Creighton overcame an early 15-point deficit to rally and tie the score, but could not complete the job while suffering a 79-74 loss at Drake on Saturday night. Seth Van Deest, Ryan Wedel and Josh Young all scored 20 points to pace the Bulldogs.
Creighton played without the services of two of its top three scorers, as Darryl Ashford (family funeral) and P’Allen Stinnett (suspended) did not make the trip.
Drake won for the sixth time in its past seven games and is 11-12 overall. Creighton saw its two-game win streak end and is 11-11 overall. Both teams are tied for third place with Illinois State at 6-5 in the Missouri Valley Conference.
Young grabbed the opening tip and scored just four seconds into the game, setting the tone for Drake’s quick start. The hosts made their first six shots and 8-of-9 while blazing to a 17-6 lead in the game’s opening five minutes. The early flurry included three trifectas from Wedel in the first 2:15 of the contest, and got the Drake fans among the near-capacity crowd roaring. The Bulldogs would sink 9-of-12 shots to start the game to go ahead 22-9, then go ice cold while missing seven straight shots over the next 5:30 as CU drew within 22-16.
The Bulldogs would extend their lead to 32-18 when Adam Templeton bombed in a 27-foot three-pointer at the 7:42 mark, then go up 15 (35-20) a trip later when Frank Wiseler drilled a trey from the left wing for their largest lead of the half.
Creighton got the deficit within double-digits at 37-29 by scoring the next six points, getting a three-pointer from Cavel Witter and a traditional three-point play by Kenny Lawson Jr.
The Bluejays would trail just 43-35 at the half, closing the half on a 15-8 run and holding the Bulldogs without a field goal in the final 6:37. Casey Harriman tied his season-high in the first half with 10 points, while Young countered with 10 to lead Drake at the break.
Creighton used the long ball to forge a comeback. Down 54-44 with 13:42 left, Ethan Wragge drained a three-pointer from the left wing before Justin Carter rattled in a trifecta of his own, making it a four-point game with 12:29 left. After a Bluejay stop, CU had a chance to get within one but Kaleb Korver’s three-point try was off the mark.
Creighton would tie the score for the first, and only, time of the night at 58 when Josh Jones sank a three-pointer with 8:53 left.
From there though, Van Deest would spark a 7-0 run that returned Drake’s momentum and helped carry the Bulldogs on to victory. Wedel sank six clutch free throws down the stretch, and CU could come no closer than four in the final minute.
Witter led Creighton with 17 points, while Harriman had a career-high with 14 points. The Jays won the rebound battle 39-24, getting seven boards each from Lawson and Korver. Creighton shot 43.9 percent for the game and hit 11-of-29 from downtown (37.9 percent), but an 11-of-19 showing at the line (61.9 percent) consistently hampered any chances for CU to get any momentum.
In addition to Drake’s 20-point trio, Frank Wiseler had 10 points and seven assists. Drake shot 50 percent from the floor and 9-of-20 from three-point range and sank 22-of-24 free throws before missing its final two attempts.
Creighton returns home on Wednesday with a 7:05 pm game against Evansville.
Story courtesy of CU athletics.