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Creighton defeats Xavier in Omaha

It was business as usual for the Bluejays.

NCAA Basketball: Xavier at Creighton Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

In desperate need of a victory to keep their conference season afloat, the Creighton Bluejays took care of business Sunday against the Xavier Musketeers, securing a 76-54 victory at CHI Health Center Omaha.

The Bluejays started the game in a very un-Creighton fashion, with their first six made field goals coming inside the three point line. Marcus Zegarowski eventually hit a three midway through the first half to get Creighton on the board from deep, but it was still very interesting to watch the different gameplan, at least at the beginning.

The Bluejays never relinquished the lead from the jump, going into the half with a 15-point advantage. Xavier never got closer than nine in the second half, but Creighton erased that threat immediately.

The news wasn’t all good for Creighton, though. Zegarowski left the game with an apparent hand injury in the first half. He later returned to the game with his hand wrapped, but Greg McDermott noted after the game that there was fear of a break.

If it’s a break for Zegarowski, it’s possible that his season will come to an end. It will be disappointing for the freshman guard, as his 10.8 points per game is third amongst Big East freshmen. It would be disappointing for Creighton, as well. Not only are they losing a double-digit scorer, they’re hit with another injury when already dealing with depth issues (Jacob Epperson and Damien are already out with injuries).

Aside from the injury, the strong play of Martin Krampelj was the story of the day for Creighton. The Slovenian forward led the team with 23 points and six rebounds.

The victory was number 200 at Creighton for head coach Greg McDermott.

For Xavier, the same problems persisted. Their defense wasn’t up to par, and this time the offense struggled as well. Quentin Goodin’s 13 points led the way.

Creighton now hits the road for a Wednesday evening showdown with Villanova, while Xavier returns home to face DePaul on Saturday, where the Musketeers will look to snap a five-game losing streak.