OMAHA, Neb. — Texas native Marcus Foster scored 22 of his season-high 32 points in the first half as No. 25/24 Creighton men’s basketball defeated UT Arlington, 90-81, on Monday.
Creighton is now 9-2 on the year and 7-0 at home, while UT Arlington dropped to 8-4.
Kevin Hervey had 24 points, 11 rebounds and four steals to lead UT Arlington, while national assist leader Erick Neal (9.4 apg.) came off the bench to dish eight assists.
Leading 17-16 midway through the first half, the Bluejays broke the game open with a 31-7 burst to open up a 48-23 advantage with 2:23 left in the half. Foster had 13 points during the run to stagger the defending Sun Belt Conference champion. Creighton would lead 52-32 at the intermission, as Foster’s 22 points were the most at halftime by any Bluejay since Doug McDermott’s 27 vs. DePaul in the quarterfinals of the 2014 BIG EAST Tournament.
The visiting Mavericks made four three-pointers in the opening four minutes of the second half to quickly close within 57-44 with 16:19 to play. UT Arlington trimmed the margin to single-figures at 61-52 with 12:19 left, and got as close as eight on two occasions in the final 90 seconds before CU closed out the win.
Foster had 32 points and six rebounds while tying his season-best with four assists. Khyri Thomas had 16 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals, and Mitch Ballock added 14 points off the bench. Martin Krampelj led CU with 11 rebounds. The Bluejays shot 44.9 percent for the game, including 13-of-32 (40.6 percent) from three-point range, and also sank 15-of-23 (65.2 percent) free throws. CU dished 20 assists on 31 field goals and also had a season-high nine steals. The Bluejays won the rebound battle, 43-39.
In addition to Hervey’s 24, Kaelon Wilson had 15 points and Johnny Hamilton added 11. The Mavericks shot 46.5 percent on the night, including 9-of-25 from three-point range, and also buried 6-of-11 free throws.
Creighton hosts USC Upstate on Wednesday at 8 p.m.