Creighton's Threes Sink Cats, 69-62

OMAHA, Neb. - Three Creighton players scored in double figures and the Bluejays shot 57 percent from three-point range en route to a 69-62 victory over Kansas State at the Omaha Civic Center Tuesday.

Creighton (6-4) broke a four-game losing streak to K-State (5-5) and defeated the Wildcats for the first time since a 77-55 victory on Nov. 30, 1991.

The Bluejays hit 12 three-pointers - over half of its 23 made field goals on the night - and finished the evening shooting 57.1 percent (12-of-21) from deep. It was the first time an opponent hit 10 or more threes since Kansas had 10 against the Wildcats on Feb. 18, 2007.

Five different CU players had at least one three pointer, three of which scored in double figures. Ally Thrall led Creighton’s charge with 18 points on 6-of-9 shooting, including a perfect 5-for-5 from behind the arc.

Kansas State was led by Marlies Gipson’s 11 points, while Ashley Sweat added eight. The Wildcats out-rebounded the Bluejays 34-26, but was just 5-of-20 on three pointers.

K-State jumped out to an early 14-6 lead in the first four minutes of the game, capped by back-to-back Ashley Sweat jumpers. After trading baskets to make the score 16-8, the Bluejays turned up the heat from three-point range and stepped up its defense as they nailed four-straight three pointers and held K-State to just two points over a span of 4:45 to take their first lead at 20-18.

The Wildcats quickly responded with five unanswered, but just as K-State took back the lead it held for the first 11 minutes of the half, Creighton’s three-point shooting propelled it to a 36-32 halftime lead as it was true on another three shots behind the arc over the final six minutes of the first frame.

Kansas State was 50 percent (12-for-24) from the field in the first half, but it was Creighton’s blistering 9-for-15 (60 percent) barrage from behind the arc which pushed the Bluejays to the halftime advantage and CU used that momentum to start the second half on fire.

Although the Wildcats were only down four at the half, Creighton attempted to slam the door shut early on the Cats in the second half as they pulled out to a nine-point lead at 45-36 with Kelsey Woodard’s three with 16:07 remaining in the game.

Creighton extended its lead to as many as 20 with 7:27 left at 64-44, but Kansas State was determined to get back into the game as it went on a 18-4 run over the next seven minutes to pull within six with 21 seconds left, but it was too little too late for the Wildcats, who dropped its sixth-straight game away from the friendly confines of Bramlage Coliseum dating back to last season.

Kansas State will be off for 10 days before taking on Arkansas-Little Rock in the Loyola Marymount/Hilton LAX Holiday Tournament in Los Angeles, Calif., on Dec. 28. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m. (PT) at Gersten Pavilion.