Creighton improved to 3-0 on its four-game exhibition tour of the Bahamas with a 91-68 win over the Mailbot Cybots on Monday evening.
Doug McDermott led the way with 26 points and nine rebounds, including six points during a key 9-0 run to end the second quarter and help the Bluejays to a 43-33 lead at intermission.
Creighton started much quicker than its first two games of the trip. After falling behind 5-2 in the opening minutes, Bluejay freshmen Geoffrey Groselle and Avery Dingman keyed a 17-3 run that gave CU a 20-8 lead. Each freshman had five points in the spurt, which also included two lay-ups by Antoine Young and one each by both Ethan Wragge and Jahenns Manigat. Creighton led 22-14 after one quarter, sparked by 15 fast break points.
Creighton’s comfortable first half magin was trimmed all the way down to one in the second quarter before a late flurry. A McDermott jumper, a free throw and jumper by Nevin Johnson and two more inside scores by McDermott made it 43-33 at intermission, as CU held the Cybots scoreless over the final 3:31. Creighton led at the break despite woeful 1-for-14 three-point shooting in the opening 20 minutes.
The Jays built some insurance in the third quarter with a 9-2 run to stake itself to a 67-51 after three quarters. Wragge had seven points while Groselle hauled down four rebounds in the period.
After two three-pointers from Manigat to open the fourth quarter, fans witnessed a McDermott flurry that has happened every game in the Bahamas. The sophomore hit a three-pointer from the head of the key. After he split two free throws, he threw down a powerful slam and followed with a nifty left-handed tip-in while being dragged down to give the Jays a 83-55 lead, their largest of the night. After a Cybots score, McDermott also scored CU’s next hoop on yet another lay-up.
Creighton outscored Mailboat 52-36 in the paint for the evening and 27-8 on the fast break. The Jays had 24 assists against 16 turnovers, highlighted by six assists from Grant Gibbs and five from Young as both veteran guards played turnover-free ball. In addition to McDermott’s nine boards, Groselle had eight boards in 13 minutes while fellow freshmen Will Artino and Austin Chatman each snared six caroms.
After struggling from the perimeter in the first half, the Jays made 5-of-9 shots from long-ragne in the second half to finish 6-for-23 for the game (26.1 percent). Creighton shot 37-for-85 (43.5 percent) overall and also drained 11-of-15 free throws (73.3 percent). CU’s 12 steals included a game-high four from Groselle, who also rejected three shots.