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Creighton Men smack North Dakota

Creighton Men smack North Dakota

OMAHA, Neb. — The Creighton men’s basketball team never trailed in an 111-68 win over North Dakota on Tuesday to open a five-game homestand.

Creighton improved to 6-2 on the season with its 18th straight non-conference home win, while North Dakota dropped to 4-4 and has alternated wins and losses in its last 10 games dating to last season. It was the first meeting between the schools since 1975, and 13th overall.

The game was tied at 11 at the first media timeout before an 8-0 Bluejay run turned the game in CU’s favor.  The lead stretched into double-figures on a Martin Krampelj trey to make it 26-15 with 11:17 left in the first half, and the Jays led by as much as 20 (51-31) in the first half before the Fighting Hawks scored the final six points of the opening stanza.

The Bluejays outscored the Fighting Hawks 60-31 in the second half, shooting 62.9 percent, en route to the win. A 12-0 run in less than two minutes stretched the margin to 102-66 with 3:36 to go before CU finished off its largest margin of victory since a 113-58 victory over Longwood on Dec. 9, 2016.

Creighton placed five men in double-figures, as Marcus Foster tied his season-high with 23 and Krampelj added 15 points and a career-high 14 rebounds for his first career double-double. Toby Hegner added a season-best 15 points in 17 minutes off the bench, and Khyri Thomas(15) and Ty-Shon Alexander (11) also scored more than 10.

Creighton shot 56.9 percent for the game, drained 13-of-33 three-pointers, and sank 16-of-20 foul shots. CU had 22 assists, led by six from MItch Ballock and five by Ronnie Harrell Jr., and just eight turnovers in the game. Creighton won the rebound battle 48-29, had a 43-17 advantage in bench points, and outscored UND 28-6 in transition.

Creighton transfer Marlon Stewart led UND with 18 points and five rebounds, while Cortez Seales added 16 points. Geno Crandall, who opened the season with 41 points and was averaging a team-high 19.0 points per game, was held to three points on 1-of-5 shooting. The Fighting Hawks shot 40.3 percent from the floor on the evening.

Creighton returns to action on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. when it seeks a seventh straight victory over Nebraska.

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