The Long Beach St. 49ers were unable able to hold out against the Creighton Blue Jays, as an Antoine Young layup snatched away a victory with the final score 81-79. The 49ers shot better from the field and from behind the arc, as Creighton had trouble matching the firepower of Long Beach. In the end, the difference between the teams turned out to be free throws, with both teams making an equal amount of baskets.
Creighton managed to tie the game with less than a minute remaining, and went ahead with Antoine Young's finger roll layup with two seconds left. It was more sloppy than exciting in that tied final minute. Casper Ware missed a layup, but Austin Chatman got confused pushing the ball up the court and got called for a backcourt violation. T.J. Robinson fumbled the ball out of bounds on the ensuing possession, which left Creighton with the ball and the shot clock off.
The 12 game winning streak looked like it would be fine, as Long Beach controlled the game after the few opening minutes. Creighton never gave up, but Long Beach showed an ability to match tit for tat. Dan Monson was looking for his 250th career win, but was unable to get there on this nationally broadcast bracket buster game. Creighton is 5-2 in nationally televised bracket busters dating back to 2003.
Casper Ware had the hot hand for Long Beach, leading the team with 21 points. However the player of the game was Doug McDermott who had 36 points and 11 assists in a winning effort. McDermott had to carry his team, as only one other player for Creighton scored in the double digits.
Ware had much more help, with three other players in double digits. T.J. Robinson was next on the scoring list with 20 points, and also had eight rebounds. While Ware was hot with the shot, his peripherals left something to be desired.
It was those peripherals or intangibles that may have cost Long Beach in the end. The better team the entire game, they simply fumbled the game away when the pressure was turned up. The Beach are running away with the Big West, but this loss certainly won't help their national perception.