Creighton scored the game’s first 10 points and never looked back, defeating UCF by an 82-64 margin on Wednesday night. The Jays had five men in double-figures, and point guard Antoine Young had Creighton’s first point-assist double-double since 2002 in the triumph.
Creighton took a 10-0 lead to start the game. UCF opened with consecutive turnovers, and Creighton’s Doug McDermott made them pay each time with a three-point basket to prompt a UCF timeout. Creighton’s lead reached as large as 15-2 before a 7-0 burst by the Knights narrowed the gap.
Creighton led 44-23 at the half, thanks to a 20-2 advantage in points off turnovers. The Jays forced 13 turnovers in the first 20 minutes, while owning just four themself. Young led Creighton with 12 points and six assists at the break, while McDermott had 10 points. UCF was paced by 10 points from Isaiah Sykes at intermission.
UCF would not get any closer than 17 points (56-39) in the second half. The Jays led 82-52 before UCF scored the final 12 points.
Gregory Echenique led Creighton with 19 points, his high in a Creighton uniform. McDermott had 16, as did Young, who also added a game-high 10 assists. Scoring 11 points each were Bluejay reserves Kenny Lawson Jr. and Josh Jones. CU shot 57.7 percent for the game and were 15-of-19 from the line (78.9 percent).
UCF was paced by 26 points by Keith Clanton, while A.J. Rompza and Sykes each had 12. UCF’s top scorer, Marcus Jordan, was held to nine points. The Knights shot 48.9 percent for the game, but had 19 turnovers that Creighton converted into 25 points.
The Creighton University men’s basketball team will meet former coach Dana Altman and Oregon in next week’s College Basketball Invitational best-of-3 championship series.
Creighton will host game one of the championship series on Monday, March 28th. That game will tip at 7:05 pm Central from Qwest Center Omaha. The teams will fly to Eugene, Ore., for game two of the series, which will be played on Wednesday, March 30th (time TBD).Game three, if necessary, would also take place in Eugene. That game would be on Friday, April 1st.