Upper Iowa Top Men’s Basketball at Show, 76-61
OMAHA, Neb. – A 32-2 halftime run helped Creighton’s men’s basketball team secure a 76-61 victory over Upper Iowa in an exhibition game Saturday night at CHI Health Center Omaha.
Ryan hawkins led CU with 15 points and was one of four double-digit Bluejays. Alex o’connell had 14 points while Ryan nembhard and KeyShawn Feazell both added 10.
Jareese Williams of Upper Iowa led all players with 16 points.
Williams scored three points in Upper Iowa’s first possession of the game to set the tone early on, as the Peacocks led for almost 23 seconds of the game’s opening 14 minutes. The UIU’s lead would increase to 27-21 after a Trey Williams transitioned before a Bluejay time-out was called with 8:31 remaining in the half.
Everything that was said in the timeout must have worked, as Creighton closed the first half on a 23-2 streak to deliver a knockout blow to their Division II foes in Fayette, Iowa. Hawkins broke through a pair of triples and was one of seven Bluejays to score during the flurry. As the Bluejays started to score, the defense resumed, limiting Upper Iowa to 1 in 14 shots the remainder of the first half and the Jays took a 44-29 halftime lead.
Hawkins, O’Connell, Nembhard then combined to score the first nine points after intermission, taking the lead to 53-29 with 17:54 to go. The Bluejays’ lead remained around 20 for most of the second half until Upper Iowa scored the last six points of the night to reduce the final margin to 15.
Nembhard had eight assists on his debut with Bluejay and Feazell and Arthur kaluma each took nine rebounds. Feazell also blocked two shots and O’Connell and Rati Andronikashvili contributed a pair of flights. Creighton topped Upper Iowa 40-14 in the paint and won the rebound battle 55-38.
Upper Iowa threw half of their 72 three-point field goal attempts, 10 of them. The Peacocks had four interceptions and five assists from Jake Hilmer, while Cade Moritz had two shots.
Creighton opens the regular season Nov. 9 against Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
REMARKS: Creighton lost all five of last year’s Sweet 16 starters while Upper Iowa fired their top 12 players from a team that went 10-7 last season at the Division II level. Upper Iowa is coached by Brooks McKowen, who was coached by current Coach Creighton Greg McDermott in northern Iowa from 2003 to 2007 … McDermott improved to 29-0 in the fall exhibition games as a Division I head coach, with all but one of those wins two digits. He’s 12-0 as Creighton’s head coach in these showsâ¦ Having started just two real freshmen in his first exhibition game since 1988 (Khyri Thomas in 2015-16 and Samson Froling in 2018-19), the Bluejays started real freshmen Arthur kaluma and Ryan nembhard Saturday nightâ¦ Creighton freshmen totaled 31 points, 23 rebounds and 13 assists in 115: 03 of playing time.