Creighton men's basketball improved to 8-2 on the season with a dominant 88-51 win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Tuesday night before 16,303 at CenturyLink Center Omaha.
The Bluejays never trailed in the contest, leading 44-22 at the half en route to its second-largest victory margin of the young season.
Arkansas-Pine Bluff (2-8) lost its eighth straight game since a 2-0 start, with games at Iowa and Auburn upcoming. All told, the Golden Lions won't play at home until January 18th after 15 straight games away from home to start the campaign.
Senior All-American Doug McDermott led all players with 25 points and nine rebounds in just 29 minutes of work, including 13-for-13 marksmanship at the free-throw line. He's now scored 189 points in 185 minutes of work during his last six home games dating to late last season. McDermott's now made 29 straight free throws, the fourth-longest streak on record in CU history. He joined Doug Brookins (16-16), Mike Caruso (14-14) and Bob Portman (13-13) as the program's only players with 13 or more free throws and no misses in a game, becoming the first guy to do so since Brookins in 1974.
Creighton's bench also played a major role, outscoring UAPB 39-8 in the contest. Seven different reserves scored for CU, led by 10 points from Will Artino, eight from Devin Brooks and seven by Avery Dingman. Creighton's Ethan Wragge added 12 points in his third straight start, while sinking four of more three-pointers for the fifth straight game. Creighton shot 48.2 percent overall, sinking 10 three-pointers in 30 attempts, and was a near-automatic 24-of-26 at the line. CU outrebounded UAPB 40-24, outscored the Golden Lions 22-3 on the offensive glass, and topped the visitors 23-4 in points off turnovers.
UAPB was paced by 22 points from Tevein Hammond, who played all 40 minutes. Preseason All-SWAC honorees Davon Haynes and Daniel Broughton combined for just 13 points and seven rebounds on 5-of-15 shooting for the Golden Lions. UAPB shot 37.3 percent for the game, including 6-of-21 from the line, and had 15 turnovers.
McDermott opened the night with an alley-oop and CU followed with three-pointers by McDermott and Wragge to pull away from the outset. Creighton's lead reached double-figures on a Jahenns Manigat foul shot to complete a three-point play after the first media timeout, and the lead remained eight or more the rest of the night.
The Jays took their largest lead of the first half on Manigat's corner three-pointer just before the intermission buzzer, making it 44-22. It was CU's third straight game with a halftime lead or 20 or more after also doing it vs. Long Beach State and Nebraska earlier this month.
Creighton would miss 13 of its first 14 shots after intermission, but maintained a comfortable cushion thanks to 9-of-10 accuracy at the line in that time. After the rare cold spell, Creighton would heat up in the final 10 minutes and sink 14 of its final 18 field goal tries.