CINCINNATI, Ohio — Creighton had three shots in the final 10 seconds to tie it, but could not drain the game-tying three-pointer and fell 64-61 in overtime at Xavier on Wednesday, Feb. 13.
Naji Marshall scored 10 of his team-high 23 points in the final 6:32 to help defending BIG EAST champion Xavier snap a six-game losing streak and improve to 12-13 (4-8 BIG EAST). Creighton dropped to 13-12 (4-8 BIG EAST) with its third loss in as many games on an extended road trip.
Xavier took a 36-30 lead into the halftime break, scoring 24 points in the paint and outrebounding the Bluejays 22-15 while also swatting six first half shots from CU. Martin Krampelj carried the load on offense before the break with 13 points, while Xavier was led by Tyrique Jones’ 10 points before he was saddled with a pair of fouls and sat most of the final eight minutes.
The Jays fell behind 37-30 on a free throw by Xavier’s Paul Scruggs before answering with a 7-0 run to knot the score at 37-all. The Bluejay flurry started with a Kaleb Joseph three-ball, continued with Mitch Ballock’s first dunk of the season, and the Jays tied it on a lay-in by Damien Jefferson that crawled over the rim. The Bluejays regained their first lead since 10-9 when Ty-Shon Alexander’s three-pointer bounced in with 12:42 left, making it 42-41.
Creighton would break free from a tie on consecutive scores at the rim by Kaleb Joseph for its largest lead of the game at 48-44 with 8:35 left. The Musketeers used a 7-2 run to go ahead 51-50 and get the crowd engaged, but a trey in transition by Ty-Shon Alexander gave Creighton a 53-51 lead at the final media timeout. The Jays went up 56-51 with 2:14 to play on a corner three-pointer by Krampelj late in the shot clock.
Marshall hit a trey with 1:32 left to return the margin to two before Mintz answered with his trey with just under a minute left. Once again Marshall buried a triple, this time with 41 seconds left, to make it a one-score game. Creighton inbounded the ball in front of its bench with 25.4 left but a turnover would lead to an uncontested game-tying lay-up by Xavier’s Quentin Goodin with 23.6 left.
After Xavier used its last foul to give with 4.0 left, Creighton used its final timeout of regulation and got the ball to Mintz, but his trey just before the buzzer bounded off the back iron to send the game to overtime.
Creighton opened overtime with a defensive stop before taking the lead on a hoop from Kaleb Joseph, but the X-men countered with the next three points to regain the advantage with 2:49 left. Neither team would score until Marshall’s bucket with 23.1 left to put Xavier up by three. Creighton came down and missed three-pointers by Alexander and Mintz, but got the offensive rebound each time and had one last chance with 1.7 seconds left. The Bluejays ran a final play and got a wide open look for Mintz, but it hit the front rim and rattled out.
Creighton will play four of its final six BIG EAST games at home, starting with Sunday’s 2 p.m. tip vs. Seton Hall that will air nationally on FS1.