December 22, 2019 / 3:55 AM / a month ago

Ballock helps Creighton hold off Arizona State

Mitch Ballock hit a decisive 3-point shot in the final minute of regulation, as the Creighton Bluejays defeated the Arizona State Sun Devils, 67-60, on Saturday night in Tempe, Ariz.

Dec 21, 2019; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Creighton Bluejays guard Denzel Mahoney (34) puts up a shot against the Arizona State Sun Devils during the first half at Desert Financial Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Creighton (10-2) dealt Arizona State (8-4) its first home-court loss of the season in six games. The Bluejays were the steadier team in a defense-dominated game that involved a few short bursts by both sides.

Ballock and Denzel Mahoney both scored 14 points to lead Creighton, while Christian Bishop had 12 points and a team-high nine rebounds.

Alonzo Verge Jr. scored 19 to lead Arizona State but shot just 6 of 23 from the field. Romello White scored 18 and had a game-high 12 boards.

Arizona State took a 30-22 lead with three minutes left in the first half. Creighton answered with an 8-2 spurt to reduce that eight-point deficit to two at halftime, 32-30. It was the first of several instances in which the flow of the game kept shifting.

The game was tied at 39-39 with 16:46 to go. Creighton scored seven straight points to grab a 46-39 edge with 14 minutes left, capped by a Ballock 3-pointer. But Arizona State answered with an 8-0 sequence to take a 47-46 lead with 12:30 left in regulation.

Creighton built a small 61-55 cushion with four minutes to play, but the Sun Devils scored five straight points to get within one entering the final minute. Ballock then hit his timely 3-pointer with 56 seconds left to quiet the Arizona State crowd. Arizona State didn’t score another point, and Creighton secured a non-conference victory on the road.

Creighton’s defense got the job done down the stretch. The Bluejays allowed just 13 points in the final 12:30 of regulation. Arizona State made only four field goals in that span, none from 3-point range.

The Sun Devils shot just 35.4 percent for the game, going 7 of 26 from 3-point range. Arizona State attempted only 10 foul shots. Creighton won despite making just 7 of 24 3-point attempts and attempting only eight free throws.

—Field Level Media

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