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Creighton coasts past lowly DePaul

creighton-coasts-past-lowly-depaul

Trey Alexander scored 14 of his 21 points in the second half, while Ryan Nembhard and Ryan Kalkbrenner each finished with 20, as Creighton handed host DePaul its 12th straight defeat, 84-70, in Big East play in Chicago.

Nembhard also pulled down 11 rebounds and had two steals for Creighton (20-11, 14-6 Big East), which won its final two regular-season games after losing two straight, to secure the No. 3 seed in next week's conference tournament.

Freshman Fredrick King had a valuable nine points off the bench for the Bluejays, who have won 18 straight over DePaul.

Javan Johnson had 18 points, while Caleb Murphy and Nick Ongenda each scored 13 for the Blue Demons (9-22, 3-17), who closed the regular season on their longest losing streak since 2010-11.

DePaul shot 54.5 percent in the second to make things interesting, but still has not won since beating then-No. 8 Xavier on Jan. 18.

Creighton dominated the paint from the get-go through the 7-foot-1 Kalkbrenner, then the 6-10 King. Nembhard, meanwhile, got the job done inside and out.

Four points from Kalkbrenner and a Nembhard 3-pointer highlighted a 9-0 run that gave Creighton an 11-5 lead. DePaul got within 21-19 on Johnson's 3-pointer and Ongenda's basket.

However, Creighton strung together a 12-0 run, which began with a 3-pointer by Alexander. King, who stepped up when Kalkbrenner went to the bench with two fouls, scored five points during that surge, and added another basket for the Bluejays, who closed the first half on a 16-4 run to lead 39-24 at the break.

The Blue Demons went just 9-of-34 from the field and were outrebounded 27-17 through the first 20 minutes.

However, DePaul made 13 of its first 17 shots in the second half, and an 8-0 run, with six points from Murphy, got the hosts within 59-54 at the 10:44 mark.

Creighton got some needed breathing room when Nembhard hit a 3-pointer and Kalkbrenner scored on a layup,. A pair of late treys from Alexander maintained the double-digit advantage for the Bluejays, who shot 50.8 percent for the game.

--Field Level Media

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