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Iowa State exploits Creighton’s mistakes, wins 64-58

Creighton has 21 turnovers in their home loss

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

The Creighton Bluejays faced their toughest opponent in the form of the Iowa State Cyclones, and it showed; CU fell to ISU, 64-58. Turnovers drove the narrative again for the Jays, who coughed up the ball 21 times en route to their loss. In retrospect, Creighton handled most of these turnovers well, they only allowed 15 points off turnovers.

Still, it seemed like everyone on the team was prone to make a mistake or two in this affair, something that rarely leads to success. There was no true steady hand against Iowa State, and without that dependable piece to rely on, crunch time gets difficult to navigate.

Iowa State did another thing that bugged Creighton, and that was preventing Ryan Kalkbrenner from getting post-touches. The big man had been productive in his last several games, recording double-figure points in all but the first game of the season before tonight, when he had six points against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. It was a repeat performance tonight, scoring just four when Creighton was in it and cleaning up an Alex O’Connell three-point miss with basically no time left to get his total to six. His presence was still felt with his rebounding and shot-blocking, as he was able to log a career-high 10 rebounds and tally 2 blocks. Still, without many post-touches, Creighton had to depend on perimeter shooting and dribble penetrations to score, which for most was not working.

That does exclude Ryan Hawkins, who led the game in scoring. He made some moves look clean: he utilized the pivot foot to get good shots, made threes, and drained all his foul shots. He was one of the bright spots for Creighton, but the turnover issue was still glaring, as Hawkins led the team in turnovers. Rati Andronikashvili was another piece, in this case off the bench, that seemed to make an immediate impact.

Offensively, Andronikashvili was still questionable, but his presence on the defensive end was undeniable, and it shows on the box score with his four steals. He was being used as a defensive substitution for Hawkins down the stretch when Creighton was begging for a bucket and needed some takeaways. But still, Creighton was not able to get out of this one with a win.

Creighton was most notably led by Hawkins with 25 and Ryan Nembhard with 10. Arthur Kaluma added 7, Kalkbrenner and Andronikashvili tallied 6, and O’Connell and Shereef Mitchell (who is still battling his injury) settled for just 2 points. Iowa State was led by 16 from Caleb Grill off the bench, 12 from Izaiah Brockington, 8 from George Conditt IV and Tyrese Hunter, and 7 from Aljaz Kunc and Tre Jackson.

Creighton will drop their second game on the season and move to 7-2, while Iowa State will move up to 8-0. Creighton’s next game will be on December 11th in the Sanford Pentagon at Sioux Falls against the BYU Cougars, who just split their two games away from home with an OT loss to Utah Valley and a road win against Missouri State. BYU will host Utah State on the 8th, then will travel to South Dakota to play Creighton.