Trey Alexander scores 23 and narrowly misses triple-double in No. 8 Creighton’s 92-84 win over Iowa
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Creighton’s offense was in a lull to end the first half against Iowa. The eighth-ranked Bluejays were unstoppable to start the second.
They made 10 straight shots and 15 of their first 17 coming out of halftime, quickly turned a tie into a 17-point lead and held off the Hawkeyes 92-84 Tuesday night.
Trey Alexander narrowly missed a triple-double with 23 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists, and four other Creighton players scored in double figures.
“We scored on 20 of our first 25 possessions of the second half,” Bluejays coach Greg McDermott said. “Those are video game numbers.”
Baylor Scheierman had 17 points for Creighton (3-0). Francisco Farabello added 14, Ryan Kalkbrenner 13 and Fredrick King 12.
Iowa (2-1) got 24 points from Ben Krikke, 16 from Tony Perkins, 13 from Patrick McCaffery and 11 from Payton Sandfort.
Alexander said he didn’t feel as though he did anything out of the ordinary in nearly becoming the first Creighton player to record a triple-double that included assists. Benoit Benjamin had one that included blocks in 1985.
“Just playing the way I know how, being a basketball player,” Alexander said. “Obviously, guys are making shots if I’m going to have nine assists, so kudos to my teammates. They’re making shots when I pass it to them and kudos to Mac for putting me in the right position.”
The Bluejays were still up 10 in the last three minutes before Perkins’ 3-pointer and McCaffery’s dunk cut it to 89-84 with 1:26 left.
Sandfort missed a 3 with 43 seconds to go that could have cut the margin to two, and Creighton closed it out from the foul line.
“We did some really good things tonight. We did some things that have to be corrected,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said. “I’m not going to focus on any one particular thing that makes me angry or makes me happy. I wanted to get 10 guys playing time, and we were able to do that, and young guys were able to get some quality minutes and the opportunity to play through their mistakes.”
The Bluejays rolled off eight straight points early in the second half to go up 53-45. Mason Miller passed up a shot underneath the basket and whizzed a pass to the corner, where Scheierman was waiting to swish a 3.
Scheierman caught the ball on the block on the Bluejays’ next possession and kicked the ball to Alexander on the wing for another 3. After another Iowa miss, Alexander threw a long pass to Kalkbrenner, who finished a fast break ahead of a trailing Krikke.
The Bluejays picked up where they left off after an Iowa timeout, with Miller and Isaac Traudt making 3s and Kalkbrenner dunking to wrap up a 16-4 run that pushed the lead to 61-49. A couple of minutes later, Alexander grabbed a rebound and drove the length of the floor to dunk over Perkins and set off the loudest roar of the night at the sold-out CHI Health Center.
Iowa: The Hawkeyes have a promising group of newcomers led by Krikke, a first-team All-Missouri Valley Conference pick for Valparaiso last season. He and three other newcomers accounted for 42 points.
Creighton: The Bluejays entered with 3-pointers accounting for 46.4% of their offense, the third-highest rate in the nation, and the game illustrated their reliance on the long ball. Creighton went just 5 of 18 from deep in the first half, then connected on 4 of 5 while building a double-digit lead in the second.
GAVITT TIPOFF GAMES
Creighton’s win gave the Big East a 3-2 lead in the Gavitt Tipoff Games. There are three more games this week in the annual Big Ten vs. Big East series. The Big Ten won six of the eight matchups last season.
Iowa: Hosts Arkansas State on Friday.
Creighton: Hosts Texas Southern on Saturday.
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