OMAHA, Neb. -- A record crowd of 18,859 wore their pink and watched the Creighton men's basketball team top Georgetown, 76-63, on Saturday night at CenturyLink Center Omaha.
Creighton (17-3, 7-1 BIG EAST) had five men in double-figures, including Will Artino's 14 that tied a career-high. Ranked 24th in last week's USA Today Coaches Top 25 poll, the Bluejays have now won 12 of 13 games and are alone in first place in their debut season in the BIG EAST. This marks the third straight season and fifth time in the last 12 years the Bluejays have won at least 17 of their first 20 games.
Georgetown dropped to 11-8 (3-5 BIG EAST) while suffering its fourth consecutive defeat. The Hoyas were led by 21 points and five assists from Markel Starks, while D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera added 18 points and Mikael Hopkins 14.
The game was just the second between the new league rivals in history, and first since a 1970 match-up in Florida.
Unlike Monday's game, when Creighton made a three-pointer on nine straight possessions to open an eventual 28-point win at No. 4 Villanova, the Bluejay Express got off to a slow start. CU had just seven points in the first 11 minutes before Ethan Wragge stepped up to get the train back on the tracks. Wragge had three three-pointers and three foul shots in a 15-4 spurt over less than five minutes that put the Jays in front, 22-15, late in the first half. CU would never be threatened again. Creighton led 34-24 at the break behind a dozen from Wragge and eight points by Doug McDermott.
Senior guard Jahenns Manigat scored Creighton's first five points after intermission, but the Hoyas kept at it and used a 7-0 run to draw within 42-36 with 14:43 left before a tip-dunk from Artino swung the momentum back in Creighton's favor. An Artino bucket the next trip down grew the lead 10, and the Hoyas never got closer than eight the rest of the night.
Creighton's largest lead was 18 (58-40) after a 10-0 run that include four points from McDermott, a three-ball by Manigat, a jumper from Devin Brooks and an Avery Dingman free throw.
McDermott racked up his 34th career double-double, finishing with 14 points and 10 rebounds to tie Artino for team-high honors. McDermott's scoring night moved him to 21st in NCAA history with 2,702 career points. Also in double-figures were Wragge (12), Brooks (11 points, seven rebounds, five assists) and Manigat (10). Austin Chatman had nine points, seven assists and seven rebounds. Creighton shot 46.2 percent for the night, including 7-of-21 from downtown, and made 21-of-28 foul shots. Creighton also outrebounded the Hoyas, 39-31, and owned a 25-2 advantage in bench points.
Georgetown shot 39.3 percent overall, and got 10 rebounds by Nate Lubick. The Hoyas made 6-of-20 shots from downtown and 9-of-11 foul shots.
Creighton returns to action on Tuesday when it hosts St. John's at 8:02 pm.
NOTES: Creighton raised more than $48,000 by auctioning off its warm-ups and uniforms as part of the third annual "Creighton vs. Cancer" promotion. More than 16,000 pink shirts were handed out to the crowd, as were commerative "Pink Out" posters ... The crowd of 18,859 was 124 more than the previous best, done in 2012 vs. Wichita State ... Ethan Wragge has made multiple three-pointers in 16 straight games, and became the second player in CU history with at least 300 treys in his career (Kyle Korver, 371) ... Speaking of McDermott and Wragge, Georgetown coach John Thompson III said after the game "They've got the best player in the country and the best shooter in the country, and they're two different players" ... Austin Chatman became the 13th player in CU history to reach 300 career assists. He needed 91 career games, seventh-fastest in CU history ... Ethan Wragge is now 32nd in CU history with 1,039 career points, passing Johnny Mathies ...Doug McDermott moved into fourth place in CU history in rebounds (988), passing Bob Portman.