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Creighton Men upset Texas Tech at Las Vegas Invitational

Creighton Men upset Texas Tech at Las Vegas Invitational

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Marcus Zegarowski scored a career-high 32 points to help the Creighton men’s basketball team to an 83-76 overtime win over No. 12 Texas Tech on Friday to conclude play in the 19th Annual Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational.

Both teams are now 5-2 on the season.

Creighton fell behind 4-0 and 8-5 before embarking on a 18-5 run that featured 13 points from sophomore guard Marcus Zegarowski. The Bluejay lead stretched to 31-15 after back-to-back three-point plays from Christian Bishop and Ty-Shon Alexander, as well as a driving lay-up by Zegarowski, to force a Tech timeout.

The Bluejay lead ballooned as large as 19 (44-25) after Ty-Shon Alexander’s personal 7-2 run with just over two minutes left in the first half. Texas Tech narrowed the gap to 46-32 by halftime on a putback in the closing second by Avery Brown.

Creighton shot 16-for-26 in the first half (61.5 percent), including 8-of-14 from three-point range, and also owned a 16-14 edge on the glass. Texas Tech shot 13-for-32 before the break but were just 2-of-13 from beyond the arc. Chris Clarke and Davide Moretti each scored nine points in the first half.

Creighton’s lead was 58-43 before Texas Tech used an 18-3 run to tie the game with 9:36 left on a tip-in by Russel Tchewa.  CU got some momentum back on a Mitch Ballock three-pointer with 6:51 left to give the Bluejays a 64-61 lead, but Kyler Edwards countered with a trey for Tech to deadlock the score at 64. CU went up by two when Shereef Mitchell shook a dribbler and hit a mid-range jumper with just over five minutes to play, then Zegarowski drove for a lay-in to make it four.

Clarke bullied his way for a bucket with four minutes left, only to have Ballock feed Christian Bishop for an alley-oop ot help Creighton to a 70-66 lead at the final media timeout. After the break Zegarowski made two foul shots and Ballock scored inside with 2:42 to go.

Texas Tech’s Moretti had the game’s next four points to halve the deficit with 1:50 to play, starting an 8-0 run that forced overtime. Terrence Shannon, Jr. made two free throws to trim CU’s lead to two with 1:04 left. CU would then be whistled for an offensive foul with 46.3 left. The Red Raiders tied the game with 32.5 left on a lay-up by Clarke, and both teams turned it over without a shot before the game headed to overtime.

Zegarowski opened overtime with a finger roll to give CU the 76-74 lead and Bishop followed with a tip-in. CU then milked the clock for Zegarowski to hit a pull-up jumper to make it an 80-74 lead with 2:48 remaining. The Red Raiders answered with a drivng lay-up by Kyler Edwards and called timeout with 1:55 left.

Ballock chased down a rebound and was fouled with 30.8 left, only to miss the front end. The Jays got another stop and Alexander would be fouled with 21.4 ticks to go. He made both to stretch the advantage to 82-76. Moretti missed a three-pointer and Alexander got the board with 10.3 left. He made one free throw for the final margin.

Zegarowski had 32 points and five assists, while Alexander had 18 points and a career-high 12 rebounds for his first career double-double. CU won the rebound battle 36-33.

Texas Tech was paced by 23 points from Moretti and 17 points, nine assists and seven rebounds rom Clarke.

Creighton returns to action on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. when it hosts Oral Roberts at CHI Health Center Omaha. As part of Fan Appreciation Day, a special 90-minute beverage promotion will feature 12-ounce beers and soft drinks from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

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