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Creighton hopes for complete effort vs. North Dakota St.

·2 min read

Creighton is off to a strong start because it is showing an ability to survive some shaky moments.

After withstanding another stiff challenge, the Bluejays look to put together a complete performance Tuesday night in Omaha when they host North Dakota State.

Creighton (6-1) has earned wins by a combined 56 points so far. The Bluejays notched double-digit victories over Brown and Arkansas-Pine Bluff to go along with single-digit wins over Kennesaw State, Nebraska, Southern Illinois and SIU Edwardsville.

On Saturday, the Bluejays trailed by 12 at halftime before pulling out a 70-65 victory over SIU Edwardsville. They trailed by 16 with just under 15 minutes left but ended the game by scoring 11 straight points while holding the Cougars to 2-for-18 shooting down the stretch.

Ryan Hawkins scored 14 points, including the first points of the game-ending run, and the Bluejays shot 53.6 percent after halftime. Creighton survived leading scorer Ryan Nembhard going 3-of-10 from the field for nine points.

"The defense was really solid down the stretch," Creighton coach Greg McDermott said after his team overcame a double-digit deficit for the 25th time since the start of 2010-11. "That can't get lost in everything else that happened in the first half. That's what they're capable of. And it's our job as a coaching staff to try to get us to be like that a little bit more often."

In the season opener, Creighton faced a nine-point halftime deficit against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. On Nov. 11, the Bluejays trailed at halftime and nearly blew a 10-point lead against Kennesaw State. Last week against Southern Illinois, Creighton rallied from an eight-point deficit in the final four minutes and won on a buzzer-beating basket by Nembhard.

North Dakota State (4-2) allows 64.7 points per game and is 0-10 all-time against Creighton.

The Bison, who returned their top six scorers from last year, are seeking their third straight win after a 54-53 win over Tarleton State and a 90-73 win over Idaho on Saturday. Against the Vandals, North Dakota State shot 52.2 percent after finishing under 40 percent in each of the previous three games.

Rocky Kreuser is North Dakota State's leading scorer at 15.3 points per game, and he scored 21 points Saturday. Grant Nelson is the Bison's second-leading scorer at 11.5 ppg, and he added 18 on Saturday.

--Field Level Media

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