Junior center Geoffrey Groselle made 7-of-8 shots and scored a career-high 15 points as No. 23 Creighton Men’s Basketball earned a 75-53 win over Eastern Illinois on Tuesday night before 17,408 fans in Omaha.
Fellow Bluejay reserve guard James Milliken had a career-best 10 rebounds as well.
Creighton improved to 5-0 for the fourth straight season, while Eastern Illinois dropped to 1-4. The Bluejays have had five different leading scorers in the first five games to start the season to help replace the loss of National Player of the Year Doug McDermott (26.7 ppg.), who led CU in scoring during 32-of-35 games a year ago.
Creighton scored the first four points before EIU ever gained possession and never trailed in extending the nation’s fifth-longest active home win streak to 23 games. The Jays led 39-20 at the half, following which the sellout crowd serenaded Greg McDermott with a chorus of “Happy Birthday” in honor of the 50th birthday for the Bluejay coach.
Groselle had scored 12 points all season and 44 in his career before breaking loose in the first half. The 7-footer scored on four straight possessions as CU built a 22-14 lead. He later added a basket to make it 30-18 to start an 11-2 run to close the first half.
Creighton started quickly after the intermission, embarking on a 16-6 run that saw six different men score. CU’s lead reached as large as 33 (64-41 with 10:49 left), as all 13 men in uniform played at least five minutes and scored during the second of four games this week for the Bluejays.
Groselle’s 15 points came in just 12 minutes of work, while fellow big man Toby Hegner added 13 points. Creighton shot a season-best 51.9 percent from the floor and crushed the Panthers on the boards to the tune of 38-25. The Bluejays had 17 assists against just eight turnovers and tallied 40 bench points in the win.
Eastern Illinois was led by nine points each from Trae Anderson and Chris Olivier. Olivier, who leads the team in scoring and rebounding, played 15 minutes in his first action this season off the bench and made just 1-of-8 foul shots. The Panthers shot 44 percent from the floor but were a putrid 3-of-14 from the foul line for the evening.
Creighton returns to action on Friday at 7:30 pm when it continues play in the Emerald Coast Classic with a game vs. Ole Miss in Niceville, Fla.