Creighton falls to Arizona 81-79 at Maui Invitational Championship

Creighton falls to Arizona 81-79 at Maui Invitational Championship
Creighton falls to Arizona 81-79 at Maui Invitational Championship

A new career high for Oumar Ballo in points (30) and rebounds (13) puts Arizona past Creighton.

The first half of the match between the Bluejays and the Wildcats could be summed up by an Arizona player, Oumar Ballo. Ballo finished the first half with 16 points and 9 rebounds for the Wildcats. Ballo and Azuola Tubelis helped Arizona control the paint from the jump and seemingly control the game. Arizona led for just under 17 minutes in the first half and allowed Creighton to lead for just over 2 minutes. Arizona shot below par in the first half, .444/.333/.667, but managed to get 10 more shots than Creighton. This gap was due to a key stretch in the first half. Creighton turned the ball over 5 times in about four minutes and allowed Arizona to extend their lead to 11. Creighton finished the half with 9 turnovers and just 6 assists on 10 field goals. The Bluejays didn’t score a basket in the final 3:13 of the half. Trey Alexander had a great offensive half, scoring 12 points before the break. Ryan Kalkbrenner didn’t seem like his normal self in the first half. He was limited to just 6 points on 1-3 shots in the first half. Arizona took a 39-30 lead before the break.

The Bluejays had an equally difficult start to the second half. Ryan Nembhard missed a wide open layup, followed by an Arthur Kaluma airball on a three. Basketball is truly a racing game. This game only proved that cliché. Creighton made a quick run to cut the lead to 4 before Arizona cut the margin back to 14. Creighton didn’t back down, cutting the lead in half with just over 10 minutes to play. The Bluejays can’t seem to keep their momentum going. In a pivotal streak of the game, down 7 with 10 minutes left, the Bluejays went into a nearly 3-minute drought. Arizona held an 8-13 point lead for the overwhelming majority of the second half. Creighton cut the lead to 7 with over 2 minutes remaining. Baylor Scheierman knocked down a huge transition three to fire the Bluejays up 4, 81-77, with just over a minute left. Creighton was left with the ball and a chance to tie the game with 7 seconds left. Creighton failed to even the score. Arizona won the game 81-79.

The difference in the game turned out to be points in the paint. Arizona finished the game with 48 paint points to Creighton’s 24. Creighton’s defense couldn’t string together enough saves. This Arizona team is the best in the nation in field goal efficiency, and the Wildcats shot 52.9% from the field.

Creighton finished the game shooting 27-59 (45.8%) from the field, 10-25 (40%) from three and 15-19 (78.9%) from the free throw line. Arizona finished the game with .529/.313/.571 shooting spreads. Arizona won the rebound battle 38-29.

Creighton Stat Leaders:

  1. Nembhard: 20 points, 6 assists, 1 steal
  2. Kalkbrenner: 16 points, 5 rebounds, 2 blocks, 2 steals
  3. Alexander: 15 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal

Arizona Stats Leaders:

  1. Ballo: 30 points, 13 rebounds, 1 against
  2. Kriisa: 13 points, 9 assists, 3 rebounds
  3. Tubelis: 12 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal

Next:

Creighton gets more than a week off and travels to Austin, Texas to face the Longhorns on Thursday, Dec. 1.

The article is in French

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. Creighton falls against Arizona Maui Invitivational Championship

. Creighton falls Arizona Maui Invitational Championship

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