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Creighton nips DePaul, 69-62

The Blue Demons might’ve covered, but could not claim a win.

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

Creighton kept their momentum flying high with a 69-62 win over the DePaul Blue Demons Saturday night. The Bluejays, 13-4 on the year, have now won three games in a row and have gone 9-2 over their last 11 games.

The win over DePaul didn’t come particularly easy. The Blue Demons led 48-42 with 12:56 left in the second half. But the Bluejays were able to wrestle it away from DePaul, going on a 27-14 run to end the game. The run was catapulted by great free throw shooting. Nine of those 27 points scored came on free throws, as the Bluejays made the most of their opportunities from the stripe. DePaul couldn’t keep them off the line and paid for it, and couldn’t compensate for their losses with much bucket-making either.

The home team struggled from deep throughout the game. They shot just 6-for-24 from beyond the arc, and went 2-for-11 from the perimeter in the first half. Creighton, to be fair, shot worse than the Blue Demons to much surprise. The Bluejays went 6-for-22 from deep, a poor 27.3 percent mark that is quite unlike their trademark. But their 17-for-20 mark from the line and 11-for-11 mark in the second half absolutely vaulted them to a win.

The Bluejays picked up four double figure outputs on the night. Marcus Zegarowski led with 19 points, while Denzel Mahoney and Christian Bishop each put up 14. Lastly, Ryan Kalkbrenner chipped in 12 off the bench in just 18 minutes of action, going 6-for-7 from the floor.

Though in a losing effort, Ray Salnave shined bright. He scored 21 points, shot 8-for-15 from the floor, picked up five boards, four steals and an assist with one turnover in 37 minutes. Quite the line indeed for the Monmouth Hawks transfer, who had one of his best efforts in recent memory. Javon Freeman-Liberty added 13 points, but was the only other double figure scorer for the Blue Demons on the night.

Big East play will continue for both these teams come Wednesday. Creighton is scheduled to face Georgetown, while DePaul will be tasked with facing Xavier.