NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. — Sixth-seeded Creighton opened the second half on a 17-4 run and never looked back in a 70-58 victory in Friday night in quarterfinal round action of the 2017 BIG EAST Tournament, presented by Jeep.
The win improves Creighton to 24-8 on the year, while Providence is now 20-12. With the win, Creighton advances to Friday’s 8 p.m. Central semifinal against seventh-seeded Xavier. The Musketeers eliminated second-seeded Butler by a 62-57 score earlier on Thursday.
Both teams battled through foul trouble in the first half. Creighton’s starting point guard Davion Mintz picked up two fouls in the first 2:30 and played just six minutes in the first half. CU’s leading scorer had nine of CU’s first 17 points, only to be relegated to a spectator’s role after two fouls in a 46-second span and be forced to sit the rest of the half.
PC led 30-27 at the break, led by six points from Jalen Lindsey. CU was led by nine points by Foster and eight from Khyri Thomas at the break. CU shot 37.9 percent in the first 20 minutes despite 1-of-11 long-range marksmanship. Creighton led the rebound battle 22-18.
Creighton opened the second half on a 7-0 run, taking its largest lead to that point at 35-30. Free throws from Davion Mintz and Khyri Thomas preceded a Cole Huff trey and a Thomas hoop to force a timeout. Justin Patton then threw down a dunk after the break as CU went up by seven.
Mintz continued to push the pace, extending the run to 17-4 to open the half as Creighton went up 44-34 with 11:41 to play. The Bluejays would not see their lead dip below five the rest of the evening.
Khyri Thomas led Creighton with 19 points.