MEN’S BASKETBALL: Creighton Battles Back Late To Edge St. Johnson

QUEENS, N.Y. -(News Release Feb. 18)- Back-to-back-to-back three-pointers late in the second half by Arthur Kaluma helped Creighton earn a hard-fought 77-67 road win at St. John’s on Saturday night at sold out Carnesecca Arena on the St. John’s campus.

The win, Creighton’s (18-9, 12-4 BIG EAST) ninth in its past 10 games, moves the Bluejays into a three-way tie for second place with a pivotal home game vs.league-leading No. 11 Marquette looming on Tuesday.

The Bluejay offense was carried by its bench in the opening 10 minutes, as Shereef Mitchell, Mason Miller and Francisco Farabello combined to score 14 of CU’s first 23 points as the Jays took a six-point lead. The Jays then used a 10-2 outburst to open up its largest lead of the half at 35-24. The flurry included a jump hook by Ryan Kalkbrenner, three-pointers by Baylor Scheierman and Ryan Nembhard, and a dunk in transition by Kaluma to prompt a St. John’s timeout.

St. John’s (16-12, 6-11 BIG EAST) countered with the next six points to draw within five before CU closed the half on a 7-2 surge to take a 42-32 lead into intermission. Nembhard had 10 points as part of a balanced effort that saw eight different Bluejays score. CU made 8-of-19 three-pointers before the break and outrebounded SJU 22-11, which helped the visitors claim a 13-0 lead in second chance points.

Trey Alexander scored on CU’s opening possession of the second half before the Red Storm drew the crowd into a frenzy with a 17-4 run that included O’Mar Stanley’s third three-pointer of the season and a dunk in traffic by Dylan Addae-Wusua. The Red Storm went ahead 49-48 on a layup from Kolby King with 11:52 left before CU finally snapped a six-minute scoring drought. The Jays would claim a 58-53 lead after three-pointers from Miller and Mitchell with eight minutes remaining.

After St. John’s trimmed its deficit to one, Arthur Kaluma drained back-to-back three-pointers to move the lead to 64-57 with just under four minutes left. After a Red Storm timeout, Kaluma then ripped away the ball from AJ Storr, which would eventually lead to his third straight trey to make it 67-57. The Bluejays would force a turnover and feed Kalkbrenner as the Jays went up by a dozen.

St. John’s buried a pair of late three-pointers to draw within eight but CU iced the game with 16-of-16 shooting at the line.

Nembhard led CU with 16 points, Kaluma had 13 and Kalkbrenner added 12. CU made 13-of-33 three-pointers in the contest.

Joel Soriano led SJU with 15 points and David Jones added 14.