OMAHA, Neb. — Forty-one bench points and 22 fast break points helped No. 9 Creighton improve to 3-0 on the season with a 93-58 win over Kennesaw State on Friday. The stakes get considerably higher on Tuesday, when the Bluejays meet No. 7 Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse as part of the Big 12 – BIG EAST Battle.
Six Bluejays scored in double-figures, led by 14 each from freshman Ryan Kalkbrenner and Preseason BIG EAST Player of the Year Marcus Zegarowski. Damien Jefferson added 13 points, Christian Bishop and Shereef Mitchell added 11 and Mitch Ballock chipped in with 10.
Kennesaw State (2-2) was led by 14 points frmo Alex Peterson, while Spencer Rodgers contributed 10 points, six rebounds and five assists.
Creighton fell behind 8-6 after four minutes before a game-changing 19-2 run put the hosts in control. The flurry started with four straight baskets from Kalkbrenner, which included three dunks and an alley-oop lob. Kalkbrenner’s contributions were part of a 41-10 edge in bench points for the Bluejays, and a 50-28 lead in the paint.
CU outscored the Owls 24-9 in the 8:02 before intermission to take a 52-25 lead into the half thanks to a dozen points each by Kalkbrenner and Zegarowski.
The Bluejays opened the second half with a 20-7 burst and the lead remained 27 or larger throughout the final 20 minutes.
Creighton shot 55.7 percent from the field (34-61) and made 18-of-21 free throws. The Bluejays also won the rebound battle 38-31 and had 15 assists against just seven turnovers.
Kennesaw State shot 36.5 percent for the game and were just 5-of-23 (21.7 percent) from downtown.