Creighton rallied in the second half to beat Bowling Green, 73-71, to advance to the second round of the NIT tournament against Kentucky.
Creighton (27-7) was down 14 in the first half, as well as three different double digit deficits in the second half.
Bowling Green (19-14) opened the game with a 31-15 run over the first ten minutes of the game thanks to six Falcons three pointers. Guard Darryl Clements had 13 of the team’s 31 points. Creighton was cold early, shooting just 24% (5-21) during the BG run, compared to Bowling Green’s 60% (12-20).
In the second half, Creighton got it to a two-point game with 10:49 to go when P’Allen Stinnett found Kenny Lawson Jr. down low for a dunk, to make it 51-49, the closest margin since 5-4 in the first half.
The Bluejays got the lead at 67-65 with 4:40 to go as Stinnett found Booker Woodfox who nailed a three pointer during a 14-4 run. Stinnett had six assists, tying a career-high he had last reached on Jan. 9, 2008 against Evansville.
The Jays were up 72-69 with 35.3 seconds to go in the game when Bowling Green then hit a quick layup to make it a one point game with 28.7 seconds to go.
The teams then missed opportunities as Antoine Young missed the first of a 1-and-1 from the line, allowing Bowling Green to go for the go-ahead basket. Fortunately Falcon guard Nate Miller missed his layup attempt, and Kenton Walker was fouled, putting the Jays back at the line. Booker Woodfox was designated as the shooter for Walker who was injured, made 1-of-2, giving the Falcons the ball back with 14.0 seconds to go down 73-71. Clements then missed a three-pointer as time expired, allowing Creighton to move on to the second round of the NIT.
Creighton will play Kentucky in the second round of the NIT on Monday, March 23 at the Qwest Center Omaha. The game will tip at 6 pm Central and be televised nationally on ESPN.
Listen to postgame comments from Dana Altman.