National Basketball Association
Creighton 66, Xavier 61
When: 3:00 PM ET, Wednesday, December 23, 2020
Where: CHI Health Center Omaha, Omaha, Nebraska
Officials: # John Higgins, # Kipp Kissinger, # Doug Shows
Attendance: N/A

Denzel Mahoney scored 13 points, including a critical three-point play late in the game, and No. 13 Creighton edged No. 22 Xavier 66-61 on Wednesday in a Big East Conference clash at Omaha, Neb.

Antwann Jones came off the bench and also had 13 points for the Bluejays (7-2, 3-1), making two foul shots with 0.5 seconds remaining to seal the outcome, while Marcus Zegarowski and Christian Bishop each added 10 points.

Nate Johnson scored 12 points for the Musketeers (8-1, 1-1) and Paul Scruggs added 11. Xavier leading scorer Zach Freemantle never got on track, going 3 for 9 from the field and scoring seven points before he fouled out.

An expected shootout never developed as both teams were off target. Xavier hit only 24 of 68 field goals (35.3 percent), while Creighton was just 22 of 62 (35.5 percent). The teams combined to make only 16 of 60 3-point tries.

The difference was at the foul line. The Bluejays connected on 14 of 20, while the Musketeers canned just five on seven attempts. Creighton did not make a field goal following Mahoney's basket and free throw with 2:38 remaining that came after Xavier closed within a point at 57-56. The Bluejays were able to close out the game by going 7 of 9 from the free-throw line.

Xavier started quickly, grabbing a 17-5 lead after Jason Carter dunked with 14:27 left in the first half. They hit 7 of their first 10 field goal attempts, a stark contrast to Creighton's 2 for 10.

Adam Kunkel made a 3-pointer at the 12:59 mark to up Xavier's cushion to 22-9. The Bluejays finally found traction offensively behind Jones, a Memphis transfer who scored seven points in a three-minute span as they sliced the lead to 31-27.

The Musketeers didn't score over the final 5:05 of the first half, and Bishop put Creighton ahead with a jumper with 2:47 remaining. The Bluejays took a 36-34 edge into halftime.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
Xavier   Creighton
Nate Johnson 12 Scoring Antwann Jones 13
Paul Scruggs 4 Assists Mitch Ballock 2
Colby Jones 6 Rebounds Christian Bishop 7
Nate Johnson 2 Free Throws Made Marcus Zegarowski 5
Adam Kunkel 2 Steals Mitch Ballock 1
Jason Carter 1 Blocks Ryan Kalkbrenner 3
Team Stats Summary
Team Points FG% 3PM-3PA FTM-FTA Assists Rebounds Blocks Steals Turnovers
Xavier 61 35.3 8-32 5-7 10 38 3 4 11
Creighton 66 35.5 8-28 14-20 10 41 6 4 12