hoyas after he made a couple of shots early.
“We’re a completely different team now. We still get our transition buckets, but we also have to go to our half-court motion game,” Foster said. “My game is coming slow and easy.”
The Hoyas have been one of the best defensive teams in the Big East this season, but they sure weren’t Sunday. The 87 points were the second-most they have allowed, and only two opponents shot better than the Bluejays.
The Bluejays are revving up from 3-point range again after a January slump. They hit 9 of 20 against the Hoyas and are 59 of 117 (50.4 percent) the last five games.
Homegrown players Patton and Thomas are starters for Creighton, and another Omahan, Akoy Agau, is one of the first players off Georgetown’s bench. Agau had nine points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots but also five turnovers in 22 minutes.
“He was a little overzealous today being back home, I think,” Thompson said. “If we can get him to understand, to bring that same intensity, play as hard as you can, throw your body around like you do. But quit trying to hit so many home runs on offense.”
Georgetown hosts DePaul on Wednesday. The Hoyas defeated DePaul 76-73 on Jan. 31.
Creighton hosts Providence on Wednesday. The Bluejays won the first meeting 78-64 on Jan. 7.
Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC.