CU Athletics Martin Krampelj tied his career-high with 23 points and added four steals to help Creighton to a 76-54 win over visiting Xavier on Sunday, Feb. 3. The Bluejays never trailed while delivering Greg McDermott his 200th win on the Creighton sideline.
Creighton improved to 13-9 overall and reaches the halfway point of league play with a 4-5 BIG EAST record, while Xavier dropped its fifth consecutive contest to fall to 11-12 (3-7 BIG EAST).
The Bluejays never trailed in the contest, surging to a 7-2 lead in the opening four minutes while focusing on working the ball inside with renewed emphasis. Creighton took a 41-26 lead into the half after closing on an 8-0 run in the final 4:08.
Creighton scored the first four points of the second half on a dunk by Krampelj and a lay-up from Ty-Shon Alexander before Xavier embarked on a 9-0 run to draw within 45-35 with 16:35 remaining. A dunk from CU freshman Christian Bishop stopped the blitz before the Musketeers answered with four more to close within eight points with 15:13 left. Xavier got no closer, and the margin remained in double-figures for the final 11 minutes of the game after Krampelj and Mitch Ballock combined to score all the points in a 9-0 Bluejay run that gave CU a 63-45 lead with 8:19 left.
Creighton shot 58.3 percent for the game, including 46.7 percent from beyond the arc, while posting its most lopsided win over Xavier in 28 all-time meetings. CU's 13-for-13 marksmanship at the free throw line established a CHI Health Center Omaha record for makes at the charity stripe without a miss. In addition to Krampelj's big day, Marcus Zegarowski had 11 of his 13 points before the half.
Xavier shot 42.9 percent overall and 29.2 percent from the three-point arc. The Musketeers won the rebound battle 25-23 but turned it over 19 times, which CU converted into 15 points. Xavier did dish 19 assists on 21 field goals. Quentin Goodin led Xavier with 13 points and seven assists, and Tyrique Jones contributed 10 points and a pair of swats.
Creighton starts a three-game road trip on Wednesday with a 7:05 p.m. CST game at defending national champion Villanova.