Creighton's McDermott, Gibbs injured in win

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ROSEMONT, Ill. -- It was a costly win as Creighton ran its winning streak to seven with an 81-62 Big East victory over DePaul on Tuesday night at Allstate Arena.

The Bluejays (13-2, 3-0) lost starting guard Grant Gibbs to a possible knee injury in the first half and leading scorer Doug McDermott played through the second half with a sore shoulder after a first-half collision.

"Doug couldn't lift his left arm above his head the second half, but I was proud of the way he got baskets and battled through it," Creighton coach Greg McDermott said. "We needed him on the floor in Grant's absence."

Doug McDermott, a senior forward, scored a team-high 19 points as the Bluejays had five players in double figures.

Guard Avery Dingman scored 16 points, forward Ethan Wragge had 12 and reserve center Will Artino and guard Austin Chatman each added 10.

Gibbs scored just four points in 12 minutes before departing with what might be the more serious injury.

"Grant's is a knee injury," Greg McDermott said. "He'll have an MRI tomorrow and we'll get the prognosis from there. ... Worst-case scenario is he tore an ACL. The best case is just a minor deal and it will be a few weeks and we'll have him back."

DePaul guard Brandon Young, held scoreless last Saturday at Marquette, had a season-high 24 points and forward Cleveland Melvin added 16 for the Blue Demons (8-8, 0-3), who have lost three straight and four of five.

"We turned it over 10 times in the first half and when you squander those kind of opportunities against a good offensive team it has a tendency to catch up with you," Blue Demons coach Oliver Purnell said. "I thought we played with them and maybe a little better in the first half, but when you throw away 10 opportunities to score it hurts you."

The Bluejays, two spots out of the Associated Press Top 25 and 23rd in USA Today's rankings, led 37-32 at halftime and opened their first double-digit advantage when Dingman's free throw completed a four-point play for a 50-38 lead with 15:08 left.

Creighton's lead hit 15 at 57-42, but DePaul launched a 14-5 surge to cut its deficit to 62-56 after Young's three-point play with 7:14 to play.

The Bluejays replied with a Dingman layup, Wragge's 3-pointer and two Chatman free throws to push the lead back into double digits at 69-56.

The second half was played with just two officials after referee Mike Roberts was sidelined with an apparent leg injury.

DePaul sprinted to a quick 5-0 lead and never trailed through the first 12-plus minutes, although Creighton forced four ties.

The Bluejays took their first lead at 24-23 with 7:19 left when McDermott hit first field goal -- a 3-pointer -- for a 24-23 advantage.

Young replied with a jumper and Melvin added a 3-pointer in a 34-second span as DePaul reopened a short-lived four-point lead at 28-24 with 6:19 left in the half.

But back-to-back 3-pointers by guard Jahenns Manigat and Chatman put Creighton back on top at 30-28 heading into the first half's final four minutes.

McDermott briefly left the game after hitting his left shoulder in a collision with DePaul reserve forward Peter Ryckbosch.

"It's something minor," McDermott said after the game. "I think I'll be fine. It was tough there at the time, but I really wanted to go in the second half. I did not feel the best, but I was able to gut it out and get the win."

McDermott returned with 19 seconds left in the first half and took a feed from teammate Devin Brooks for a buzzer-beating layup and a 37-32 Bluejays lead.

DePaul travels to Butler on Thursday and Creighton hosts Xavier on Sunday.

NOTES: Creighton forward Doug McDermott landed Big East player of the week honors after averaging 24.5 points and 8.5 rebounds in two Bluejays victories last week. ... Creighton, playing in its first Big East season, was fourth in league scoring (73.0 points) and second in average points allowed (57.5) before Tuesday. ... Tuesday's meeting was the first between the teams since an 83-75 Bluejays win on Dec. 23, 2008, in Las Vegas. ... DePaul, which led the series 15-7 coming in, last beat the Bluejays 72-57 on Nov. 30, 2005. ... With his six rebounds, Cleveland Melvin moved into 19th place in school history. Brandon Young scored in double figures for the 12th time this season and the 86th time in his career.

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