Creighton dug itself too deep a hole at The Super Pit and could not recover, dropping its final non-conference game of the year 62-58 to North Texas.
Creighton fell to 9-4, while North Texas improved to 6-4.
Creighton fell behind 35-18 at the half, shooting just 29.2 percent, including 2-of-14 from deep, and were outrebounded 21-16. CU also had 10 turnovers. Colin Voss and Maurice Aniefiok each scored eight points for the Mean Green.
Creighton forced steals on each of UNT’s first two possessions of the second half to draw within 35-21, only to surrender a 16-3 run as the Mean Green went up 51-24 with 15:20 to play. CU answered with a 13-0 run, including four points by Geoffrey Groselle. That started a 20-4 run that got CU within 55-47 with 3:28 to go and had the pro-Bluejay crowd on its feet.
After the teams traded scores, Creighton got a three-pointer from Toby Hegner with 1:34 left, then stole the ball and got a trey from Isaiah Zierden to draw within two with 1:11 to play. After T.J. Taylor split two foul shots with 56.8 left, Creighton had three chances from long-range to tie it, but two shots from Zierden and one from Chatman would not fall.
UNT got the ball after Zierden’s final trey was knocked out-of-bounds, only to run the baseline on the inbound and give CU the ball back. After a lengthy officials discussion, Creighton would inbound to Hegner, who missed from long-range. T.J. Taylor would make 4-of-4 free throws in the final 22 seconds to ice the win.
Hegner had 13 points to lead Creighton, while Zierden added 12 and Geoffrey Groselle had 10. The Jays shot a school-record 39 three-point attempts on the day, making 10.
Conference action will start on Dec. 31 as Creighton travels to Providence for a 6:31 pm Central tip.