MAUI, Hawaii –(CU Athletics Nov. 21)– Sophomores Arthur Kaluma, Trey Alexander and Ryan Nembhard combined for 51 points as No. 10 Creighton defeated 76-65 No. 21 Texas Tech to open play in the Maui Jim Maui Invitational on Monday morning at the Lahaina Civic Center.
The Bluejays improved to 5-0 with the win while handing Texas Tech (3-1) its first loss of the season. It’s the first time since 2012-13 that Creighton has opened the season with five straight double-digit triumphs.
Creighton had five turnovers in the first four minutes and Texas Tech took advantage to the tune of a 9-2 lead. Still down 12-5 a few minutes later, Creighton unleashed an 8-0 run to take its first lead of the game at 13-12. The stingy Red Raider defense forced 13 turnovers in the first half, but Creighton shot 55 percent from the field (11-20) and made 5-of-11 three-point shots to tie the game at 31 by halftime.
Baylor Scheierman made 3-of-5 three-pointers and led CU with nine points, while Kaluma and Nembhard each chipped in with seven points. CU had a 17-11 lead on the glass at the break.
The Bluejays opened the second half on a 7-2 run thanks to baskets by Alexander, Ryan Kalkbrenner and Nembhard and never trailed after the break. CU’s lead moved into double-figures on a three-ball by Nembhard, pushing the advantage to 52-41 with just under 12 minutes to play. Creighton’s lead never dipped below eight the rest of the way, as the sophomore trio scored 20-of-22 Bluejay points in one stretch.
All five Creighton starters scored in double-figures, led by 18 from Kaluma. Scheierman had a double-double with a game-leading 12 rebounds. Creighton shot 55.1 percent for the game and drained 9-of-20 three-pointers. The Bluejays also won the rebound battle 33-28 and converted seven offensive rebounds into a 14-5 lead in second chance points. After 13 turnovers in the first half, CU did not turn the ball over after the break.
Texas Tech was paced by 17 points and five rebounds from Daniel Batcho. The Red Raiders shot 43.5 percent from the field and made 5-of-7 free throws.
Creighton returns to the court on Tuesday at 7 p.m. Central (3 p.m. HST) for a game on ESPN against No. 9 Arkansas.