Creighton Advances To The Elite 8 With Win Over Princeton
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Behind a combined 62 points from Ryan Kalkbrenner, Baylor Scheierman and Trey Alexander, sixth-seeded Creighton advanced to its first Elite Eight since 1941 with an 86-75 win over 15th-seeded Princeton on Friday, March 24.
The victory pushed the Bluejays to 24-12 on the season, while Princeton's season came to a close at 23-9. Creighton advances to face No. 18 San Diego State on Sunday, March 26 at 1:20 p.m. Central on CBS.
After starting the game 2-of-5 with a pair of turnovers, Creighton caught fire as the Bluejays hit their next eight shots to turn a 4-2 deficit into a 24-16 lead. Scheierman was the engine for the Bluejays' early surge as the Nebraska native delivered eight points on a pair of three-pointers and a driving layup.
Princeton, however, answered Creighton's challenge, making 9-of-11 shots from the field as the Tigers climbed in front 37-33. Creighton responded with a 12-1 run behind five points from Kalkbrenner to reclaim the lead, 45-38 with under one minute left in the first half. The Tigers refused to give ground, scoring the next five before a pair of free throws by Kalkbrenner sent the squads to the locker room with Creighton holding a 47-43 edge at the half.
The Bluejays asserted their will early in the second half with a 9-2 run to push their lead to 56-45. Kalkbrenner delivered the Bluejays' first five points of the half, while Ryan Nembhard and Scheierman capped the early run. Creighton's lead grew to as much as 16 at 68-52 (12:28), but Princeton continued to fight as the Tigers trimmed the Bluejay edge to 73-65 with 4:59 remaining.
Down the stretch Alexander put the game away with a critical three-ball, giving Creighton a 76-65 advantage, and four free throws in the final minute.
Kalkbrenner led Creighton with 22 points, while Scheierman delivered 21 and Alexander had 19. The Bluejays closed the game 32-of-55 from the field (58.2%), including 23-of-31 from inside the arc (74.2%). CU also shot 81.8 percent from the line, sinking 13-of-16 attempts.
Princeton got a game-high 26 points from Ryan Langborg and center Tosan Evbuomwan added 24 points and nine assists. Princeton shot 30-of-65 (46.2), but just 11-of-28 (39.3%) in the second half.