Late Dunk Lifts No. 11 Creighton To Win Over Providence
PROVIDENCE, R.I.: Christian Bishop had a go-ahead dunk with 0.8 seconds left and the 11th-ranked Creighton Bluejays held off a late rally to beat the Providence Friars 67-65 on Saturday.
Marcus Zegarowski, who had the assist on Bishops dunk, hit six 3-pointers and had 20 points to help the Bluejays (8-2, 4-1 Big East) to their fourth straight victory.
Damien Jefferson added a season-high 18 points, his eighth consecutive game in double-figures. Marcus Ballock finished with 14 points. Zegarowski, Jefferson and Ballock combined for 52 of the Bluejays points.
Creighton led by as many as 13 with about seven minutes left in the second half. Providence (7-4, 3-2) got within 65-63 on a pair of free throws by Noah Horchler with 15.9 seconds remaining and forced a turnover on the Bluejays ensuing inbounds attempt.
Horchler tied the game with a layup with 7 seconds left. Creighton inbounded quickly, and Zegarowski pushed the ball up the floor and found the trailing Bishop for the dunk.
Nate Watson and David Duke each had 13 for Providence.
Defense was the trigger for much of Creightons offense.
Providence center Nate Watson had been dominant over the Friars previous six games, averaging 19 points, eight rebounds and shooting more than 60% from the field.
But the Bluejays used a variety of double teams to freeze him out in the first half, limiting him to just three field goal attempts. The Friars had only 10 points in the paint in the half and shot only 35%.
The Friars controlled the pace early and led 22-15. But that was erased by a 18-2 run by the Bluejays that included three 3-pointers by Ballock.
He added his fourth 3 as time expired in the first half to send Creighton into halftime with a 40-32 lead.
Providence had just one turnover in the opening nine minutes of the half, but gave it away over the final 11 minutes. The Bluejays scored 13 points off the Friars turnovers.
Creighton: The Bluejays have done a great job of balancing their scoring this season. But it was a positive sign to see Jefferson, Zegarowski and Ballock assertive while still getting their teammates involved.
Providence: The Friars often settled for jumpers with Watson taken out of the mix. Theyll need to find alternative ways to get into the offense during the rest of the way if they are going to keep pace in the Big East.
Creighton: Hosts Seton Hall on Wednesday.
Providence: Visits Xavier on Jan. 10. The first meeting of the season between the teams was postponed last month because of COVID-19.
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