OMAHA, Neb. — The Creighton men’s basketball team fell to No. 19 Iowa State, 64-58 in front of a sellout crowd of 18,294 fans on Saturday, December 4.
The loss dropped the Bluejays to 7-2 on the season, while the Cyclones remained unbeaten moving to 8-0.
Defense controlled the opening 12 minutes of the game as the Bluejays forced Iowa State in tough shot after tough shot, leading the Cyclones to open the contest 1-of-10 (10%). Creighton meanwhile struggled with the Iowa State pressure, committing 13 turnovers. The result was a 9-8 Cyclone lead with 7:26 remaining in the first half.
Coming out of the media timeout, freshman Rati Andronikashvili provided the spark Creighton needed with a steal and near mid-court and a breakaway dunk. Fellow freshman Ryan Nembhard followed suit with a driving layup, then senior Ryan Hawkins connected with back-to-back treys from the top of the key to complete a 10-0 run and give the Bluejays an 18-9 edge (4:45).
Iowa State rallied down the stretch of the opening period, as Caleb Grill hit a three-pointer in the closing seconds to send the squads to the locker room knotted at 23-23.
The Cyclones fell behind 27-25 before a 14-4 run moved their edge to 39-31 with 11:39 remaining, with Grill sinking a pair of three-pointers that helped give ISU the lead for good. Andronikashvili provided another spark in the second stanza, collecting a steal and later a three-pointer to make it a 39-34 contest. Hawkins followed as well with a trifecta to bring the Bluejays within a bucket at 39-37 (10:13).
The Cyclones, however, responded with six straight of their own to reclaim an eight-point advantage at 45-37 (8:24).
Iowa State held Creighton at arms length throughout the final eight minutes, never allowing the Bluejays closer than five points.
Hawkins led Creighton with a season-high 25 points, while Nembhard finished with 10 points. Andronikashvili closed the game with a career-high six points.
Iowa State got a team-high 16 points from Grill, while Izaiah Brockington delivered 10 points.
The Bluejays return to hardwood on Saturday, December 11 as the Bluejays face BYU in a neutral site game played in Sioux Falls, S. D. in the Sanford Pentagon.