Making his first start since Nov. 17, Josh Jones matched his career-high with 14 points as Creighton beat Bradley, 81-68, on Wednesday night. Jones was one of five Bluejays in double-figures for Creighton, which used a 13-2 run to build a 23-12 lead and was never seriously threatened.
The win, Creighton’s 13th in a row in Omaha over the Braves, snapped the Jays first two-game home losing streak in league play since 1999.
The Jays are now 13-7 on the season and 5-3 in Missouri Valley Conference action. Bradley, which continues to play without injured standouts Taylor Brown and Sam Maniscalco, lost its eighth straight to fall to 6-13 (0-8 MVC).
Doug McDermott and Gregory Echenique each had 17 points for the victors, while Jones had 14, Darryl Ashford had 11 points and Kenny Lawson Jr. added 10.
Bradley was paced by 22 points from Valley scoring leader Andrew Warren, with 18 of those coming after a 1-for-6 first half in which he was held to four points. Dyricus Simms-Edwards had a career-best 19 points for the Braves, while Walt Lemon Jr. had 11 points for the Braves as well.
Creighton, led 49-24 at the half in its highest first-half outburst at Qwest Center Omaha since 2007.
Creighton shot an even 60 percent in the first half, including 7-of-12 from downtown. Jones, who had scored four points total in CU’s previous six games, gave the Jays an early jolt with 4-of-5 shooting from downtown to lead CU with 12 points at the break. Also impressive early was the play of McDermott (10 points, seven rebounds) and Echenique (eight points, five rebounds). Warren (1-6 FG, 4 points) was also held in check in the first half.
Bradley and Creighton traded baskets at a frenetic pace early in the second half, as Warren and Simms-Edwards had 15 of BU’s first 17 points after intermission to pull the Braves within 60-41. But the Jays got consecutive treys by Ashford and Lawson to regain a comfortable cushion. Creighton’s largest lead came at 71-45 with 9:58 left on a Jahenns Manigat three-pointer, the team’s largest lead of the season.
Bradley would get within 11 points twice in the final minute, but no closer, as the Jays prevailed.
For the night, Creighton shot 58.7 percent for the game, making 27-of-46 shots. That included a 10-for-18 barrage from downtown, as Jones (4-6), Ashford (3-3) and Lawson (2-3) all broke out of a shooting slump. Antoine Young built upon his MVC lead in assists with 10 helpers, tying a Bluejay record at Qwest Center Omaha. McDermott added a game-high 10 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season.
Bradley shot 51.4 percent in the second half to finish at 41.9 percent for the game. Dodie Dunson led BU with seven rebounds, while Lemon paced the visitors wih three assists. Bradley was just 2-of-13 for the night from downtown.
Creighton returns to action at 4 pm Saturday when it takes on Valley co-leader Missouri State at JQH Arena in Springfield, Mo.
Story courtesy of Creighton Athletics.