NEWARK, N.J. –(CU Athletics Feb. 12)– The No. 23 Creighton men’s basketball team picked up its second top-10 road win of the month with an 87-82 road win at No. 10 Seton Hall on Wednesday, Feb. 12th at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. The Bluejays had five men score in double-figures, led by 18 each from Marcus Zegarowski, Damien Jefferson, Ty-Shon Alexander and Denzel Mahoney.
Creighton (19-6, 8-4 BIG EAST) remained in tie for second place with the win, narrowing Seton Hall’s (18-6, 10-2 BIG EAST) lead in the BIG EAST standings to two games with six to play.
Creighton used an 11-0 run in an 85-second span to build a 33-27 lead and force a Seton Hall timeout. Ty-Shon Alexander had three three-pointers in a span of four possessions during the flurry. The Bluejay run extended to 15-2 after scoring on six straight trips, which resulted CU’s largest lead of the half, 37-29. The Pirates battled back, making 13-of-16 free throw attempts in the first half, but a Marcus Zegarowski jumper just before the halftime horn gave CU a 41-39 lead at the break.
Zegarowski led CU with 10 points and four assists in the first half. The Bluejays were whistled for 11 fouls in the first half, including three each on starters Christian Bishop and Mitch Ballock. Quincy McKnight topped Seton Hall with 10 points in the first half, as National Player of the Year candidate Myles Powell missed all five of his field goal attempts. The first half featured 10 lead changes and six ties.
The teams continued trading haymakers, exchanging the lead nine more times in the first 12 minutes of the second half. The Bluejays trailed 66-62 with 7:51 left before a 7-0 run that featured five points from Mahoney. A defection and diving steal by Jefferson preceded a transition lay-up by Zegarowski that moved the CU margin to 71-66 with 5:38 remaining. Jefferson had another athletic putback with 3:41 left, moving the Bluejay lead to 73-68.
McKnight made two free throws with 3:37 left before Jefferson’s floater inside moved the Bluejay lead back to five with 3:13 remaining. McKnight answered, stepping around a defender for a mid-range jumper that hit the rim three times before falling in with 2:54 to go. Another bucket by Romaro Gill with 1:21 left trimmed CU’s lead to one at 75-74.
Mahoney rained a three-pointer with 1:06 left out of the timeout to grow the Creighton lead to four, 78-74. CU got another stop and Zegarowski would be fouled with 42.4 left. He drained both as teh CU lead went to six. McKnight scored inside with 34.8 left to cut CU’s lead to four, but Jefferson hit a big free throw with 22.2 left to make it 81-76. Jared Rhoden’s tip-in and three-point play with 15.8 left made it a two-point game, and Alexander was fouled with 14.8 left. The Bluejay junior made both to put CU ahead 83-79 with 14.8 left.
After a timeout Seton Hall found Powell, who missed a long three-pointer. Mahoney would make two foul shots with 6.9 left before Powell drained a long triple to make it 85-82 with 1.4 left. Alexander was fouled with 1.4 left and sank both for the final margin. Creighton shot 46.0 percent for the game and hit 8-of-21 three-pointers.
Powell finished the night 3-for-16, including 1-for-11 from three-point range, and had 12 points. McKnight had 20 points to lead Seton Hall, which shot 7-of-31 from deep.
Creighton returns to Omaha on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. when it hosts DePaul in a game that will be nationally televised on FS1.