No. 6 Creighton overpowers No. 15 Princeton in Sweet 16
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[March 25, 2023]
Another virtuoso offensive performance showed the world why
sixth-seeded Creighton was a preseason top-10 team -- and what its
potential is now.
Ryan Kalkbrenner dropped 22 points, Baylor Scheierman added 21
points on 5-of-7 3-point shooting and Creighton shot 58.2 percent to
take down 15th-seeded Princeton 86-75 in the NCAA Tournament's South
Region semifinals on Friday in Louisville.
"It's been amazing, you know, it's been a dream come true," said
Scheierman, in his first season with Baylor after transferring from
South Dakota State. "This is why I came to Creighton in the first
place, to make a run with this group of guys. It's just been an
incredible experience and I'm looking forward to continuing that on
Creighton made its second Elite Eight in program history -- the
first came in 1941, when the tournament had just eight teams -- and
will vie for its first trip to the Final Four. The Bluejays (24-12)
will face fifth-seeded San Diego State in the Elite Eight on Sunday.
The high-octane Bluejays made 32 of 55 shots, including
Kalkbrenner's 9 of 12 and Scheierman's 8 of 11. Scheierman added
nine rebounds as the Bluejays outrebounded Princeton 37-26 and never
trailed by more than four points.
Trey Alexander scored 19 points, Arthur Kaluma had 10 and Ryan
Nembhard put up nine points and eight assists for Creighton.
Princeton (23-9) was vying to become the second No. 15 seed ever to
make the Elite Eight, but the Tigers couldn't match the feat of New
Jersey neighbor Saint Peter's last year.
"That (Princeton) is one heck of a basketball team," Creighton coach
Greg McDermott said on the TV broadcast. "Incredibly hard to prepare
for even when you have three or four days to do it. But really proud
of these guys. I thought we dug in a little bit better defensively
in the second half."
Ryan Langborg led the Tigers with a career-high 26 points on
11-of-17 shooting, and Tosan Evbuomwan supplied 24 points, nine
assists and six rebounds.
Creighton made eight shots in a row en route to a 10-for-13 start
from the floor and a 24-16 lead. Then the Tigers' Caden Pierce
waltzed in for an open dunk, which began to turn the tide for
[to top of second column]
Mar 24, 2023; Louisville, KY, USA;
Creighton Bluejays guard Trey Alexander (23) reacts during the
second half of the NCAA tournament round of sixteen against the
Princeton Tigers at KFC YUM! Center. Mandatory Credit: Jordan
Prather-USA TODAY Sports
Evbuomwan made his first of two 3-point attempts
after he had made nine all season prior to Friday. He scored or
assisted on 13 of Princeton's 19 made field goals in the first half.
Langborg's 3-pointer with 5:51 left in the half put Princeton back
on top, and Evbuomwan assisted Blake Peters on a triple 56 seconds
later for a 37-33 lead.
Scheierman soon responded with a 3-pointer to start a 12-5 Creighton
run to end the half, with Kalkbrenner scoring the Bluejays' last
seven. Creighton led 47-43 at intermission after shooting 62.1
percent to Princeton's 51.4 percent.
Kalkbrenner threw home an alley-oop dunk and added a free throw
early in the second half. Creighton grew the gap as wide as 68-52
with 12:28 remaining.
The Tigers used a 1-3-1 zone to plug the dam. Evbuomwan made his
second 3-pointer during an 8-0 spurt, but he also picked up his
fourth foul at the 7:48 mark.
Creighton had a response each time Princeton drew within eight
points. Kaluma leapt to save a ball headed out of bounds and hurled
it to Kalkbrenner, who fed Alexander for a 3-pointer that made it
76-65 with 4:23 to go.
Princeton got within seven once thanks to four straight points by
Evbuomwan. However, Kalkbrenner dropped in a layup and added a
wide-open, two-handed dunk with 1:14 left to ice the game.
--Field Level Media
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