Freshman forward Kyle Colvin led three Mustangs in double-digit scoring figures with a career high 18 points Friday evening, but the Cal Poly men’s basketball program – during its first and only matchup against Creighton since Dec. 19, 1956 – fell to the host Bluejays inside CHI Health Center, 86-70.
Sophomore guard Junior Ballard finished with 17 points for Cal Poly (1-4), which trailed Creighton (3-1) by as much as 22 points during the first half before closing the opening period with a 15-8 run to cut the deficit to 51-38 at the break. The Mustangs, however, drew no closer during the second half in their first meeting with a Big East Conference program since facing DePaul on Dec. 21, 2011.
Graduate guard Malek Harwell added a collegiate best 16 points for Cal Poly, which shot 51.9 (28-for-54) percent from the floor to edge Creighton’s 51.8 (29-for-56) percent mark. Both programs sank nine three-pointers while Cal Poly outrebounded Creighton, 32-25.
The attendance figure of 16,783 was the largest crowd Cal Poly had played in front of since 17,995 fans packed the Scottrade Center in St. Louis for the program’s 2014 NCAA Tournament second round matchup versus Wichita State (March 21, 2014)
Friday’s game marked just Cal Poly’s second all-time game in the Cornhusker State and the program’s first on Fox Sports 1 television.
Cal Poly continues a five-game road trip when visiting Iowa on Sunday, Nov. 24. Tip time is scheduled for 2 p.m. PT (4 p.m. CT) with action televised on the Big Ten Network.
Colvin sank both of Cal Poly’s opening buckets and a free throw from sophomore forward Tuukka Jaakkola cut Creighton’s deficit to 10-5 four minutes into action. Creighton, however, started 7-for-7 from the floor and, keyed by successive three-pointers from guard Marcus Zegarowski and a dunk by guard Ty-Shon Alexander, the Bluejays opened up an 18-5 advantage after just six-and-a-half minutes.
Harwell – returning to the lineup for the first time since the program’s Nov. 8 season opener at Santa Clara – snapped Creighton’s run with a three-pointer. Freshman forward Alimamy Koroma followed with a free throw to cut Creighton’s lead to 18-9 with 12-and-a-half minutes left before halftime.
The Bluejays though countered with a 14-5 run to go up 32-12 midway through the first half.
Cal Poly, however, closed the final three minutes of the first half with its 15-8 run. Colvin trimmed the halftime deficit to 51-38 with a three-pointer at the buzzer.
Into the second half, Colvin and Harwell each connected on three-pointers inside the opening four minutes, but Cal Poly couldn’t bridge its 13-point halftime deficit.
-Provided by Cal Poly