Marcus Zegarowski scored 23 points and Denzel Mahoney added 18 off the bench as No. 21 Creighton bounced back from a midweek defeat to earn a 94-82 Big East Conference victory over visiting St. John’s in Omaha, Neb.
Ty-Shon Alexander and Damien Jefferson had 16 points each for the Bluejays (18-6, 7-4 Big East), who lost at Providence on Wednesday to end their four-game winning streak.
It was the second consecutive time this season Creighton lost its first game after moving into the national rankings.
Marcellus Earlington scored a career-high 25 points as the Red Storm (13-11, 2-9) lost their third consecutive game. St. John’s has defeated only DePaul in Big East play this season.
Creighton started fast, shooting 59.4 percent in the first half, including 42.1 percent from 3-point range, to take a 47-37 lead into the break. Jefferson and Zegarowski each scored 10 points in the opening half.
The Red Storm were able to hang around in the second half, cutting the deficit to 59-57 on a 3-pointer from Mustapha Heron with 11:18 to play. Heron, along with Nick Rutherford, came off the bench for the second consecutive game after being replaced in the starting lineup by Greg Williams Jr. and Julian Champagnie.
Creighton then went on an 11-5 run capped by a 3-pointer from Zegarowski to take a 70-62 lead with 9:28 remaining. Creighton finally took control with a 9-2 run to take an 87-72 lead with 4:19 remaining.
Christian Bishop and Mitch Ballock had 10 points each for Creighton, which shot 60.3 percent from the field and made 13 3-pointers. St. John’s shot 41.9 percent from the field and made 11 3-pointers.
Earlington added 10 rebounds for St. John’s, while LJ Figueroa and Heron had 12 points each. Earlington went 3 of 4 from 3-point range for St. John’s after entering 3 of 21 from distance over his first 23 games.
Creighton improved to 11-9 all-time against St. John’s and earned the victory after losing twice to the Red Storm last season. The teams meet again March 1 at St. John’s.
—Field Level Media