Freshman Doug McDermott led three Creighton players in double-figues with 18 points as the Bluejays improved to 4-1 with a 75-57 win over Kennesaw State on Friday night. Creighton, which shot a season-best 51.8 percent, dished 25 assists on 29 made baskets.
Creighton is now 4-1 on the year, while Kennesaw State has lost five straight since beating Georgia Tech and fell to 2-5.
Creighton fell behind 11-4 in the opening five minutes before launching a 23-4 run that included two three-point baskets each by Jahenns Manigat and Darryl Ashford and one by Wayne Runnels. Despite holding Creighton starters Kenny Lawson Jr., Antoine Young and Kaleb Korver scoreless in the opening half, KSU would still trail 36-24 at intermission.
Creighton’s lead remained in double-figures the entire second half, growing as large as 73-52 on Josh Jones breakaway dunk in the final 100 seconds. Derek Sebastian’s jumper in the lane with 13 seconds left, assisted by Jones, sent the fans home happy with free pizza thanks to a promotion with Godfather’s Pizza.
In addition to McDermott’s season-high 18 points, Manigat and Ashford both added 13 points. Ashford also dished six assists, a career-best for the senior from Houston, Texas. The Jays won big despite low-scoring nights from Lawson and Young. Young finished with two points, while Lawson had a monster jam in traffic amongst his seven points.
Creighton shot 51.8 percent for the game and drained 9-of-24 shots from downtown (37.5 percent). CU also hit 8-of-9 from the line.
Kennesaw State was paced by Spencer Dixon’s 16 pionts, while Ladaris Green finished with 15 points after scoring his team’s first eight. Aaron Anderson led all players with nine rebounds on the night. Kennesaw State shot 40.4 percent from the field, 4-of-14 from downtown,and 11-of-19 at the line.
Creighton won the rebound battle 32-30, and both teams finished with 14 turnovers and nine steals.
Creighton will depart Saturday morning for Evanston, Ill., where it takes on Northwestern (3-0) on Sunday evening at 7:30 pm in a game televised by the Big Ten Network.