Huskers Fall to Creighton

Lincoln – Teddy Allen had a career-high 26 points and nine rebounds, but Nebraska was unable to withstand Creighton’s second-half run in falling 98-74 to the eighth-ranked Bluejays Friday night.

Allen led three Huskers in double figures, as Nebraska dipped to 3-3 on the season. Marcus Zegarowski’s 22 points led five Bluejays in double figures, as Creighton improved to 4-1 on the season.

Nebraska battled toe-to-toe with Creighton for 25 minutes and was within 55-51 after Trey McGowens’ 3-pointer with 14:42 remaining, but the Bluejays seized control with a 23-2 spurt, hitting 9-of-11 shots from the floor, including four 3-pointers. Nebraska struggled and went just 1-of-8 from the field and committed four turnovers in that stretch to put the game out of reach.

Creighton shot 52 percent from the field, including 61 percent in the second half, and turned a season-high 25 Nebraska turnovers into 38 points.

Denzel Mahoney added 20 for the winners, while Ryan Kalkbrenner (13), Damien Jefferson (11) and Christian Bishop (10) also finished in double figures for Creighton.

For Nebraska, McGowens had 15 points, while Dalano Banton added 12 points and seven boards, as the Huskers shot 44 percent, including 11-of-26 from 3-point range.

Nebraska battled throughout a first half which saw six lead changes and five ties before the Bluejays took a 44-40 lead into the locker room.

Creighton used the hot shooting of Zegarowski, who scored nine of his 17 first-half points in a 9-0 spurt to put Creighton ahead 15-8 before the Huskers regrouped. Thorir Thorbjarnarson’s 3-pointer started a 7-0 Husker run that tied the score at 15 after a Banton free throw at the 13:13 mark.

Every time the Bluejays stretched the lead the Huskers would answer. Trailing 24-17, the Huskers held Creighton scoreless for 3:39, running off six straight to pull within 24-23 after an Allen basket with 6:24 left in the half.

Allen had 14 first-half points, while Banton added 12 and five boards in the opening 20 minutes.

Nebraska regained the lead at 29-28 after a 3-point play and eventually led 33-30 after a Yvan Ouedraogo free throw with 3:41 left in the half.

Creighton used a 9-0 run to regain the lead, pushing the margin to 39-33 after a Mahoney basket before the Huskers stormed back. Banton scored five straight to pull to within 42-40 after a pair of free throws with 16.6 seconds left, but Mahoney’s two free throws capped a 14-point first half as the hosts pushed the lead to four heading into the locker room.

Trailing 48-41 early in the second half, Trey McGowens ran off five straight points, the last coming on a thunderous dunk to pull 48-46 with 17:20 left. The Huskers stayed within striking distance until the Bluejay run.

The Huskers return to action on Monday, Dec. 21, when they host No. 13 Wisconsin in Nebraska’s Big Ten opener. Tipoff is now set for 6:30 p.m. and will be televised on FS1 and carried on the Learfield IMG Husker Sports Network.