OMAHA–(CU Athletics Nov. 5)- – The Creighton men’s basketball team cruised to an 81-55 win over Kennesaw State to open the 2019-20 season on Tuesday night. A trio of Bluejays scored in double-figures led by junior Ty-Shon Alexander with 19.
The Bluejays move to 1-0 on the year with its 25th straight home-opening victory, while Kennesaw State fell to 0-1 in its first game under new head coach Amir Abdur-Rahim
Creighton scored the first nine points of the game, and made its first five three-pointers to bolt to a 15-4 lead early on. Alexander had three of the triples, while sophomore Marcus Zegarowski got into the mix adding from two from deep in the early flurry.
Kennesaw State battled back into the game getting within five on a pair of buckets from Denny Lewis midway through the first half at 21-16 before Bluejay freshman Jalen Windham hit back-to-back triples to extend the lead to as many as 14 at 37-23 with 2:36 left in the half. The Owls scored six of the next eight points as the Bluejays took an eight point lead into the break, 39-31.
Creighton shot 50 percent (16-32) from the floor in the first half, including 7-12 from behind the arc. Kennesaw State led the rebounding battle, 20-19, but trailed the Bluejays in assists 8-4.
After the teams traded baskets to open the second half, Creighton embarked on an 18-0 run in the next six minutes to seize control for good. Six different Bluejays contributed on the run, led by eight points from sophomore Christian Bishop, who was making his first career start.
Creighton took its largest lead at 81-51 on a tip-in by Jordan Scurry with 1:18 remaining. Scurry was one of eight Bluejays who scored in the victory.
Alexander led all scorers with 19 points, while Zegarowski added 18 and Bishop add a new career-high 12 points on 6-of-10 shooting and seven rebounds. Creighton closed the game shooting 52.4 percent (33-63) from the field and 48 percent (12-25) from behind the arc and 3-8 (37.5 percent) from the free throw line. Creighton out-rebounded Kennesaw State 41-34, collecting seven more assists (16-9) in the game.
Kennesaw State was led by Lewis with 15, with Bryson Lockley adding 12 and Tyler Hooker with 10. Antonio Spencer collected a game-high eight rebounds. KSU went 22-59 (37.3 percent) from the floor, including 3-20 (15 percent) from three and 8-13 from the charity stripe. Creighton forced the Owls into 18 turnovers, leading to 26 points from the Bluejays.
Creighton returns to action next Tuesday, traveling to Michigan at 5:30 pm for the Gavitt Tipoff Games. Kennesaw State stays on the road to play at Drake on Thursday.