OMAHA, Neb. (AP) Playing for the third time in seven days and coming off its first triple-overtime game in 10 years with a roster lacking depth, no one would have been surprised if No. 17 Creighton had turned in a clunker against Xavier.

But the Bluejays fought off fatigue and actually elevated their play in the last 10 minutes to hold off the Musketeers 85-78 on Tuesday night.

“We had enough gas,” coach Greg McDermott said. “If anyone wants to question this team’s toughness, they’re barking up the wrong tree.”

Trey Alexander had a season-high 27 points and Baylor Scheierman scored 15 of his 20 in the second half. Scheierman made four of his five 3-pointers after halftime, with two of them thwarting Xavier comeback bids. Ryan Kalkbrenner added 16 points for the Bluejays (15-5, 6-3 Big East).

“We knew Creighton had been in a triple-overtime game and been in the East for back-to-back road games,” Xavier coach Sean Miller said. “You hope in some ways you can take advantage of players like they have that played so many minutes a few days ago. I tip my hat to Creighton. They did a great job of rising up in the second half and making plays and playing all the way to the final buzzer.”

The Bluejays had two days' rest following their 97-94, three-overtime win at Seton Hall.

Kalkbrenner played 53 minutes, 34 seconds, against the Pirates, including the last 46 minutes without a break. It was the most a 7-footer had played in Division I since 2009. Scheierman played all 55 minutes, setting a Creighton record, and Alexander played 52:57.

“Saturday was hard. It was exciting for you fans. But it was hard on our guys,” McDermott said.

Desmond Claude and Dayvion McKnight had 20 points apiece for the Musketeers (10-9, 4-4), who had won a season-best three in a row.

Claude had 18 points in the first half but missed all eight of his shots from the field in the second. McKnight scored 17 in the second half while matching his career high, and he also made a career-best four 3s.

Xavier had its biggest lead, 58-51, midway through the second half but it got wiped out after Creighton snagged a couple of huge offensive rebounds.

Scheierman missed the second of two free throws, but Kalkbrenner rebounded and passed back to Scheierman, who missed a 3. Francisco Farabello got the loose ball and fed Scheierman again. This time his 3 from the wing went in, and after Xavier missed on the other end, Alexander scored to put the Bluejays up 60-59.

“There were a flurry of plays in the second half where they got second and maybe third shots, and it happened in bunches, maybe three or four minutes,” Miller said. “That's where they got confidence and broke the game open.”

Xavier led briefly again before Steven Ashworth’s 3-pointer tied it and Alexander stripped the ball from Quincy Olivari and drove the the length of the court for a layup that gave the Bluejays the lead for good.

Scheierman’s 3-pointer from the top of the key put Creighton up 76-69 with 4:04 left, and another from the same spot made it 79-74 after Xavier had pulled within two.


Xavier: The Musketeers have lost six straight against ranked opponents since beating then-No. 24 Creighton 82-60 in the Big East Tournament last season.

Creighton: The Bluejays got a combined three points and 27 minutes from three reserves and, with such limited depth, must be wary of the Big East grind catching up with them.


Xavier: Will play No. 1 UConn in Hartford, Connecticut, on Sunday.

Creighton: Will host DePaul on Saturday.


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