Dec 08, 2019 3:20 AM

Nebraska gets blown out at Creighton

Posted Dec 08, 2019 3:20 AM

OMAHA, Neb. -- Creighton had its long winning streak against Nebraska end last year, and even though the Cornhuskers have a first-year coach and 14 new players, that didn't tamp down the Bluejays' desire for payback.

The Bluejays sought to re-establish themselves as the dominant program in the state, and they left no doubt they are Saturday.

Marcus Zegarowski scored 30 points to lead four Creighton players in double figures, and the Bluejays made fast work of rebuilding Nebraska in a 95-76 win at the sold-out CHI Health Center.

Zegarowski made four 3-pointers, finished 13 of 19 from the field, grabbed a career-high nine rebounds and matched his season high with six assists for the Bluejays (7-2).

"It's a huge deal not only for the team but for the whole fan base, everybody who supports Creighton," Zegarowski said. "Obviously last year didn't go like we wanted. This year we bounced back and won the game handily, although we wanted to win it more handily. Didn't happen. I'm still happy for my guys."

The Bluejays lost 94-75 in Lincoln last year, ending their seven-game win streak in the series. They also had to endure taunts from fans after it was disclosed Creighton had come up in an FBI investigation into college basketball.

"It really hurt a lot," said Ty-Shon Alexander, who had a season-high 22 points with four 3s. "Especially all the messages and the things people were saying down at Nebraska last year. We took it personal. We wish we could have beat them (by) more. We did what we had to do. Great win for us."

Haanif Cheatham led the Cornhuskers (4-5) with 14 points. Cam Mack and Thor Thorbjarnarson had 12 apiece.

With a pro-Creighton crowd of 18,068 that included Governor Pete Ricketts on hand, first-year Nebraska coach Fred Hoiberg got a baptism by fire in the annual game between the state's top Division I programs.

In a game reminiscent of 2013, when Creighton got out to a 38-8 lead against the Tim Miles-coached Huskers, the Bluejays were up 37-7 with six minutes left in the first half and were never threatened.

"Give Creighton credit," Hoiberg said. "They threw the first punch -- the second, third and fourth punches as well."

Damien Jefferson, who entered the game 1 for 15 on 3-pointers, and Alexander each made a couple shots from distance as the Bluejays opened an 18-2 lead. Zegarowski scored 12 points over the next eight minutes as the advantage ballooned to 42-11.

Nebraska made just 2 of its first 19 shots and finished the first half 8 of 34 and down 48-22.

Hoiberg said the game plan was to get back on defense and slow down the the up-tempo Bluejays. That didn't happen. On the offensive end, the Huskers settled for bad shots rather than getting the ball inside.

"When you dig yourself that type of hole, it's hard," Hoiberg said. "You're putting a lot of pressure on yourself and expending a lot of energy trying to climb back."

The Huskers whittled into the lead in the second half. They used an 18-7 spurt to pull within 67-48, but Zegarowski made a couple shots and Mitch Ballock hit a 3-pointer to get it back to 74-49. Nebraska never got closer than 20 points until the final minute, when the Huskers closed a 10-0 run with reserves playing for both teams.

Hoiberg took some consolation in his team scoring 54 points and shooting 61% in the second half.

"If you don't play a complete 40 minutes against a team like this," Hoiberg said, "you're going to be in trouble."


Nebraska: One of Hoiberg's concerns has been his team tending to fold when adversity strikes. The Huskers easily could have quit after falling behind quickly, but they didn't. They missed more than two shots in a row only once after half.

Creighton: The Bluejays reasserted their control in the series and have now won all six of their home games by no fewer than nine points. The Bluejays hold a 27-26 edge in the series and hasn't lost to Nebraska in Omaha since the 2004 NIT.


Nebraska guard Samari Curtis has decided to transfer, Hoiberg announced. The 6-foot-4, 190-pound freshman from Xenia, Ohio, appeared in the first eight games and averaged 1.8 points and 0.9 rebounds.


Thorbjarnarson made his first start of the season for Nebraska. He replaced Mack, who started the first eight games at point guard. Hoiberg's reason: : "He was one minute late to the bus today. Be on time."


Nebraska opens Big Ten play at Indiana on Friday.

Creighton hosts Texas-Rio Grande Valley on Friday.

--- Associated Press ---

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Dec 08, 2019 3:20 AM
Griffons roll past Henderson State 35-14 to win Live United Bowl

TEXARKANA, Ark. – The 300th all-time win for Missouri Western football came in the final game of its 50th season. The Griffons (9-3) trounced Henderson State (9-3) in the Agent Barry Live United Bowl to reach nine wins for the first time since 2012 and break a program record with its 11th straight win away from St. Joseph.


Missouri Western controlled the line of scrimmage throughout and turned in one of its best defensive performances of the season. Anthony Williams intercepted the Reddies' second play from scrimmage, setting the tone for the Griffon defense early. Markel Smith gave MWSU a 7-0 lead with 2:38 left in the first quarter after both teams showed some rust early in the game. Missouri Western elected to twice go for it on fourth down inside the Henderson State red zone and failed to convert either time, allowing Henderson State to tie the game with 5:04 left in the first half.


Blake Burau capped an 11-play, 68-yard drive that took 4:23 off the clock with a four-yard touchdown catch from Wyatt Steigerwald. Burau's TD put MWSU up 14-7 with 34 seconds left in the half. MWSU scored on its first four possessions of the second half. The final touchdown was a 16-yard pass to Luke Vang. The Griffons originally lined up to kick a field goal on 4th and two from the Henderson State 16, but kicker Sam Aviles motioned out as a receiver and Steigerwald to his quarterback position before hitting a wide open Vang to put MWSU up 35-14.



  • Missouri Western became the first team to ever win the Live United Bowl twice.
  • Trey Vaval was named MVP after breaking the Live United Bowl record with 225 return yards. The freshman returned four punts for 143 yards and three kicks for 82. He actually broke the record in the first half and became the second Griffon specialist to win MVP of the game in as many years. Tyler Basch was named MVP as the team's kicker in 2018.
  • The Griffons out-gained Henderson State 463-263 even with Vaval's returns often setting the Griffs up with great field position.
  • Missouri Western had the ball for more than 39 minutes.
  • Henderson State was held to just 73 rushing yards on 24 carries.
  • Two Reddie quarterbacks were limited to 10 completions on 37 attempts for 290 yards. The Griffon defense also had three sacks.
  • MWSU rushed for 287 yards with Markel Smith (136) and Shamar Griffith (110) both going over 100.
  • The Griffons were 11 for 18 on third down.
  • Steigerwald threw two touchdown passes in a game for the 10th time in 2019.
  • Both touchdown passes were to tight ends, giving the position group 15 on the season.

--- MWSU Athletics ---