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Jahenns Manigat
Courtesy: Steven Branscombe

Lights Out Shooting Lifts Men's Basketball Past Drake, 91-61

OMAHA, Neb. -- Creighton bolted to a 20-2 lead after six minutes and never trailed in a 91-61 win over Drake on Tuesday night at CenturyLink Center Omaha.

Creighton's ninth straight win propelled the Bluejays to a 15-1 overall record (4-0 MVC), the program's best start since 2002-03. Drake dropped to 6-9 (0-4 MVC) with the setback.

The nation's leader in three-point shooting, Creighton came out firing early by sinking its first three attempts from three-point range and take a 11-2 lead after four minutes. The lead extended to 20-2, and later a 9-0 run made it 39-10 with seven minutes still to play in the first half. By that point, Doug McDermott had made his first six shots and owned 14 points.

CU's lead reached as much as 30 on three occasions (42-12, 45-15 and 47-17) before the Jays took a 49-25 lead into intermission. Creighton shot 19-of-28 in the first half, good for 67.9 percent, including 9-of-13 from downtown. CU owned the glass 24-9, paced by five caroms from McDermott, while also dishing 15 assists. Drake was led by six points from Joey King at the break, but DU shot only 28.1 percent in the opening stanza.

Creighton held a lead of 21 or more the entire second half, and led by as much as 35 (86-51) in the final three minutes.

Junior Ethan Wragge tied his career-high with 22 points to lead Creighton, sinking six three-pointers for the third time this year. Joining him in double-figures were McDermott (16), Jahenns Manigat (13) and Grant Gibbs (10). In addition, Nevin Johnson added a career-best nine points in 12 minutes of action. The Jays shot 64.2 percent for the game, including 59.3 percent from three-point range and 58.3 percent from the line. Creighton dished 28 baskets on its 34 hoops, including nine helpers from Austin Chatman.

CU outrebounded the Bulldogs 40-22, outscored them off the bench 45-31, and in the paint 26-20.

Drake was paced by 17 points off the bench from King, while Jordan Clarke and Micah Mason both scored 11. Preseason All-MVC pick Ben Simons was held to four points, his lowest total since the final game of the 2010-11 season. Simons' league-best streak of 30 straight games with a three-pointer was also snapped at 30. The Bulldogs shot 35.6 percent from the field, 32.1 percent from downtown and 71.4 percent at the line.

Creighton returns to action on Friday with a 7:05 pm game at Missouri State.

NOTES: Creighton's 15 wins are tied for the national lead with Gonzaga, Michigan and Duke,  with only Creighton and Duke owning 15 wins vs. Division I competition ...Creighton improved to 10-1 at home this season, the 17th straight season it has won 10 or more home games ...Creighton improved to 61-0 all-time at CenturyLink Center Omaha against teams that enter with a .500 record or worse, and has 71 straight such wins dating to a loss to Drake in 2002 at the Omaha Civic Auditorium ...Creighton's 44 wins since the start of last season are tied with Kansas for third-most nationally, trailing only Syracuse (48) and Kentucky (47) ...This is the fifth time that Creighton has started 4-0 in MVC play since rejoining The Valley in 1977-78, and first time since 2003-04 ...Creighton has made at least one three-pointer in 625 consecutive games ... Creighton has won 24 straight games when tied or leading at halftime ...Gregory Echenique moved into sole possession of fourth place on Creighton's all-time blocked shot list. He entered the night tied for fourth with Brody Deren with 138 swats and had one rejection ...The crowd of 18,073 was fourth-largest in CU history and the team's third straight sellout ...Doug McDermott's 16 points give him 362 this season, most of any player in the nation ...Creighton has made 10 or more three-pointers while shooting 50 percent from three-point range in all four MVC games, the first time in program history its done that in a four-game stretch. The Jays are shooting 53.1 percent from three-point range in MVC play this year (52-98) ...Ethan Wragge is now fifth in CU history with 189 career three-pointers, passing Matt Roggenburk (185) ...Creighton never trailed, the 40th time in 164 all-time games at CenturyLink Center Omaha that's happened. Creighton hasn't trailed in six of its 16 games this season.
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