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Bluejays Fight Off Not-Really-Fightin’ Hawks 111-68

There were a lot of people in the crowd wearing sweaters.

NCAA Basketball: North Dakota at Creighton Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

The only redeeming quality North Dakota seemed to have was Marlon Stewart, a former Jay who, according to a statistical analysis, has been one of their key contributors this season. He was fine and it was nice to see a familiar face out there, doing his thing.

Besides that, all they did was shoot threes and low percentage 2’s at a high clip, missing a vast majority of them, eventually succumbing to the pressures of playing a competent major D1 opponent.

Creighton just did their damn job. Unlike blowouts in the past, there weren’t a lot of flashy drive and slams, alley-oops, or cool basketball things other than an outright throttling.

Marcus Foster got his, but got burned very early on, allowing 6 straight points to be scored upon his lax defense, the Fighting Hawks going 5-5 out the chutes, but as the game began to settle, so did his defense, and he did a fine job for the rest of the evening. He got 13 points in the first half and finished with x.

Martin Krampelj got a double-double and generally dominated the boards against an undersized UND squad. His progression from OK big man to “Pretty Good” big man has been smooth, a boon for the Jays. All they need to do is play teams with players worse than him.

Tyshon Alexander looked great in flashes, hitting a three and playing the point for a team that’s without Kaleb Joseph for an indeterminate amount of time. Davion Mintz’s defense was nonexistent giving Alexander an edge in that race.

The score at halftime was 51-37. The crowd at the CenturyLink Center was sleepy, rarely causing a stir, and sitting a little empty. Perhaps it was the weeknight game or the inferior opponent, or the onset of winterish weather, but Omaha didn’t seem too interested in getting rowdy and ready for this one.

At least, they weren’t rowdy. Then this happened:

Riveting stuff. It got the fans going again, if only temporarily.

In the second half, Creighton managed to push the lead to exceed 20 points. From then on it was just sort of dragging out. Khyri hit a three and dunked the ball. Ronnie hit a three. Marcus drove into the trees and got fouled.

Tyler Clement, Jordan Scurry, and Manny Suarez all checked in at roughly the 3 12 minute mark. Creighton had already eclipsed the century mark. It was over.


Stats!!!

CREIGHTON

NORTH DAKOTA