Creighton punches ticket to program’s first ever Elite Eight

Creighton center Ryan Kalkbrenner (11) makes the dunk against Princeton in the second half of...
Creighton center Ryan Kalkbrenner (11) makes the dunk against Princeton in the second half of a Sweet 16 round college basketball game in the South Regional of the NCAA Tournament, Friday, March 24, 2023, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)(John Bazemore | AP)
Published: Mar. 24, 2023 at 10:53 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The Jays brought an end to the Tigers’ Cinderella run, 86-75, to land a spot in the NCAA quarterfinals for the first time ever. Creighton came out and led 9-6 early, with good looks inside. They connected on three of four inside in the first four minutes of the game. Penetration worked early.

In the first eight minutes, the Jays shot 75% on 9-12 shooting including 3-5 from the arc. Creighton built a 21-14 lead. Creighton was able to penetrate and after the success there Princeton had to stop that which opened up Trey Alexander and Baylor Scheierman outside.

The Tigers went on a 13-5 run midway through the first half to tie the game at 29. Then hit back-to-back three-pointers to take a 37-33 lead. Greg McDermott called a timeout after the second one dropped.

Creighton led 47-43 at the half, Baylor Scheierman had 13 points without missing a shot. He was 5-5 including 3-3 behind the arc. Tosan Evbuomwan led everyone with 15 points but it took 14 shots. Creighton shot 62% in the first half, 18-29. The offense was better than the defense for both teams in the first 20 minutes.

The Bluejays opened the second on a 9-2 run to spread it out an 11-point game, 56-45. Creighton’s largest lead to that point of the game.

Princeton called a timeout after a quick 7-0 run by the Jays to push it out to a 16-point lead 68-52 at the 12:20 mark. Kalkbrenner was effective early in the second half with seven second-half points in the first eight minutes. Scheierman and Alexander each added eight and nine points, respectively, in the second half to help the Jays hold a seven-point or greater lead.

Scheierman put up 21 points, only to be bested by Kalkbrenner with points. Creighton will face a familiar foe in San Diego State at 1:20 p.m. CT Sunday for a chance at a trip to the Final Four.