The Creighton men lost at Arkansas Little Rock 71-69. The Blue Jays led the entire way until just over two minutes to play.
Up by as many as 16 in the first half and nine with about 12 minutes to play, ALR started making their comeback.
ALR drew within one (62-61) with 3:29 to play when 295-pound Smith drained a 16-footer from the left baseline. Courtney Jackson gave ALR its first lead since 2-0 with 2:08 to play on a left-handed jump-hook. Cavel Witter, making his first start was fouled on the next possession and hit 1-of-2 free throws to tie the score at 65 with 1:54 to go.
Following a Trojan timeout, Josh Dotzler stole the inbounds pass and was fouled. He converted 1-of-2 at the line to put CU back ahead by one. Smith answered for ALR with 1:19 remaining. CU worked for a shot, but Dotzler’s jumper from the wing rimmed out and possession went to the Trojans.
Witter fouled Steven Moore with 47.5 seconds left on the inbounds play. Steven Moore, a 90.9 percent free-throw shooter, drained both to put the Trojans up 69-66. Creighton answered on a Booker Woodfox trey with 39.3 seconds left to tie the score.
After Moore missed a three-pointer as the shot clock wound down, Smith would get his hand on a tip-in for the decisive points. CU pushed the ball upcourt, but Witter’s 17-footer from the right wing rimmed out. About 100 ALR students stormed the court after the final buzzer.
Kenny Lawson had 15 points. Cavel Witter making his first career start, 11 points but shot 2 of 8 from the floor. Huskers and Creighton Saturday in Lincoln.