Bluejay Rewind: Jays vs Wichita St. (03-03-2003)
Ed. Note: This is the part of our summer series that will look back at games from years past, including highlight packages. Not all of these games are classics in the traditional sense, but all of them feature terrific performances from Bluejay greats, and we think you’ll enjoy watching them as much as we did.
March 3, 2003 was a sentimental night for a lot of Bluejay fans. Not only was it the final chance to see seniors Kyle Korver, Larry House and DeAnthony Bowden in action on their home floor, it was the final game Creighton would play at the Civic Auditorium (CIT nonsense in 2010 notwithstanding), their home since 1961. It was a festive atmosphere, made moreso by the fact that their opponent was Wichita State, a team featuring one of the all-time great Valley Villains in Jamar Howard.
An hour before tip on that Monday night, the old barn was already filling up, the roars from the concourse were audible outside the building, the pep band was playing with a little extra juice, and it seemed like the fans were plugged into a generator, so loud they were.
But early on, the Jays struggled to get on track offensively. Actually, both teams did. Creighton misfired on 12 of their first 13 shots; Wichita missed nine of their first ten. The cold shooting took the air out of the building temporarily, as ugly basketball tends to do. But then Howard — one of the great antagonists in Valley history — started flopping and complaining and smiling at the catcalls and cupping his ear to the boobirds and arguing with the officials, and the crowd was back. Soon, the Jays were back too, on a 12-4 run to surge out to a 21-10 lead.
Up 34-24 at the break, Creighton went on one of their patented runs that was fueled by their press, and after an 18-6 run over the second half’s first eight minutes, it was 52-30 Jays. Howard then, on cue, got a steal and a breakaway dunk to the “delight” of the crowd. But all it did was rile the Jays up, and immediately send them on a 12-0 run — in the span of 90 seconds, Korver hit two threes, House hit another and added an old-fashioned three-point play, surrounded by turnovers on three consecutive possessions by Wichita State as the press and the crowd noise broke their spirit.
The last of those Korver threes remains one of the loudest roars the Civic ever witnessed. Coming at the 12:52 mark, he trailed on a fastbreak, launched a wide-open three, and when it went in, the building shook in the way that only old barns can.
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