CHICAGO–(CU Athletics Jan. 22)–Five men in double-figures, led by 19 from Mitch Ballock, helped the Creighton men’s basketball team win an 83-68 decision on Wednesday night at Wintrust Arena. It’s Creighton’s 11th straight win over DePaul, with all but one of those coming by double-figures.
Creighton improved to 15-5 on the year and 4-3 in BIG EAST play. Creighton has now beaten DePaul in Chicago each of the last seven years. The only other time Creighton beat the same school seven straight seasons on the road was against Grinnell from 1929-30 to 1935-36. DePaul slipped to 13-6 overall and is 1-5 in league play.
Denzel Mahoney came off the bench with 10 quick points to spark Creighton to an early 20-12 lead. He made his first three shots from the field, as well as a pair of free throws, to force a Blue Demons timeout with 9;52 left in the opening half. Damien Jefferson made all four of his first half shots as CU led 37-34 at the break. DePaul was led by 11 points from Charlie Moore and 10 points and seven rebounds by Paul Reed before the break. CU outscored the Blue Demons 12-0 off the bench and 6-2 in second chance points in the opening stanza.
Creighton scored on five of its first six trips to open the second half, opening up a 48-40 lead with 16:12 to play on a three-ball by Marcus Zegarowski. The Bluejay lead hit double-figures for the first time at 53-43 on Ty-Shon Alexander’s first basket of the game, a pull-up three-pointer from the left wing with 14:44 left. The margin grew to 17 at 64-47 with 11:22 remaining on Shereef Mitchell’s driving lay-up in transition.
A desperation banked three-pointer from 30 feet by Mitch Ballock moved the CU lead over 20 for the first time with 6:39 to play, 73-51. Ballock’s fifth trey of the game moved the CU lead to 78-57 and was the 200th in his Bluejay career. DePaul would get no closer than 15 the rest of the way.
Creighton got 19 points by Ballock, just ahead of Mahoney (14), Jefferson (14), Alexander (12) and Christian Bishop (11). Marcus Zegarowski tied his career-high with 10 assists. Creighton made 10-of-25 three-pointers and shot 47.2 percent overall. The Bluejays also made 23-of-31 free throws and had 18 assists against just 12 turnovers.
DePaul was led by Paul Reed, who finished with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Charlie Moore added 17 points and seven assists for the Blue Demons, and Jalen Coleman-Lands and Romeo Weems each had 11.
The Bluejays return to the court on Sunday at 3 p.m. when they host Xavier in the annual Creighton vs. Cancer Pink Out Game. The first 16,000 fans entering the venue will receive a complimentary pink t-shirt courtesy of Methodist Health Systems & CHI Health.