Creighton's first trip to the iconic Madison Square Garden in 2014 will not be remembered how the Bluejays (19-4, 9-2) hoped, as St. John's (15-9, 5-6) topped the 12th-ranked visitors 70-65 on Sunday night.
Poor free throw shooting and late misses looks from three-point range haunted the Jays. Greg McDermott's squad hit only 14 of 25 attempts from the charity stripe on the night and missed 9 of their 11 looks from three in the second half.
Austin Chatman split a pair of free throws with 2:18 left in the game and gave Creighton a one-point lead on the road. The rest of the game, however, belonged to the Red Storm's D'Angelo Harrison. The junior gave his team the lead on the Johnnies next possession, drilling a triple from behind the NBA line as Jahenns Manigat helplessly watched.
Chatman and Grant Gibbs, who returned to the starting five on Sunday, missed looks from deep on the Bluejays ensuing possession. A defensive stop produced a three-point look for Manigat, but he also failed to connect. The Jays were forced to foul after Harrison grabbed the defensive board. The guard sealed the game from the free throw line, making 5 of 6 freebees in the final 20 seconds.
Harrison finished with a team-high 19 points, while sophomore center Chris Obekpa chipped in 11. The Red Storm also got a valuable contribution from Jakarr Sampson, who was matched up with Doug McDermott most of the night. McDermott scored 14 points in the first half and added 11 in the second half on 4 of 5 shooting, but was held without a shot for the final 8:41.
McDermott's 25 points led CU. Grant Gibbs recorded 12 points and 11 rebounds in 35 minutes of action but missed four of his seven free throws and produced an unusually inefficient six assists to five turnovers. Chatman was the third Bluejay in double figures, ending the contest with 10 points.
St. John's defense forced CU into 23 percent shooting from deep and 56 percent from the charity stripe.
Creighton returns to action with another visit to one of college basketball's other sacred sites for a Thursday night contest at Butler's famed Hinkle Fieldhouse.