Arthur Kaluma scored a game-high 20 points to lead five Creighton players in double figures as the host Bluejays cruised to an 84-67 victory over No. 13 Xavier in Big East play on Saturday at Omaha, Neb.
Kaluma shot 7 of 16 from the field to go along with nine rebounds, while Ryan Kalkbrenner went 8 of 9 from the floor to finish with 17 points, eight rebounds and a game-high five blocks.
Creighton’s Baylor Scheierman finished with 14 points, four rebounds and two assists, with Trey Alexander chipping in 13 points. Ryan Nembhard finished with 11 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, coming up just short of posting the first triple-double in school history.
The Bluejays (13-8, 7-3 Big East) shot 34 of 60 (56.7 percent) from the field, including 8 of 21 (38.1 percent) from 3-point range. Creighton, which has won four straight since dropping its first meeting of the season against Xavier earlier this month, outrebounded the Musketeers 33-26.
Xavier (17-5, 9-2), which lost for just the second time in its past 15 games, was led by Zach Freemantle’s team-high 18 points on 8-of-11 shooting to go along with five rebounds. Adam Kunkel added 13 points and a team-high seven rebounds, with Colby Jones also finishing with 13 points.
The Musketeers shot 30 of 62 (48.4 percent) from the field, including 4 of 14 (28.6 percent) from beyond the arc.
After Xavier trimmed Creighton’s 16-point lead early in the second half to 55-49 following Kunkel’s 3-pointer with 12:12 to go, the Bluejays put the game away. Creighton responded with a 17-4 run to take a 72-53 lead following Kalkbrenner’s layup with 7:31 remaining.
Creighton took control with 9:51 left in the first half. With the score tied at 19, the Bluejays closed on a 23-9 run to take a 42-28 halftime lead.
Kalkbrenner scored 10 points and Kaluma and Nembhard added nine apiece in the first 20 minutes for Creighton, which shot 17 of 32 (53.1 percent) from the field before the break, including a red-hot 5 of 11 (45.5 percent) from beyond the arc.
Xavier was led by Freemantle’s 10 first-half points, while Kunkel added six.
The Musketeers shot 12 of 31 (38.7 percent) from the field prior to halftime, including an abysmal 1 of 9 (11.1 percent) from distance.
–Field Level Media