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Arizona State surprises Creighton

Bluejays enter Big East play Friday
Published: Dec. 14, 2021 at 11:32 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Creighton’s final contest before starting Big East play was a classic “trap” game. Arizona State came in with two straight wins and an athletic team gaining confidence after a road win at Oregon.

And when Creighton couldn’t put them away early in the second half, the Sun Devils pushed their way to a 58-57 win at CHI Health Center.

“I thought we were just a little too loose going into this one,” sophomore Ryan Kalkbrenner said. “Obviously, a one possession game, if we were a little more focused we would have won.”

Missed free throws down the stretch and poor shooting throughout plagued the Bluejays (8-3). Freshman guard Ryan Nembhard was 2 of 7 from the floor, including a last second shot that fell short. The Bluejays were led by Kalkbrenner’s 16 pts. Alex O’Connell was the only other Bluejay in double figures with 11.

“They’re gonna beat themselves up because when you lose a game like this, one play, one free throw, one rebound, one missed communication, its the difference in the game,” Bluejays head coach Greg McDermott said. “These guys are competitors and they want to win and they realize, just like I will laying tonight there are decisions, I made during the game that when I look back at the film I’m gonna probably wish I’d done things a little different. They’ll beat themselves up but we’ll do our best to get their chins up tomorrow.”

Arizona State (5-6) won their third straight under head coach Bobby Hurley, as they overcame a six-point halftime deficit. They outshot Creighton 48.3% to 39.1% from the floor in the second half. Three Sun Devils finished in double figures. D.J. Horne scored 12, while Marreon Jackson and Jay heath added 10 each.

Missed free throws down the stretch and poor shooting throughout plagued the Bluejays (8-3). Freshman guard Ryan Nembhard was 2 of 7 from the floor, including a last second shot that fell short. The Bluejays were led by Kalkbrenner’s 16 pts. Alex O’Connell was the only other Bluejay in double figures with 11.

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