Creighton used hot second half shooting and defense to down their in-state rival Nebraska on the road Sunday night by the tally of 65-55. The hostile environment inside Pinnacle Bank Arena was ready to get revenge for the last three years against the Bluejays. That seemed like it may come to fruition midway through the first half when the Huskers led the Jays by 10. Creighton then used a smaller lineup of Austin Chatman, Isaiah Zierden, Avery Dingman, Rick Kreklow and Zach Hanson to climb back and mount a lead in the second half. Guards Zierden, Kreklow and Dingman combined for 8-for-12 shooting from downtown to lead the Jays.
Creighton moves to 7-2 while Nebraska falls to 5-2. Nebraska's loss at Pinnacle Bank Arena is only their second loss since the new arena opened at the beginning of last season, with the other coming to Michigan on a last second shot. It was Creighton's fourth straight win over the Cornhuskers and McDermott's 11th straight over Nebraska coach Tim Miles, dating back to McDermott's time at Wayne State (NE). Creighton looks to start a win streak Tuesday night when they host Summit League opponent South Dakota at the CenturyLink Center on Fox Sports 1.
3 things we learned:
1. The CU defense was exceptional in the second half. The gameplan put in place by the Creighton staff forced other role players for Nebraska to step up. Forward David Rivers and guard Benny Parker may have combined for 17 points, but it was the second half defense on Terran Petteway that ensured Nebraska stayed a blue state. Petteway went just 3-of-10 from the field in the second half after shooting 50 percent in the first half. Creighton also shut down second leading scrorer Shavon Shields, who was frustrated all night in getting to the rim and held to 30 percent shooting and just seven points.
2. The Bluejay bench, when counted on, might be able to produce in bunches. The Bluejays bench outscored the Huskers' 30-8, with top scorer Zierden leading the way with 13 points on 50 percent shooting from downtown. Other contributors off the bench were seniors Will Artino and Rick Kreklow. Artino, who did not get the start in tonight's game, finished with eight points and six rebounds. Kreklow, who was recruited by Nebraska in his search for his final team, finished perfect from behind the arc, ending the game with nine points. Nebraska's bench shot just 30 percent and was led by Georgetown transfer Moses Abraham, who finished with just four points and five rebounds.
3. Austin Chatman might be the best player on the Bluejays, and was the best player on the floor. Coming into the game, it looked like it was Nebraska's Terran Petteway's time to shine. However, it was the Creighton senior's night at the end of 40 minutes. Chatman finished with 19 points, seven rebounds and six assists and made perhaps the biggest play of the game. With two minutes to play, Artino missed what was an easy layup. Petteway went down the floor and drilled a deep three to pull the Huskers within just three. Chatman then took the game into his hands, sticking a jump shot to quiet the crowd and give the Jays a five point lead. The made shot was followed by a Nebraska missed shot and an Artino made layup, sealing the Jays win with just a minute left.