Published Tuesday, February 11, 2014 AT 11:43 PM / Updated at 11:48 PM
Loss reinforces Jays’ need to focus on the details
Steven Pivovar Omaha World-Herald

Creighton came away from its film review of Sunday’s loss to St. John’s with a greater appreciation for the phrase “attention to detail.”

A play here, another one there, figured prominently in turning a potential victory into a 70-65 loss to the Red Storm.

“We can’t go into games thinking we can just play,” Creighton guard Austin Chatman said. “We have to pay attention to detail, and some of the mistakes we made were because we didn’t have that attention.”

Creighton coach Greg McDermott pointed out to his team that there were probably half a dozen possessions that factored into turning a possible winnable game into the Bluejays’ fourth loss.

“There were some plays where we weren’t all on the same page from a communication standpoint or we didn’t make the effort necessary to get to the spot we needed to be in transition,” McDermott said. “Those are things you can control.

“You can’t always control making shots, but you can control communication and effort. Not that it was bad, but had it been better, we might have been able to survive it and pull out a win.”

Creighton thrives on its shot-making ability but finished the St. John’s game shooting 41.1 percent from the field and 22.7 percent from 3-point range. The latter was the Bluejays’ second-lowest percentage of the season from beyond the arc.

The Bluejays also missed 11 of 25 free-throw attempts.

“Those are hard to stomach,” McDermott said.

Four of the misses were by Grant Gibbs, who was playing in just his second game after missing a month with a knee injury. Devin Brooks also missed four free throws, but he had been ill the previous four days.

“The guys that had the most problems weren’t exactly at the top of their game,” McDermott said. “The rest of the team was 11 of 14, which is about normal.”

Jahenns Manigat said it’s important for the Bluejays to learn from their mistakes against St. John’s as they prepare for Thursday’s game at Butler.

“Myself, I know there were a couple of possessions that we switched our ball-screen defense that I didn’t execute very well,” Manigat said. “I didn’t do my job in a few cases, and it cost us.

“I wish I could take those back but I have to make sure I don’t let those mistakes beat me twice. We have to turn the page and make sure we know where those mistakes came from so that we make sure that doesn’t happen again.”

In general, Chatman said, the Bluejays lacked a sharpness they’ve had in other games this season. He dismissed a suggestion that might be understandable given that he and his teammates are into the third month of a long season.

“We can’t blame it on that,” Chatman said. “Everyone is in a grind right now. We just have to be better.”

About Steven Pivovar

Steven Pivovar is a staff writer for The Omaha World-Herald and primarily covers Creighton athletics and the College World Series. You can follow Steven on Twitter (@PivOWH) or email him at spivovar@owh.com.