Player of the Week
McDermott continued to push himself up the Division 1 career-scoring list last week, scoring at least 25 points in all three of Creighton’s games. Against Marquette on Feb. 19, the forward scored 25 points on 9-of-12 shooting and grabbed eight rebounds. He also recorded three assists in the 85-70 win. McDermott scored 29 points in a win over Seton Hall on Feb. 23, finishing 8-for-14 from the field. The senior recorded his fifth double-double of the season against Xavier on March 1. He scored 27 on 9-of-18 shooting, and grabbed 10 rebounds against the Musketeers.
Gene Teague The Seton Hall big man recorded his first double-double since Dec. 27 with a 14-point, 11 rebound performance against Creighton on Feb. 23. Teague was 6-for-8 against the Bluejays and also had two assists in the 72-71 loss. Five days later, the senior recorded another double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds against Providence. The center was 7-of-12 from the field in a 74-69 loss. Teague now has double-doubles in eight games this season.
Davante Gardner Coming off the bench for Buzz Williams has not hindered the forward’s play last week, as he scored over 20 points against Georgetown and DePaul. Against the Blue Demons on Feb. 22, the senior scored 22 points on 5-of-11 shooting and pulled down five rebounds. He also converted 12 of his 16 free throw chances. In a 75-73 win over the Hoyas on Feb. 27, Gardner was 8-for-10 from the field for 26 points. Although he only played 23 minutes, forward still managed to grab seven rebounds and recorded three assists. For the second consecutive game, Gardner made double-digit free throws, going 10-of-12 from the line.
James Bell Although Villanova won both their games last week, it was not a memorable run for the Wildcats’ guard. Bell, who’s shooting 44 percent from the field this season, went a combined 6-for-19 against St. John’s and Butler. Against the Red Storm on Feb. 22, the senior scored just nine points and recorded just one assist. Bell’s offensive struggles continued into the team’s next game against the Bulldogs on Feb. 26. He scored 11 points on 3-of-10 shooting in 31 minutes of playing time.
Brian Oliver The Seton Hall senior struggled offensively last week, going a combined 4-for-22 in three losses. In a one-point loss to Creighton on Feb. 23, Oliver was 1-of-6 from the floor, finishing with just three points. The guard was held to three points once again against DePaul on Feb. 25. Oliver scored seven points against Providence on Feb. 28, but missed nine of his 11 shots.
Xavier forward Jalen Reynolds recorded his first career double-double against St. John’s on Feb. 25. In the 65-53 win, he scored 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting, and also grabbed 16 rebounds. The Detroit native has registered double-digit rebounds in two games this season.
Top 5 teams entering the month of Madness
1. Villanova – The Wildcats enter the week ranked No. 8 nationally with a 25-3 overall record, including 13-2 in the Big East. Villanova will be tested in their final road game of the year at Xavier on March 6, before closing out the regular season slate on the 8th against Georgetown.
2. Creighton – After dropping their game against Xavier on March 1, the Bluejays remain half a game behind the conference-leading Wildcats. They enter this week ranked No. 9 in the country, and have games against Georgetown and Providence before the Big East tournament.
3. Xavier – Led by Semaj Christon, the Musketeers handed Creighton their third conference loss of the season on Saturday. Xavier is 20-9 overall, going 10-6 in the Big East as they fight to secure the third-seed in the postseason tournament.
4. St. John’s – After losing five straight games to open conference play, Steve Lavin’s team has been one of the hottest teams in the conference of late. The Red Storm have won 10 of their last 13 games, including a 70-65 victory over then-No. 12 Creighton on Feb. 9.
5. Marquette – The Golden Eagles have amassed a 17-11 overall, and a 9-6 conference record. Marquette has games Providence and St. John’s as it battles for the third seed going into the Big East tournament.
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