Foster’s 2nd-half surge leads Creighton past Huskers 75-65
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) Creighton’s Marcus Foster wasn’t much of a factor early against Nebraska. He sure was at the end.
Foster scored 17 of his 19 points in the second half, and Creighton beat Nebraska 75-65 Saturday for its seventh straight win over the Cornhuskers and coach Greg McDermott’s sixth in a row over Nebraska’s Tim Miles.
”Just couldn’t get a rhythm the first half,” Foster said. ”Something Coach Mac has told me over and over: `Be calm and be patient, and everything is going to go your way.’ “
Foster was held to 1-of-5 shooting in the first half and was just 4 for 11 with 4 minutes to play. He scored 10 of Creighton’s last 18 points to hold off the Huskers.
Foster’s strong finish began when he made a nifty move on the baseline for a layup. After Isaiah Roby blocked his shot, Foster picked up the ball and scored. Then, after Nebraska came out of a timeout in a 1-3-1 zone for the first time, Foster buried a deep 3-pointer for a 69-63 lead with 43 seconds left.
Mitch Ballock had 11 of his 13 points in the second half, Ronnie Harrell Jr. finished with 12 and Khyri Thomas added 11 for Creighton.
”This is a really good win for us and I think later in the season we’ll see how good a win it is for us,” McDermott said. ”I’ve said this week that I feel like this is Tim’s most complete team. They’re very disruptive defensively with their length and their size in particular.”
Isaac Copeland had a double-double with 20 points and a career-high 11 rebounds for Nebraska (7-4). The Huskers got 16 points from James Palmer Jr., and 10 from Roby. Glynn Watson had eight points and five assists before fouling out with 2:50 left.
”First of all you have to credit Creighton,” Miles said. ”Their second half was outstanding. They got downhill on offense and Ballock got us early. If we’re going to beat a really good team on the road, we have to have seven or eight guys be stars in their roles.”
The Bluejays, fueled by a sellout crowd of 17,901 that was on its feet much of the second half, shot 59 percent after halftime.
They struggled in the first half, missing 5 of 7 free throws after getting in the bonus less than 8 minutes into the game, committing seven turnovers in a five-minute stretch and missing 11 of 13 3-pointers.
Still, they trailed just 33-28 at half thanks to Nebraska’s 39-percent shooting and inability to pull away when it had chances.
”Honestly,” McDermott said, ”I felt fortunate to be down five with 10 turnovers and as bad as we shot free throws.”
Nebraska: The Huskers were coming off an upset of No. 14 Minnesota and clearly have closed the gap against Creighton. A big reason is Copeland. The Georgetown transfer’s length and athleticism bothered the Bluejays.
Creighton: The Bluejays took the all-time series lead, 26-25, against their in-state rival. The seven straight wins over Nebraska mark their longest streak in the series. Creighton has won 11 straight regular-season home games against the Huskers.
McDermott is now 14-0 all-time against Miles. The two longtime friends have squared off with different teams over the last 20 years, going back to when McDermott was at Wayne State (Nebraska) and Miles was at Southwest Minnesota State.
Miles joked before the game about the certainties of his life: ”Death, taxes and Miles loses to McDermott.”
After the game, McDermott said, ”Tim and I have been friends a long time, and I pull for his team when they’re not playing us.”
Creighton’s Martin Krampelj had his second straight double-double, with 10 points and 11 rebounds. … The Bluejays trailed at halftime for the first time this season. … Copeland’s double-double was his first for Nebraska and second of his career. … The Huskers’ Palmer has been in double figures in 10 of 11 games. … Nebraska got to the foul line a season-low three times.
Nebraska hosts No. 2 Kansas on Saturday.
Creighton hosts Maryland-Eastern Shore on Friday.
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