OMAHA, Neb. — For the second time in eight days, Seton Hall used a big run in the final minutes to upend the Creighton men’s basketball team. On Sunday, the Pirates used a 16-2 run to escape Omaha with an 81-75 victory over the host Bluejays.
Seton Hall has won three in a row and improved to 16-9 (7-6 BIG EAST). Creighton fell to 13-13 and is 4-9 in BIG EAST play after a fourth consecutive loss.
Ty-Shon Alexander led Creighton with 20 points, all in a six-minute stretch midway through the second half. Davion Mintz (16), Mitch Ballock (13) and Martin Krampelj (11) also finished in double-figures. Ballock tied his career-high with eight rebounds and set a personal-best a pair of blocked shots.
Myles Cale added a team-best 20 points for Seton Hall, which also got 19 points from Myles Powell, 17 points and nine rebounds from Sandro Mamukelashvili and 16 points and six steals by Quincy McKnight.
Seton Hall got scores from four different players to race to a 12-2 lead to start the game. Following a Creighton timeout, Creighton answered with the next 12 points to take the lead, including five points by Mintz. Neither team led by more than three the rest of the half, with Ballock beating the halftime buzzer from long-range to give CU a 33-30 intermission edge.
Seton Hall took its first lead of the second half at 49-47 with 13:24 left on a steal and transition lay-up by McKnight, and the Pirates led 51-49 before Alexander caught fire with 12:17 to play.
Scoreless for nearly 28 minutes, Alexander sank five three-pointers in a span of eight possessions, and added five free throws a short time later to help CU build its largest lead of the day at 71-64 with 6:22 to play. CU would have three other shots to increase the lead even more with five minutes remaining.
Trailing 73-67, Mamukelashvili’s jump hook with 4:16 remaining started a furious 13-0 run that stunned the hosts. Creighton had four turnovers in that stretch, each one a result of six thefts on the afternoon by McKnight, which tied the junior floor general’s career-high.
The game was tied with 48 seconds left before Powell drained a three-pointer to give the Pirates a 76-73 lead. Creighton would turn it over and McKnight and Powell each drained free throws to cap the run with Seton Hall leading 80-73 in the final 20 seconds. Mintz ended CU’s drought in the final 15 seconds, but it wasn’t enough.
Creighton returns to the court on Wednesday for an 8 p.m. tip at DePaul.