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Creighton Men earn win over Boise State at Cayman Islands Classic

Creighton Men earn win over Boise State at Cayman Islands Classic

GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands — Creighton put four men in double-figures, including a pair of reserves, to open play at the Cayman Islands Classic with a 94-82 win over Boise State.

Creighton improved to 3-1 with the win and dropped Boise State to 1-2 on the young season.

Creighton took a 46-41 lead into the intermission after a fast-paced first half. The Bluejays fell behind 6-0 in the opening minutes as Boise State’s RJ Williams opened the game with a pair of breakaway dunks.  Damien Jefferson provided an early spark for Creighton, tying his career-high with 14 points before the break.

CU’s bench scored 23 points before the break, including 11 from Marcus Zegarowski and six more points from Connor Cashaw. The Bluejays made 5-of-7 three-pointers in the opening half, helping to withstand 17 points on 8-of-9 shooting by Williams and 11 points and five rebounds by big man Zach Haney.

Boise State would score on the opening possession of the second half before Creighton answered with a 10-0 run that featured a floater by Davion Mintz, a trey from Ty-Shon Alexander and five points from Mitch Ballock, stretching the lead to 56-43.

Boise State used a three-point play to draw within 66-56 with 12:03 left, only to have CU answer with a hoop inside by Jacob Epperson and Ballock’s second three-pointer in a three-minute span for a quick 5-0 response.

Epperson provided a spark with 10 points in a span of four minutes, helping Creighton to its largest lead of the night at 82-61 with 8:14 to play, though Boise State kept the pressure on with a 16-6 run to draw within 10 by the final media timeout.

The Broncos got no closer than nine points in the final 18 minutes of the game.

Alexander led the Bluejays with 18 points, while Jefferson had a career-best 16. Zegarowski (14) and Epperson (10) also had season-highs in the scoring column. Creighton scored 41 points off the bench, and got a combined 76 points from its freshmen (24) and sophomores (52). The Bluejays made 12-of-22 three-pointers and shot a season-high 57.9 percent from the field overall. CU dished 23 assists on 33 field goals and and won the rebound battle, 32-30.

Williams topped Boise State with 27 points and nine rebounds.

With the win, Creighton advances to Tuesday’s 6:30 p.m. CST game vs. Georgia State (3-1). The Panthers defeated St. Bonaventure, 75-65, in the third game of the day. Clemson and Georgia also won on day one of the Cayman Islands Classic to advance into the championship bracket.

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