OMAHA, Neb. — Creighton scored on 12 of its final 13 possessions and overcame a 12-point deficit in the final seven minutes to defeat East Tennessee State on Sunday, 75-69.
The Bluejays improved to 2-0 on the season, winning its first two home games for the 23rd straight season. East Tennessee State dropped to 1-2 with the setback.
Ty-Shon Alexander had a career-high 20 points, including 13 after the break, while Damien Jefferson added 10 points for the victors. Mitch Ballock also landed in double-figures with 10 points. The Bluejays made 14-of-16 free throws and shot 54.2 percent from the floor, but were nearly done in by 16 turnovers that led to 18 ETSU points.
Tray Boyd had 20 points off the bench to lead ETSU, and Jeromy Rodriguez added a double-double with 14 points and 15 rebounds. Patrick Good also chipped in 18 points while making 5-of-12 three-point attempts. The Buccaneers outrebounded CU 40-22 for the game, including 19 offensive rebounds that were converted into 16 points.
East Tennessee State led by as many as eight points (26-18) in the first half before the Bluejays answered with a 9-0 run that featured eight points from Jefferson. Creighton would tie the game at 31 in the final seconds of the first half by Alexander.
The Buccaneers broke free from the hosts with a 9-0 charge to move ahead 53-42 after eight straight points by Boyd. A trey from Creighton’s Kaleb Joseph stopped the bleeding temporarily, but CU would still trail 63-51 with 7:19 left after a three-pointer from Good.
Freshman Marcus Zegarowski scored the first five points of Creighton’s 18-2 run. CU got within one with 3:56 left on a Ballock trey, and took its first lead of the half at 66-65 when freshman Samson Froling fed Jefferson for a baseline jumper with 2:22 left. Following an ETSU turnover, Alexander drained a deep three-pointer from the top of the key.
Creighton hosts Ohio State on Thursday at 6 p.m. in the Gavitt Tipoff Games.