Mitch Ballock made five 3-pointers and scored a game-high 22 points to lead Creighton to an 82-72 win over Louisiana Tech in Omaha, Neb., on Saturday night.
Ty-Shon Alexander added four 3-pointers and 17 points for the Blue Jays. Marcus Zegarowski posted 17 points, five assists and five rebounds.
Ballock, a junior guard, hit numerous big shots to stave off a second-half rally by the Bulldogs. He finished 7-for-14 from the floor, including 5-for-11 on 3s, to go with six rebounds and three assists. Alexander was 6-for-10 overall, including 4 of 5 from behind the arc, while adding five boards.
DaQuan Bracey paced the Bulldogs (2-1) with 17 points and senior forward Mubarak Muhammed had a double-double with 14 points and a career-high 16 rebounds.
The Blue Jays (2-1) shot 46.6 percent from the field (27 of 58) and scored 17 points off turnovers.
The Blue Jays tried to pull away in the second half, when Ballock hit a transition 3-pointer for a 51-42 lead, but the Bulldogs trimmed their deficit to 60-57 on Bracey’s three-point play with 7:10 left.
Ballock canned a 3-pointer to give the Blue Jays some breathing room for 66-60 lead with 6:56 left. Bracey’s 3-pointer lowered the deficit to 67-63, but Alexander added a field goal to push the lead to 69-63.
Alexander, who was voted preseason first-team All-Big East by the league coaches, hit a pivotal 3 to increase the margin to 72-67 with 2:56 remaining. Ballock hit a step-back 3 to push the lead to 75-68.
The teams were locked in a close battle in the first half.
Creighton finished the half shooting 16-for-32, while the Bulldogs shot 15-for-35. The Bulldogs trailed by as many as 13 points before relying on a collective effort to trim the deficit to 42-36 at halftime.
—Field Level Media