Creighton Men Fall To St Johns at MSG

Photo Credit: Creighton Athletics Photo Credit: Creighton Athletics

NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. -- Trey Alexander had a season-high 31 points but it wasn't enough as St. John's built a 13-point halftime lead and hung on for an 80-66 victory over No. 15 Creighton on Sunday afternoon at Madison Square Garden.

St. John's improved to 16-12 on the season and 8-9 in BIG EAST play with the Quad 1 win, while Creighton had its four-game win streak snapped and fell to 20-8 (11-6 BIG EAST).

St. John's used a 10-0 run to build an early 18-8 lead, forcing the Bluejays into a pair of shot clock violations among four early turnovers. Alexander got going to begin the charge, starting a 11-0 run with back-to-back three-pointers before a lay-up from Steven Ashworth and a traditional three-point play from Baylor Scheierman gave CU a 23-22 lead. The Johnnies stormed back with a 12-2 run of their own to move in front 32-25. The Red Storm run reached 17-3, allowing St. John's to take a 41-28 lead into the locker room.

Daniss Jenkins led SJU with a dozen points at the half, while CU was led by 13 points from Alexander. The Red Storm shot 55.9 percent in the opening 20 minutes, making 19-of-34 shots from the floor.

Alexander scored nine of Creighton's first 14 points of the second half and Creighton quickly cut SJU's margin to seven at 51-44. The Bluejay defense picked up to get within five points twice, but four straight Jenkins baskets pushed the Red Storm lead to 72-56 with just under minutes left to end the Bluejay comeback hopes.

Alexander's 31 points were one shy of his career-high, while Ryan Kalkbrenner tallied 12 points, 10 rebounds and a career-high eight blocks. Also in double-figures with 12 points was Baylor Scheierman.

Jenkins led the Red Storm with 27 points and six assists, while Jordan Dingle had 12 of his 18 points in the second half. The Johnnies had 24 assists against just three turnovers and were perfect in 10 attempts at the free throw line.

Creighton returns to the court on Wednesday at 8 p.m. when it hosts Seton Hall (18-9, 11-5 BIG EAST). The Bluejays edged the Pirates 97-94 in triple-overtime in Newark last month.