Sophomore guard Quentin Goodin scored 17 points and knocked down two free throws with 0.3 seconds to play to give No. 5 Xavier a dramatic 72-71 victory over Creighton on Saturday in Big East play at CenturyLink Center Omaha in Nebraska.
Senior guard J.P. Macura added 15 points and nine rebounds and senior forward Kerem Kanter scored 14 points for the Musketeers (23-3, 11-2 Big East).
Senior forward Sean O’Mara had 12 points for Xavier, which won its eighth straight contest.
Senior guard Marcus Foster made five 3-pointers while contributing 29 points and eight rebounds for Creighton (18-7, 8-5). Junior guard Khyri Thomas made four 3-pointers while scoring 14 points for the Bluejays.
Foster has scored 20 or more points in six straight games for Creighton, which dropped to 13-1 at home.
The Bluejays appeared in good shape when junior forward Ronnie Harrell Jr. was fouled by Musketeers star Trevon Bluiett while shooting a 3-pointer from the right wing and calmly drained three free throws to give Creighton a 71-70 lead with 4.6 seconds left.
Xavier coach Chris Mack then decided to put the game in Goodin’s hands.
“That’s an eternity of time,” Mack told CBS Sports in a postgame interview. “It doesn’t seem like it but Q’s one of the faster point guards in the conference and we told him to get to the rim and he did that.”
The decision was easier with Bluiett having just six points on 3-of-9 shooting for the Musketeers, who held a 42-29 rebounding edge.
Macura scored on a putback to give Xavier a 70-68 lead with 21.7 seconds left prior to the late-game sequences.
Xavier led by seven after a dunk by O’Mara with 15:19 remaining before Creighton rolled off eight straight and took a 55-54 lead on a layup by freshman guard Mitch Ballock with 11:51 to play.
Foster buried a 3-pointer to give the Bluejays a 61-58 lead with 8:17 to play. But Bluiett hit a tough 15-foot baseline hoop, O’Mara followed with consecutive baskets, and Goodin converted a layup to give Xavier a 66-61 lead with 3:39 remaining.
Foster scored five points during the following 7-2 Creighton run that ended with Mintz sinking two free throws to knot the score at 68 with 1:15 to play.
Kanter had 12 first-half points as Xavier held a 43-35 lead at the break.
—Field Level Media