Creighton had five men score in double-figures and overcame a seven-point second-half deficit at Xavier as the Bluejays handed the Musketeers their first home loss of the season, 79-72 in overtime, at Cintas Center on Wednesday.
Creighton improved to 11-13 on the campaign (2-9 BIG EAST), while Xavier dropped to 14-9 (5-6 BIG EAST) and had its 12-game home streak snapped.
Creighton broke free from an 11-all tie with a 9-0 burst that included a pair of three-pointers from Rick Kreklow and a breakaway lay-up by Devin Brooks. Kreklow drained a third trifecta from the left corner to put CU up 23-13 with 7:15 left in the first half.
Xavier responded, doing much of its work at the free throw line to get within one point late in the half before Brooks scored in the waning seconds to provide the Jays a 32-29 lead at intermission.
Kreklow sank four three-pointers to lead CU with 12 points at the break, while Brooks did a bit of everything with six points, seven rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block in the opening 20 minutes. Creighton shot 42.9 percent for the half, including 5-of-8 three-pointers.
Xavier opened the second half with a 15-5 spurt to take a 44-37 lead on the Bluejays and prompt a CU timeout. Remy Abell had a pair of three-pointers in that stretch, and the Musketeers took the lead on a pair of foul shots by freshman Trevon Bluiett with 16:14 to play.
Creighton would not go quietly. Geoffrey Groselle scored five straight points and the Jays tied it on a drive by James Milliken as part of a 14-2 run that saw CU go up 51-46 with 10 minutes to play.
The teams would trade baskets over the next five minutes, with the Musketeers going ahead 60-58 on a bucket by Jalen Reynolds with 3:53 remaining. Kreklow drained his career-high fifth three-pointer of the game with 2:47 to play, giving CU a 61-60 lead before Matt Stainbrook countered with a foul line jumper with 2:27 left.
After a CU turnover, Xavier would work the ball in to Jalen Reynolds. His bank shot with 1:42 left gave the Musketeers a 64-61 lead. The Jays draw within one on two Kreklow free throws, then go ahead on a Groselle lay-up with 43.9 left.
Xavier countered as Dee Davis made 1-of-2 free throws with 35.3 left. Creighton let the clock drip down to single-digits, where a lay-up attempt from Devin Brooks was blocked with 1.8 seconds left by Reynolds. Creighton would turn the ball over on its subsequent inbound, but so did Xavier, and the Jays had another opportunity to win in regulation. This time, Chatman’s trey try was off the mark, sending CU to overtime.
Milliken helped CU to a quick start in overtime, drilling consecutive treys to start the overtime session. Xavier would counter each time with free throws, and CU went up 74-69 on a Groselle basket. Xavier got within one on a Dee Davis three-ball with 1:20 left and the Musketeers had a chance to go ahead before Groselle rejected Stainbrook inside.
Austin Chatman pushed CU’s lead to 75-72 with 16.6 left on two clutch foul shots. Xavier would miss on the other end, and Milliken and Brooks iced the victory with foul shots in the closing seconds.
Kreklow paced five double-figure scorers with 17 points while playing 40 minutes. Groselle tied his career-high with 15 points, and Brooks (13), Chatman (12) and Milliken (12) also joined the double-digit club.
Xavier was paced by 17 points from Reynolds, while Abell (16), Myles Davis (11), Dee Davis (12) and Stainbrook (10) scored in double-figures.
Creighton returns to action on Saturday when it visits St. John’s on Saturday for an 11 am CT game at Madison Square Garden.
Story courtesy of GoCreighton.com