OMAHA, Neb. (AP)Marcus Zegarowski scored 20 points, Ty-Shon Alexander had 19 and 11 rebounds and Creighton survived a second-half drought to defeat Oklahoma 83-73 in the Big 12/Big East battle on Tuesday night.
Mitch Ballock added 17 points and Denzel Mahoney had 14 in his debut to help the Bluejays (8-2) survive an 9-minute, 8-second span without a field goal. Mahoney was playing his first game after transferring from Southeast Missouri State. Zegarowski also had eight rebounds and seven assists.
Creighton improved its home record to 8-0, with every victory by at least nine points. The Sooners (7-3), playing away from home for the fifth straight game, lost their second straight and for the third time in the past five games.
Creighton, up 41-38 at halftime, started the second half on a 13-3 run to go ahead 54-41 with 16:15 to play. All five Bluejay starters scored in that burst.
Oklahoma responded with a 13-2 run of its own to close to 58-56 with 11:33 to play, with Austin Reaves scoring six of his game-high 23 points in that stretch.
But Creighton cranked up its defense from there, holding OU scoreless for the next 5:41 while converting eight free throws and a 3-pointer from Ballock to break the field-goal drought and eventually take a 71-56 lead with 6:01 left.
Oklahoma never got closer than nine points after that.
Kristian Doolittle added 21 points and 14 rebounds for the Sooners.
With Oklahoma at No. 37 and Creighton No. 56 in the first release of the NET metric – used by the NCAA Selection Committee – the game had the feel of an early tournament qualifier.
Oklahoma plays at home for the first time in a month, hosting UCF on Saturday afternoon.
Creighton plays at Arizona State on Saturday night.
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