Ryan Nembhard scored 25 points to lead four Bluejays in double figures as No. 10 Creighton held on for a 90-87 victory over No. 9 Arkansas in the semifinals of the Maui Invitational in Lahaina, Hawaii, on Tuesday.
Nembhard shot 6-for-12, including 3-for-4 from 3-point distance, to go along with six rebounds and five assists. Ryan Kalkbrenner added 21 points on 9-for-12 shooting and grabbed seven rebounds.
Baylor Scheierman chipped in 20 points by going 7-for-10, including 3-for-5 from deep, and added seven rebounds and three assists. Trey Alexander scored 12 points on 4-for-6 shooting, in addition to six assists and five rebounds.
Creighton (6-0) advances to the championship game on Wednesday evening, when it will face No. 14 Arizona (4-0) or No. 17 San Diego State (4-0). The loser of that game will face Arkansas (4-1) in the third-place game later that night.
On Tuesday, the Bluejays shot 58.5 percent, including 7-for-14 from 3-point range.
Arkansas was led by Anthony Black, who scored 26 points to go along with six rebounds and six assists. Ricky Council IV added 24 points, and Trevon Brazile added 17 points and six rebounds.
Trailing 40-34 at halftime, the Razorbacks took their first lead when Council’s 3-pointer made it 46-45 with 16:14 remaining.
It remained a one-possession game for more than eight minutes — until Arthur Kaluma’s dunk and Scheierman’s 3-pointer capped a 7-0 run that gave Creighton a 70-64 lead with 7:52 remaining.
Arkansas tied the game at 81 on Jordan Walsh’s two free throws with 1:32 left, but Kalkbrenner’s dunk regained the lead for the Bluejays with 1:12 to go.
After Davonte Davis missed a 3-pointer on Arkansas’ ensuing possession with 52 seconds left, Alexander hit two free throws to extend the lead to 85-81 with 37 seconds remaining.
The Razorbacks pulled to within 85-84 after Davis’ two free throws with 18 seconds left, but Scheierman responded by making a pair for an 87-84 lead with 16 seconds left.
Council missed a 3-pointer with 11 seconds left and Nembard made a free throw before Black’s 3-pointer made it 88-87 with three seconds left.
Alexander hit two free throws with a second left to provide the final margin.
–Field Level Media