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MEN’S BASKETBALL: Hot-Shooting Colorado State Downs Creighton

ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands –(CU Athletics Nov. 21)– A hot-shooting Colorado State team made a school-record 20 three-pointers as it defeated Creighton 95-81, in a battle of 4-0 teams in the semifinal round of the Paradise Jam in the U.S. Virgin Islands on Sunday evening.

Creighton falls to 4-1 on the season and will play at 4:45 p.m. Central on Monday against Southern Illinois. Colorado State will play the Northeastern/SIU winner for the Paradise Jam title.

Ryan Kalkbrenner opened the scoring with a free throw, but that would be the Creighton’s lone lead of the first half. Colorado State led for all but 22 seconds of the first half, using a barrage of three-point baskets to take a 42-36 lead into the break. Leading the way was David Roddy, who scored 21 points on 7-of-12 shooting, including 5-of-7 marksmanship from deep.

The Rams led by as much as 31-24 before Creighton fought back to tie the score at 36-all on a trey by Ryan Hawkins. But CSU answered with a banked in three-pointer by Dischon Thomas before Roddy’s fifth triple of the half beat the buzzer and put the Bluejays in a six-point hole headed to halftime.

Colorado State opened the second half with a trey by Dischon Thomas to give the Rams their largest lead of the game to that point at 48-39 before Creighton unleashed a 14-2 run that gave the Bluejays the lead back. The surge included a pair of dunks by Kalkbrenner, three-pointers by Arthur Kaluma and Ryan Hawkins, and a transition drive by Ryan Nembhard that forced a CSU timeout.

CSU answered with another flurry of three-pointers, making five trifectas in a span of 3:05 to quickly surge to a 69-56 lead with 11:20 left. The lead would grow as large as 18 and CU couldn’t cut the margin to single-figures down the stretch.

Creighton placed four men in double-figures, led by 16 from Kaluma, 15 from Nembhard and 13 from Hawkins and Kalkbrenner. The Bluejays shot 55 percent from the field, including a 66.7 percent mark after the break, but it wasn’t enough to survive the Rams onslaught from downtown. Creighton won the rebound battle 37-26 and outscored CSU 46-28 in the paint and dished 18 assists.

CSU was led by 36 points from Roddy, who was coming off a career-high 30 points in the first game of the tournament. The Rams shot 53 percent for the game from the floor, becoming the first Bluejay opponent to reach the 40 percent mark this season. The Rams were 20-of-34 from downtown, with post players Roddy and Thomas combining to make 12-of-18 from deep.

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