Strong 2nd half lifts No. 10 Bluejays past No. 21 Texas Tech

Sports

LAHAINA, Hawaii (AP) — Arthur Kaluma scored 18 points to lead all five Creighton starters in double figures, and the 10th-ranked Bluejays shook off a rocky start and pulled away for a 76-65 victory over No. 21 Texas Tech in the opening game of the Maui Invitational on Monday.

The Bluejays (5-0) committed a season-high 13 turnovers, all in the first half, and then their up-tempo offense started rolling.

Trey Alexander had 13 of his 17 points after halftime and Ryan Nembhard finished with 16. Baylor Scheierman had 11 points and 12 rebounds. Ryan Kalkbrenner, who rolled his ankle late in the first half and aggravated it late in the second, had 10 points.

Daniel Batcho scored a career-high 17 points for the Red Raiders (3-1), who led by seven points early while Creighton struggled to adjust to their trademark in-your-face defense.

Creighton outscored Texas Tech 23-12 the first 10 minutes of the second half to break open a 31-all game.

Alexander took Scheierman’s pass from the post and hit a 3 from the wing to get the second half started. After Kaluma blocked a shot, Alexander passed to Nembhard for a lay-in. A minute later, Nembhard scored with his left hand from the right side of the basket, and Alexander followed with a three-point play.

Nembhard’s 3 off the dribble gave the Bluejays their first double-digit lead, and Kaluma scored seven straight points for Creighton to make it 64-50 with seven minutes to play.

Pop Isaacs scored 13 points, De’Vion Harmon had 12 and Kevin Obanor added 10 for Texas Tech.

The Bluejays turned over the ball five times in their first six possessions, helping Texas Tech go up. They found some rhythm during a 13-2 run that put them in front, but another rash of turnovers kept them from building on it.

BIG PICTURE

Texas Tech: The Red Raiders allowed an average of 52.7 points over their first three games but gave up 45 in just the second half to Creighton. The game showed that Tech lacks the offensive firepower to match elite opponents if the defense isn’t on point.

Creighton: The Bluejays showed how good they can be in the second half. The concern is Kalkbrenner’s left ankle. He’s one of the best big men in the country and must be healthy for the Bluejays to have a chance of reaching their lofty goals.

UP NEXT

Texas Tech plays Tuesday against the loser of No. 9 Arkansas’ game with Louisville.

Creighton plays Tuesday against the Arkansas-Louisville winner.

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