Game #8-686: Evansville Aces vs. Creighton BluejaysMarch 3, 2012 5:05 pm
St. Louis, MO
It seems like a pretty standard line in a play-by-play scoring account when you first look at it:
02:34 GOOD! 3 PTR by Dorwart, Matthew 96-66
Dorwart had checked into the game with 3:04 left, his Creighton team holding a comfortable 93-66 lead. After the top seed of the tournament, Wichita State, had been dispatched in the first of the semifinal games, Creighton now had a clear sightline at the Missouri Valley Conference tournament title. The Jays defense effectively shut down Evansville's Colt Ryan, and a barrage of Creighton three-pointers completely outpaced the Aces. Dorwart's superhoop was the last of 12 made by the Bluejays.
Matthew Wagner Dorwart was born on April 30, 1990 in Sidney, a town of 6,700 out in the Nebraska panhandle. The youngest of four, Dorwart played high school ball in his hometown, where he holds the school record for blocks in a game with seven. He started classes at Creighton in 2008, an Exercise Science major with pre-med ambitions who walked on to the basketball team. He did not play for the Jays that season, but did practice with a Jays sqaud that went 27-8 and made it to the second round of the NIT.
Almost every team has a Matthew Dorwart. He's the one from a small town who went to the school he wanted to go to, untouched by the hustle of the recruiting game. He walks on to the team because he still wants something to do with the game. He knows a spot on the team is unlikely, a scholarship is almost unattainable. The coach sees he has enough skill, but more importantly enough desire, and a spot on the team is now his.
But he's not just along for the ride. The practices are just as grueling, the road trips just as arduous, the time away from class just as long as any other on the team. For the Matt Dorwarts of our game, it's all guts, no glory.
In March 2010, Dorwart's sophomore year, he scored a layup for first points of his career in a CIT quarterfinal win against Fairfield.
Dorwart's junior season brought 14 minutes of playing time, but no points. All guts, no glory.
This season is Dorwart's senior year, and coming into Saturday's matchup with Evansville, he had doubled his playing time to 28 minutes. He had scored six points, a free throw against North Carolina A&T in the season opener, a three-pointer against Indiana State, and two more freebies against Illinois State.
Most of Dorwart's time was spent on the bench, cheering his teammates on at every turn, every basket and defensive stand. That's the role of the walk-on during the game, but there's always a chance when the lead is big.
It is a line we've heard before: be ready when your name is called. And with a 27-point lead on Evansville and time running out, it was finally Dorwart's name called.
Just 30 seconds later, he caught the pass, squared up from the corner in front of the same bench he'd just spent 37 minutes on, and launched a shot. It dropped cleanly through the hoop.
Creighton's fans cheered louder and longer than for any of the other 11 superhoops made during that game. A couple of the students in the Creighton student section, the ones in the blue and white overalls, embraced each other in sheer delight. The Bluejays players whooped and cheered on the bench, standing with the arms in the air. A chant of "Matt-hew Dor-Wart!" started to fill the Scottrade Center.
Some might find it odd for Creighton to celebrate a three-pointer at the end a blowout game. But when you consider it was just the third field goal of Matthew Dorwart's career, possibly his last, and that it was on the biggest stage he's played on yet, it's the perfect amount of glory.
|CREIGHTON 99, EVANSVILLE 71|
EVANSVILLE 16-15 (9-9) -- C. Ryan 3-12 7-9 13; D. Holmes 4-11 0-0 11; T. Taylor 4-5 0-0 8; K. Harris 6-12 4-6 17; N. Cox 2-5 1-1 5; L. Jones 0-4 2-4 2; J. Moore 2-3 0-0 4; R. Sawvell 3-4 2-2 8; R. Cesnulevicius 0-0 0-0 0; J. Nelson 0-2 0-0 0; M. Peeler 1-1 1-3 3. Totals 25-59 17-25 71.
CREIGHTON 27-5 (14-4) -- G. Gibbs 2-6 0-0 6; D. McDermott 3-4 8-10 14; A. Young 3-4 7-7 13; A. Chatman 1-3 0-0 2; J. Jones 4-5 0-0 12; J. Manigat 1-2 1-2 4; G. Echenique 8-11 4-5 20; E. Wragge 2-5 2-2 8; W. Artino 5-6 0-0 10; A. Dingman 2-4 0-0 6; M. Dorwart 1-1 0-0 3; D. Sebastian 0-0 1-2 1; T. Stormberg 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 32-53 23-28 99.
Three-point goals: EVAN 4-13 (D. Holmes 3-4; L. Jones 0-1; C. Ryan 0-2; N. Cox 0-2; K. Harris 1-2; J. Nelson 0-2), CREI 12-23 (G. Gibbs 2-3; J. Jones 4-5; M. Dorwart 1-1; E. Wragge 2-5; T. Stormberg 0-2; J. Manigat 1-2; A. Chatman 0-1; A. Dingman 2-4); Rebounds: EVAN 15 (T. Taylor 3), CREI 39 (G. Echenique 9); Assists: EVAN 13 (T. Taylor 5), CREI 22 (A. Chatman 7); Total Fouls -- EVAN 23, CREI 18; Fouled Out: EVAN-T. Taylor; CREI-W. Artino.
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