LAHAINA, Hawaii (AP) — Arthur Kaluma scored 18 points to lead all five Creighton starters by double digits, and the No. 10 Bluejays shrugged off a rocky start and clinched a 76-65 win 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 fast offense got 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 posted a career-high 17 points for the Red Raiders (3-1), who led early by seven points, while Creighton struggled to adapt to his typical in-your-face defense.
Creighton outplayed Texas Tech 23-12 in the first 10 minutes of the second half to open a 31-all game.
Alexander took Scheierman’s pass off the post and hit a 3 from the wing to start the second half. 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, Alexander followed with a three-point game.
Nembhard’s 3 from dribble gave the Bluejays their first double-digit lead and Kaluma scored seven straight points for Creighton to put it 64-50 with seven minutes remaining.
Pop Isaacs scored 13 points, De’Vion Harmon had 12 and Kevin Obanor added 10 for Texas Tech.
The Bluejays turned the ball around five times in their first six possessions, helping Texas Tech move up. They found some rhythm during a 13-2 run that put them ahead, but another spate of turnovers prevented them from building on that.
Texas Tech: The Red Raiders averaged 52.7 points in their first three games but gave up 45 to Creighton in the second half alone. The game showed that Tech lacks the offensive firepower to take on elite opponents when defenses aren’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 needs to be healthy for the Bluejays to have a chance of achieving their lofty goals.
Texas Tech plays Game No. 9 loser Arkansas vs. Louisville on Tuesday.
Creighton plays the Arkansas-Louisville winner Tuesday.
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