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Creighton basketball: Bluejays shake off rust, handle Arkansas-Pine Bluff

Alex O’Connell scored 20 points in the Jays victory

Creighton v Georgetown - Big East Men’s Basketball Tournament Championship Photo by Porter Binks/Getty Images

Talk about a tale of two halves for Creighton. Trailing by nine at half, the Bluejays managed a surge in the early part of the second half to defeat Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 90-77.

The Golden Lions were dominant to start the game. They were led by Trey Sampson, who had a game-high 20 points and 7 rebounds in just the first half alone. Arkansas-Pine Bluff held the game within about a 10-point margin for most of the first half, where Creighton gave up the ball nine times and allowed six points off turnovers.

Then, within the first four minutes of the second half, Creighton started to chop away at the lead faster than a professional lumberjack. Creighton erased a 13-point UAPB advantage in just 3:10 of game time. After a quick two following the media timeout, the Jays got a two-point lead and never gave it up.

Sampson and Shawn Williams led the Golden Lions in scoring with 29 and 16, respectively. The Bluejays had five in double-figures, led by Alex O’Connell with 20. Freshman Ryan Nembhard had an impressive showing, as he started his college career with 15 points and 10 assists in the win.

The Jays outrebounded Arkansas-Pine Bluff 46-33, led in second-chance points 16-10, and outscored UAPB in points in the paint by a margin of 58-28.

Creighton has a quick turnaround, playing host to Kennesaw State on Thursday, November 11th, at 8:30 p.m. ET. The Owls also played today, as they went to Ames and lost to Iowa State, 84-73.