ST. LOUIS — On a day when Doug McDermott was held nine points below his scoring average, the Creighton Bluejays proved that they're more than a one-man show.
The Bluejays actually outscored Wichita State 30-20 in the 11 minutes that McDermott spent on the bench mostly because of foul trouble and then held off a late charge to beat the Shockers 68-65 Sunday in the championship game of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.
"Doug's a tremendous player, he's maybe one of those once-in-a-lifetime players who you get the opportunity to coach, but today we proved we are much more than Doug," Creighton coach Greg McDermott said. "We had some guys step up in a huge way, and I couldn't be more proud of them."
Jaheans Manigat was one of those guys.
Manigat drove to the basket for a layup with 11.5 seconds left to give the Bluejays a three-point edge.
"Honestly, I was just thinking, 'Get the ball to Greg (Echenique) and get out his way,"' Manigat said. "They did a good job of denying, and I looked at the (shot) clock and there were only seven seconds left. I just put my head down and hoped for the best. The Lord answered my prayers."
Shockers coach Gregg Marshall opted against calling a timeout as his team got the ball up the court and into the hands of Malcolm Armstead, who had already poured in 28 points.
Doug McDermott switched out defensively on Armstead, who gave a pump fake and then let a 3-pointer fly with McDermott's hand in his face.
"I came off a screen, and they switched it," Armstead said. "That's why I didn't get a good look like should have. Maybe a I should have gone to the rim and gotten a quick two-for-one, but I didn't. I took a tough shot, and I didn't convert it."
The ball clanged off the rim as the buzzer sound, and the Bluejays had claimed their second straight tourney title.
"It was a quick little turnaround there after Jaheans scored the bucket, and we had to get back on defense and get a stop," Doug McDermott said. "We knew Armstead was probably going to get that shot. I switched out on him and tried to get a hand in his face without fouling him, and luckily he missed."
The Bluejays (27-7) will receive the MVC's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, but the Shockers (26-8) also are virtually assured of an invitation to the Big Dance.
"I've cut down nets in conference tournament championships, I've won games in the NCAA Tournament," Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall. "These seniors are the ones that I want to have a chance to experience that. So they didn't get this one. Didn't get the regular season (conference championship). Now we see if we can advance in the NCAA Tournament."
CBS television cut away for the start of the Michigan-Indiana during the final minutes of the MVC championship game, drawing the ire of MVC Commissioner Doug Elgin.
"The is incredibly disappointing to learn that CBS switched to another game without even giving viewers the opportunity to see the conclusion of our championship game in any market," Elgin was quoted as a saying in a statement released by the league. "It is disrespectful to our two teams and to every institution in our conference. This was our championship game, for goodness sake. CBS needs to apologize."
MVC Associate Commissioner Jack Watkins said CBS also switched to another game last year during Creighton's 83-79 overtime win over Illinois State.
Watkins said ESPN, who owns the braodcast rights to the tourney, sells the rights to championship game to CBS.
The championship game drew 16,659 fans to the Scottrade Center, the second highest total in the history of the tourney next to 22,612 that turned out for the title game in 2007.
This year's overall attendance for the four-day tournament -- 71,029 -- also ranked second all-time. The 2007 tourney had a record 85,074 people pass through the turnstiles.
The Bluejays got 16 points, including four 3-pointers, from Manigat, and 15 points on five 3-pointers from Eathan Wragge.
McDermott, who was chosen as the Most Outstanding Player of the tourney, had 14 points.
"I didn't have my best game, but my teammates stepped up and it feels great," Doug McDermott said.
Grant Gibbs chipped in 11 points and Echenique had nine points, 11 rebounds and six blocks.
Armstead had nine rebounds, four steals and three assists to go along with his 28 points.
Wragge hit there 3-pointers in a span of 2:43 as the Bluejays rolled out to a 19-7 lead.
The Shockers tied the score at 24-24 on a three-point play by Carl Hall and then took the lead on a steal and a layup by Armstead with 2:11 left in the first half.
Wragge nailed another 3 to give the Bluejays a 30-28 lead at halftime.
The Bluejays led 63-50 with 5:10 remaining and 66-55 with 3:32 remaining, but the Shockers reeled off a 10-0 run that included two 3s by Armstead to get within 66-65 with 43 seconds to go.
That set up the final sequence that led to Creighton's unprecedented 12th MVC Tourney championship in what could be the school's final year in the conference.
"If it happens, it will be very bitter sweet for me because I love this league, I love the people who run this league, but I also understand the dynamics of college athletics today," Greg McDermott said.
Echenique, Armstead, Hall and Illinois State's Jackie Carmichael also were chosen to the all-tournament team.
Contact reporter Steve Korte at firstname.lastname@example.org or 239-2522.