Men's Basketball Falls, 67-55 To Missouri State

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Antoine Young
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OMAHA, Neb. -- Missouri State outscored host Creighton 47-26 in the second half, overcoming a 29-20 halftime deficit, to post a 67-55 win in Omaha before 14,920 fans at Qwest Center Omaha.

Missouri State won its fifth straight game, improving to 11-3 overall and 3-0 in the MVC with road wins at Northern Iowa and Creighton. The Bluejays fell to 10-5 on the year, 2-1 in the MVC, to snap a six-game win streak.

The first half featured six ties and seven lead changes before Creighton closed the first half on a 10-0 run over the final 3:43. Fueling that run was a pair of three-pointers by Kenny Lawson Jr., a lay-up by Gregory Echenique and a buzzer-beating lay-up by Antoine Young. That gave Creighton its largest lead of the half, 29-20, heading to intermission.

Creighton was paced by eight points each from Lawson and Young, while Echenique had six points in the opening stanza. MSU was paced by six points from reigning MVC Player of the Week Jermaine Mallett.

After Creighton scored on a Doug McDermott bucket to start the second half, Missouri State would steadily chip away into the Bluejay lead. After a McDermott trey with 15:29 left put CU up 40-33, MSU would hold the Jays without a field goal for nearly nine minutes while embarking on a 19-4 run. The run was truly a team effort, including hoops from six different men to take the lead for good.

Creighton got no closer than 10 points in the final two minutes against an MSU team that shot 68 percent from the field in the second half (17-25) and 53.2 percent overall.

MSU had five men in double-figures, a quartet led by Mallett's 15. Kyle Weems had 14 points and seven rebounds, while Will Creekmore (12 points) and Nafis Ricks (10 points, five assists) also contributed to the offensive outburst. The Bears also drained 6-of-13 three-pointers and 11-of-17 at the line.

Creighton had three men in double-figures, led by McDermott's 17 points and eight rebounds. Young had 14 points, while Lawson finished with 10 points and six rebounds. Creighton shot 39.2 percent from the floor, 5-of-20 from downtown (25 percent) and 62.5 percent from the line (10-16). The Jays outrebounded MSU 35-26, limiting the Bears to just one offensive rebound, but the Bears outscored CU 18-2 off turnovers.

Creighton will hit the road for a pair of games this weekend, playing at Southern Illinois on Friday at 7:05 pm and at Evansville on Sunday at 3:35 pm.

NOTES: Creighton has made at least one three-pointer in 550 straight games ...Senior forward Casey Harriman, who is undergoing career-ending shoulder surgery tomorrow, played parts of the final minute and received multiple standing ovations from the home crowd ... Creighton had been 17-3 at home vs. MSU, including five straight wins ... Five of the last six times Creighton started 2-0 and lost its third league game, the Jays went on to win the MVC regular-season title ... Creighton, which made its final 19 free throws on Saturday vs. Drake, made its first eight at the line tonight before a pair of misses by Jahenns Manigat with 11:26 to play. Manigat entered the night 11-for-11 at the stripe in his college career ... Creighton had won 49 straight home games when holding a lead of 10 or more at any point ... The loss was the 200th of head coach Greg McDermott's 17-year career. He owns 290 wins ... Creighton's 29-20 halftime lead was its largest in a loss all season ... Creighton's Kenny Lawson Jr. had six rebounds, giving him 354 in his career at Qwest Center Omaha. That's three more than Dane Watts, and a facility record ... Antoine Young had three assists and four turnovers, snapping a streak of 29 straight games without more turnovers than assists ... With 10 points, Kenny Lawson Jr. moved from 28th to 25th on Creighton's all-time scoring list. He now owns 1,123 career points.

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