MBB: Second half comeback falls short at No. 25 Creighton

Dec. 18, 2017

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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- Wichita Falls, Texas native Marcus Foster and No. 25 Creighton left no doubt with UT Arlington coach Scott Cross about why the Bluejays rank among the nation's scoring leaders.

Foster helped Creighton lead by 25 points in the first half, and the Mavericks never fully recovered in the Bluejays' 90-81 victory Monday night.

"The speed that they play in is absolutely amazing," Cross said. "The way they pass the ball, the way they run in transition ... I don't think I've ever played a team that's better in transition than them."

Foster scored 22 of his season-high 32 points in the first half as Creighton rolled to its fourth straight win.

Creighton (9-2) matched its season scoring average of 90.2 points per game, which was tied for eighth nationally going into Monday and tops among Big East teams. The Bluejays shot 50 percent from the field in the first half, including 8 of 17 from 3-point range.

Creighton opened an 11-4 lead as Foster scored in the low post, pulled up for a jumper in the lane and buried a 3-point shot. UTA (8-4) took its first and only edge at 13-11 on Johnny Hamilton's basket with 14:10 left in the half, but that quickly disappeared.

Khyri Thomas, Ronnie Harrell, Ty-Shon Alexander, Foster and Mitch Ballock all made 3-point shots over a six-minute burst that gave Creighton a 31-18 lead, and Harrell also finished off a three-point play during that stretch.

The 22 first-half points by Foster were the most by a Bluejay since Doug McDermott had 27 before the break in a 2014 Big East Tournament game against DePaul. The repertoire of shots to get there was impressive, too.

"I got some pull-ups, got to the cup tonight, and then hit some 3s," Foster said. "I got to get that going, too, and not just settling for my 3s, to keep the defense off balance a little bit."

Thomas added 16 points, five assists and five rebounds.

Kevin Hervey led UT Arlington with 24 points and 11 rebounds.

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