MEN’S BASKETBALL: Creighton Upsets No. 23 Providence 69-60

OMAHA–(CU Athletics Jan. 6)–The Creighton men’s basketball team picked up its first Top 25 win of the season on Saturday afternoon, a 69-60 win over No. 23 Providence in front of 17,253 fans at CHI Health Center Omaha. On a day that saw Baylor Scheierman honored pregame in recognition of his 500th career assist, Creighton made a three-pointer for the 1,000th straight game and Trey Alexander surpassed 1,000 career points as a Bluejay.

The victory marks the 11th straight season that Creighton has beaten at least one Top 25 team. Both teams are now 11-4 overall and 2-2 in league play.

Creighton led 37-30 at halftime behind 15 points and seven rebounds from Kalkbrenner, in addition to 11 by Alexander before he picked up his second foul. Alexander became the 46th Bluejay in program history to reach 1,000 career points, draining a three-pointer in transition with 9:28 left that came in the midst of a 7-0 CU run that gave the Jays a lead it would never surrender. PC was topped by 11 points from Devin Carter in the opening half, while Davonte “Ticket” Gaines had 10 points and a team-best five rebounds before the break.

Mason Miller moved the Bluejay lead into double-figures on the opening possession of the half with a three-pointer to make it 40-30, and a traditional three-point play by Kalkbrenner pushed the advantage to 43-30. A Scheierman triple from in front of the Bluejay bench made it a 17-2 run spanning halftime and prompted a Friars timeout. A Scheierman steal preceded a Alexander turnaround jumper as the lead swelled to 48-30 before Josh Oduro finally put PC on the board after the break.

Providence compiled a 12-2 run to slice its deficit to 50-42 with 11:23 and drew within one (56-55) on a long three-pointer by Devin Carter with 4:31 remaining. Alexander helped CU reclaim the momentum with a pull-up three-pointer from the top of the key with four minutes left. Steven Ashworth hit a pair at the stripe with 3:10 left, and Alexander made one with 2:31 remaining to move the CU cushion to 62-55.

Josh Oduro and Scheierman traded baskets as the CU lead held steady at six with 1:25 left. An Ashworth three-pointer with 54.2 left gave CU a 67-58 lead and iced the home victory.

Kalkbrenner had 22 points and 12 rebounds, while Alexander finished with 21 points and five assists. Scheierman hustled his way to 11 rebounds and three steals while Ashworth finished with 12 points. Creighton won the rebound battle 42-34 and shot 48.1 percent from the floor and 30.4 percent from three-point range.

Providence was paced by Carter’s 25 points and 10 rebounds. The Friars played without All-BIG EAST forward Bryce Hopkins (15.5 ppg., 8.6 rpg.), who suffered a season-ending knee injury on Wednesday vs. Seton Hall. The Friars shot 36.9 percent overall and 34.8 percent from deep in addition to making 4-of-8 free throws.

Creighton returns to the court on Tuesday night at 8 p.m. when it visits DePaul in a game that will air nationally on CBS Sports Network.