OMAHA (AP) – Martin Krampelj and Mitch Ballock scored 13 points apiece and Creighton turned back Western Illinois 78-67 in the season opener for both teams on Tuesday night.
There were six ties and eight lead changes in the first half before Ballock hit a 35-foot buzzer beating 3-poiner to put the Bluejays on top 43-41 at the break.
An 8-0 surge early in the second half, featuring 3-pointers from Ty-Shon Alexander and Samson Froling, put Creighton up 57-47. The Leathernecks never got closer than eight after that.
Creighton ended up at 46 percent, making 11 of 23 3-pointers.
Kobe Webster had 24 points and 10 rebounds for Western Illinois, which shot 36 percent, making just 9 of 29 from distance. Isaac Johnson added 19 points and nine rebounds. The Leathernecks were 8 of 9 from the foul line, where the Bluejays were 9 of 20.