Arizona beats Creighton 81-79 in Maui Invitational championship

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Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 8:33 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The Bluejays made a big push late ending the game on a 12-2 run but ultimately lost to No. 14 Arizona 81-79. It’s the first loss of the season, the Wildcats improved to 6-0 and will surely be moving up several spots in the AP Top 25 poll next week. Oumar Ballo was a force making of 14-of-17 shots on the way to scoring 30 points and bringing in 13 rebounds. He is the MVP of the Tournament.

Greg McDermott said, “Arizona’s a heck of a basketball team. They’re hard to guard. One of the things we set out to do was try to keep ‘em off the free-throw line and we won that battle. But Ballo was just, he was a load down there. And you have to make some decisions when you play them because of their ability to shoot the basketball. And we decided to play ‘em one-on-one and did a better job the second half than we did the first. But he had a heck of a game.”

Ryan Nembhard scored scored 17 of his 20 points in the second half, Ryan Kalkbrenner connected on another three-pointer on the way to scoring 16 points and Trey Alexander had 15 points. With a long trip home and three games in 52 hours against Top 25 teams the Bluejays will return to the court Thursday, Dec. 1, for a 6 p.m. game at No. 4 Texas.