No.-25 Creighton deals Campbell first loss of season 104-81 in Dale Howard Classic championship game

Eric Griffin
(photo by Brad Williams)
Eric Griffin (photo by Brad Williams)

Omaha World-Herald coverage

OMAHA, NEB. – Creighton hit its first 13 shots of the game and the 25th-ranked Blue Jays dealt Campbell its first loss of the season 104-81 Friday night in the championship game of the Dale Howard Classic at CenturyLink Center Omaha.

Wooden Award semifinalist Doug McDermott tied his career high with 31 points on 13-of-19 shooting, plus 11 rebounds to lead five Blue Jays in double figures.

Creighton (5-0) extended an early 15-2 run to a 32-14 lead before Will Artino missed a lay-up with 10:32 left in the opening half.  The Blue Jays led 60-40 at half-time and Campbell could not trim the margin to less than 15 thereafter.

Grant Gibbs and Ethan Wragge scored 12 points apiece, while Jahenns Manigat and Antoine Young (9 assists) added 11 points each for the Blue Jays, who shot a school-record 70.4 percent (38-54) from the field, including 14-of-21 from 3-point distance.

Two days after a 23-point, 13-rebound performance in Campbell's 77-61 win at Iowa, Eric Griffin hit career highs with 29 points and 14 rebounds for his third double-double in the last four games.  The senior forward hit 9-of-13 from the floor (3-of-4 from 3-point territory) and 8-of-10 from the line.

Darren White added 16 points and Trey Freeman 11 for the Camels (5-1), who fell to 0-9 all-time against nationally-ranked teams.

Creighton led 60-40 at half-time after hitting 23-of-31 (.742) from the floor and 10-of-13 from distance in the first period.  McDermott had 18 points in the opening period after hitting his first 7 shots on the evening.

"We played a very, very good basketball team, one that hasn't played since last Sunday against a team that was playing its 3rd game in 5 games, and that sometimes happens in college basketball.  The hole gets bigger when you start that well," said Campbell head coach Robbie Laing.  "The kids fought and did a lot of things well.  I see a lot of positive things with the club."

The Camels entered the game ranked second in the country in team field goal percentage (.557) and finished the night 29-of-59 from the floor (.492), 7-of-13 (.538) from 3-point range and 16-of-22 (.727) from the line.  Campbell finished with a 31-26 edge on the glass in front of 16,683 spectators, the 2nd-largest crowd ever to witness a Fighting Camel basketball game.

After going 2-1 on its Midwest road swing, the Camels return home Thursday for a 7:00 p.m. tip-off against Liberty in the Big South Conference opener for both schools.