The Creighton Bluejays came out firing and built on the momentum with a strong defensive effort in the second half to begin their 2019-20 campaign with an 81-55 win over the Kennesaw State Owls in Omaha, Neb.
Creighton finished the game 12-for-25 (48%) from downtown for the game, led by junior guard Ty-Shon Alexander’s 19 in a balanced attack that buried Kennesaw State as the second half wore on.
Creighton showed its range early, hitting its first five 3-point field goal attempts to build a comfortable 19-6 lead in the first six minutes of the game.
Kennesaw State showed some life at that point thanks to sophomore guard Danny Lewis. Lewis came off the bench and went 5-for-8 from the field through the rest of the first half to lead the Owls in scoring with 10 points.
Kennesaw State also enjoyed a distinct 9-0 advantage at the free-throw line in the first half to slow the Bluejays’ momentum. Fueled by Lewis’ spark, Kennesaw State picked up its defensive effort to close out the first half as well.
The Owls held the Bluejays to 2-for-7 from 3-point range to finish out the half and pulled to within 39-31 at the break, despite shooting just 36% from the field to start the game.
Halftime adjustments benefitted Creighton immensely as the Bluejays began the second half with a 21-2 run to finally put some distance between itself and Kennesaw State. Sophomore guard Marcus
Zegarowski helped Creighton pull away by showing no signs of a sophomore slump.
Zegarowski led the Big East in 3-point percentage last season as a true freshman and started out his 2019-20 campaign going 3-for-3 in that category. Zegarowski finished 7-of-10 with 18 points. Also finishing in double digits for the Bluejays was sophomore forward Christian Bishop with 12 points.
Freshman guard Shareef Mitchell made a solid collegiate debut, becoming just the third Creighton true freshman in the past 25 years to start the season opener. Mitchell finished with eight points, six rebounds and three steals.
Lewis finished with 15 points to lead the Owls. He was joined in double digits by redshirt senior Bryson Lockley (12 points) and redshirt senior guard Tyler Hooker (10 points). Creighton will look to move to 2-0 on Tuesday, Nov. 12 against the Michigan Wolverines in Ann Arbor while Kennesaw State will try for its first win on Thursday at Drake.
—Field Level Media