Creighton Men's Basketball raced to an 18-2 lead in the opening minutes and never trailed, defeating in-state rival Nebraska on Sunday, 82-67. The Bluejays led 51-25 at the half and led by 15 or more throughout the second stanza.
Sporting new gray uniforms, Creighton improved to 7-2. Nebraska dropped to 6-3. It was Creighton's third straight win over Nebraska, and ninth straight regular-season win in Omaha over the Cornhuskers since 1997.
Two-time All-American Doug McDermott led Creighton with 33 points, while Ethan Wragge added 16 points and tied a career-high with nine rebounds. In the process, Wragge became the sixth man in program history to play in four wins against Nebraska. CU's senior class had 57 of the squad's first 67 points and recorded 67 overall.
Nebraska was led by 22 points from Shavon Shields while Terran Petteway had 21 points before fouling out.
The game was decided in the opening 13 minutes, as Creighton boatraced the Cornhuskers to take a 38-8 lead. The Bluejays led 8-0 behind baskets from seniors Wragge, Jahenns Manigat and McDermott to prompt an early timeout from the Cornhuskers.
Tai Webster ended NU's scoring drought with a lay-up, setting up a 10-0 burst from Creighton that featured eight points from McDermott and a dunk by senior Grant Gibbs.
Leslee Smith split two foul shots to trim NU's deficit to 18-3 before a hoop from Will Artino and two free throws by Devin Brooks to extend the Bluejay lead to 22-3. Fueled by consecutive three-pointers from Manigat, Creighton later added a second 10-0 run in the first half to make it 38-8. McDermott had 17 points in the first 15 minutes, and had more points than Nebraska for each of the first 17 minutes of the game. Wragge (10) and Manigat (10) joined McDermott in double-figures by halftime, as the senior quartet had combined for 41 of CU's 51 points in the opening stanza.
Nebraska started the second half with a 12-8 run to cut CU's lead to 59-37, but Wragge and Gibbs scored the next eight points as the cushion returned to 30 points.
Nebraska fought valiantly, and would outscore the Jays 30-15 in the final 13 minutes, but never got closer than the final 15-point margin.
McDermott's 33 points were his 18th career game of 30 or more points, the fourth time in nine contests he's reached that milestone this season. Wragge had 15 or more points for the fourth straight game, making 4-of-7 shots from downtown and finishing with 16 points and nine rebounds. Manigat had 10 points and added multiple steals for the sixth time this season.
Creighton shot 49.1 percent from the field and was 11-of-29 from downtown, while also sinking 17-of-22 foul shots. The Jays won the board battle 34-30 and had 21 assists against just 11 turnovers.
Shields (22) and Petteway (21) were NU's lone men to reach double-figures, while Petteway and Omaha native Deverell Biggs had team-highs with six rebounds. NU shot 42.3 percent from the field, including 5-of-19 from downtown, and sank 18-of-26 free throws on the night.
Creighton is off for a week before hosting Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Dec. 17 at 7:02 pm.
NOTES: Creighton has won 12 of the past 15 regular-season games vs. Nebraska ... Greg McDermott improved to 10-0 all-time in head-to-head meetings vs. Tim Miles ... Greg McDermott joined Arthur A. Schabinger and Dana Altman as the only Creighton coaches to beat Nebraska three straight meetings ... Creighton has won six straight games vs. Big Ten schools by an average of 14.7 points ... Creighton has won 14 straight regular-season home games vs. BCS schools (at time of game) dating to the start of 1996-97 ... Creighton is 48-1 in its last 49 regular-season games against unranked teams, and 30-1 under Greg McDermott ... Creighton has won 95 straight home games when scoring 78 or more points ... Creighton is 10-0 with eight double-digit wins all-time in Sunday home games that tip after 4 pm at CenturyLink Center Omaha ... Doug McDermott surpassed 900 career rebounds and 200 career three-pointers, while Ethan Wragge surpassed 900 career points ... Creighton is 11-2 the past three seasons against teams from BCS leagues ... This was the 42nd time in 174 all-time games at CenturyLink Center Omaha that Creighton never trailed ... Creighton has now led by 20 or more points at halftime in three of its last five home games vs. Nebraska.