Creighton extended a pair of lengthy streaks with a 63-55 victory over Northern Iowa on Senior Day in Omaha on Saturday. The win gave Creighton a 14th straight top-four finish in the MVC, and marks the 15th consecutive season the Jays have won 10 or more league contests.
Creighton is now 18-13 on the year and 10-8 in the MVC, while UNI dropped to 19-12 overall and 10-8 in The Valley. The teams will meet again next Friday at 2:35 pm in the quarterfinals of the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tournament in St. Louis, Mo., with UNI the fourth seed and Creighton the fifth due to the league’s second tiebreaker, non-conference strength of schedule.
Creighton scored the game’s first eight points and led by as much as 16-7 early on while making its first four shots from three-point range. The game changed as the stars slowly accumulated foul trouble. Creighton’s Antoine Young was whistled for his second foul with 15:00 left in the first half, while Gregory Echenique followed him to the bench with two fouls with 8:30 left. UNI had similar issues, as star guard Kwadzo Ahelegbe got called for his second offensive foul at the 8:05 mark.
UNI would close the first half on a 17-8 run, capped by Johnny Moran’s rainbow three-pointer to beat the buzzer. Kaleb Korver hit two early three-pointers to lead the Jays at intermission, while Moran topped UNI with seven at the break.
Creighton opened the second half on a 14-3 fury, including a three-pointer from Young, to go up 35-28. The margin reached double-figures for the first time at 45-35 on a Jahenns Manigat triple. The Jays wouldn’t look back, as UNI got only as close as four points after that before the Jays closed the game with four points from Kenny Lawson Jr.
Doug McDermott led Creighton with 13 points, while Lawson had 11 points in his home finale. The Jays shot 57.1 percent from downtown, making 8-of-14 from distance.
UNI was paced by 16 points from Moran, while Jake Koch and Anthony James each had 10.
Creighton will play at the State Farm MVC Tournament on Friday, beginning with a quarterfinal round rematch with Northern Iowa at 2:35 pm.