Marcus Foster scored 18 points to lead five Creighton players in double figures, and the No. 25 Bluejays beat cold-shooting Providence 83-64 on Sunday.
Toby Hegner matched his season high with 15 points for the Bluejays (11-3, 1-1 Big East), who bounced back from a road loss to Seton Hall in their conference opener and beat the Friars for the first time in four tries in Omaha.
Creighton never trailed and went on a 13-4 run spanning the halves to take control. Hegner opened the second half with a 3-pointer from the corner and then took a charge from Nate Watson on the other end. Martin Krampelj dunked over Cartwright, got fouled and made the free throw for a 45-29 advantage. The Friars never got closer than 13 points the rest of the way.
Providence (10-5, 1-1) came in off an impressive road win over St. John’s in which it made 16 3-pointers. But the Friars, who were shooting 41 percent from distance for the season, missed 9 of their first 10 against Creighton and finished 3 of 23.
The Friars’ Kyron Cartwright, who beat the Bluejays in Omaha last year on a 3-pointer with 2.2 seconds left, aggravated a right ankle injury in the first half and had to get re-taped. After having 21 points and 15 assists against St. John’s, he was held to two points and had four turnovers to go with his five assists.
With the Friars struggling with their shots from the perimeter and trailing by double digits, they started feeding Watson in the post. The freshmen center scored 8 of his team’s 10 points as the Friars pulled to 32-25, and he finished with a season-high 20.
But Providence couldn’t hit shots consistently and struggled against Creighton’s transition game.
Krampelj had four dunks and finished with 13 points, and Foster and Hegner combined for six of the Bluejays’ 10 3-pointers.
Providence: The Friars shot just 38.7 percent overall and were 1 for 11 on 3-pointers after halftime. When Cartwright isn’t at full strength, they struggle on offense.
Creighton: It was an impressive bounce-back from a disappointing loss to Seton Hall. The Bluejays led much of the game against the Pirates, only to lose in the last four minutes. The Bluejays gave a steady performance from start to finish this time.
Providence hosts Marquette on Wednesday.
Creighton hosts St. John’s on Wednesday.
Source: Associated Press