The Creighton men’s basketball team won the Dale Howard Classic with an 104-81 win over previously unbeaten Campbell on Friday evening, shooting a school-record 70.4 percent from the field. The figure was the ninth-best mark in MVC single-game history.
The Bluejays (5-0) started a staggering 13-for-13 from the field to lead 32-14 after nine minutes and never trailed in the win.
Creighton’s Doug McDermott tied a career-high with 31 points and also hauled down 11 rebounds for the first double-double of the year by a Bluejay. He was one of five Bluejays in double-figures, as Grant Gibbs and Ethan Wragge both scored 12 points and guards Jahenns Manigat and Antoine Young tallied 11 points each.
Campbell (5-1) was paced by a career-best 29 points and 14 rebounds by Eric Griffin.
Campbell, which won 77-61 at Iowa on Wednesday night, came in to town with its best start in the program’s 35-year Division I history, but couldn’t contain preseason Missouri Valley Conference favorite Creighton.
The Jays led 32-14 after less than nine minutes, connecting on its first 13 shots from all over the floor. The early flurry consisted of four three-pointers and two traditional three-point plays, as six different men entered the scoring column early on.
The Jays finally missed at the 10:32 mark on a Will Artino three-footer, but still remained well over 80 percent until missing its final three shots in the half to settle for 23-of-31 field goals (74.2 percent) at intermission. Creighton led 60-40 at the half behind 18 points from McDermott.
The Fighting Camels never fell behind by more than 23 in the second half, but couldn’t get over the hump and draw any closer than 15 points on three occasions in the second half.
As can be expected on a night with such strong shooting, Creighton’s pinpoint passing was exceptional throughout the night. The team’s 30 assists were a facility record, and one shy of a 21-year old program record. Young had nine assists, while Gibbs had seven assists and a team-best three steals. CU finished with just 12 turnovers on the night and outscored Campbell in the paint (42-34), off turnovers (22-14), off the bench (30-18) and in fast break situations (13-6).
In addition to its big night (29 points, 14 rebounds) from Griffin, Darren White scored 16 points and Trey Freeman had 11 points. The Camels, entered the game holding teams to 36.9 percent shooting and no team had shot better than 39.7 percent against them.
Creighton returns to action on Wednesday with a road trip at San Diego State (6-1). The Aztecs went 34-3 last season and advanced to the Regional semifinals of the 2011 NCAA Tournament. The contest is part of the third annual Mountain West/Missouri Valley Conference Challenge Series and will be televised on The Mtn.