KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A cold shooting night from the Creighton men’s basketball team was too much to overcome as No. 22 Baylor edged the Bluejays, 65-59, for the 2017 Hall of Fame Classic title.
Creighton fell to 4-1, while Baylor is 5-0.
Creighton came in averaging nearly 98 points per game, but shot just 34.4 percent from the field (22-64) and 16.7 percent (5-30) from the three-point line.
Baylor scored the game’s first five points before CU settled in and rattled off the next eight points on baskets by four different starters. The run would become a 16-4 burst as Creighton took a seven-point lead after nine minutes, hounding the Bears into 4-for-13 shooting early on. CU pushed the margin into double-figures for the first time on a three-point play by Khyri Thomas, making it 25-15. Creighton would lead by as much as 12 (31-19) in the first half and finished with a 33-24 lead at the break.
Thomas had 10 points in the first half and held Big 12 scoring leader Manu Lecomte to two points on 1-of-2 shooting. The Bluejays led the rebound battle 19-16 and forced Baylor into 11 turnovers.
Creighton would miss nine straight shots as Baylor embarked on a 10-0 run to draw within two at 40-38 with 11:38 to go before Ty-Shon Alexander‘s driving lay-up snapped the drought. A three-point play by King McClure with 4:07 left tied the score at 50-all. McClure’s drive then gave Baylor a 52-50 lead with 3:33 remaining, its first lead since 5-4 in the opening minutes.
Terry Maston would drain a big three-pointer with 2:01 left to give Baylor the lead. Foster would answer with a floater to trim the lead to one, but Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. answered with a bucket and the Bears would ice the game at the foul line.
Thomas led Creighton with 15 points, with Foster adding 12. Also in double-figures were Krampelj (11) and Alexander (10).
McClure topped BU with 19 points and Maston added 15 points and eight rebounds off the bench.
Creighton returns home on Saturday at 3:30 pm to host SIU Edwardsville