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Ryan Kalkbrenner, Creighton hold off No. 19 Providence

Jan 14, 2023; Omaha, Nebraska, USA;  Providence Friars guard Devin Carter (22) scores over Creighton Bluejays center Ryan Kalkbrenner (11) in the first half at CHI Health Center Omaha. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Kalkbrenner scored 13 of his game-high 21 points in the second half to lead Creighton past No. 19 Providence 73-67 on Saturday afternoon in Omaha, Neb.

Trey Alexander had 20 and Baylor Scheierman added 19 before fouling out in the final minute for the Bluejays (10-8, 4-3 Big East).

Kalkbrenner and Scheierman — the latter who scored 17 of his 19 points in the opening half — each chipped in with seven rebounds and helped Creighton finish with a 46-32 advantage in points in the paint.

Bryce Hopkins had 20 points and 10 rebounds for Providence (14-4, 6-1), which had a nine-game win streak halted. Fourteen of his points were in the second stanza.

Ed Croswell also had a double-double with 10 points and 10 boards for the Friars.

Creighton led 4-0 to start before the teams traded baskets until an opposite 8-0 run gave Providence a 12-8 lead. Croswell’s basket off a rebound temporarily flipped the score to the Friars at 10-8 before a Noah Locke jumper finished the run.

The visitors led 14-10 before Alexander’s three-point play capped a 6-0 spurt that helped Creighton move ahead again. After an 18-18 tie, Scheierman hit two of his three treys back-to-back to propel the Bluejays.

Alexander finished a fast-break layup to cap a 13-4 extended run for Creighton, moving the score to 34-25 at the under-4 media timeout.

The Bluejays continued a 9-0 stretch out of the break, as Alexander finished a three-point play and later made it 39-25 with an uncontested basket at the rim. It was 41-29 at halftime.

Alexander and Scheierman scored the first two Creighton baskets of the second half to take its largest lead at 45-29, but a 6-0 run brought Providence within 10.

Locke sliced the Friar deficit in half with a personal 5-0 run, and another 3-pointer made it a 50-47 game with 12:27 left.

Kalkbrenner slammed in back-to-back dunks to extend the Creighton lead to 54-47, but Providence opened up a 7-0 run during which Hopkins canned a 3-pointer to tie the game at 54.

The Bluejays broke a 56-56 game with six straight points, including three Kalkbrenner free throws. The 7-foot-1 center brought Creighton into the final media timeout with a 65-58 lead after a transition layup at the 4:02 mark.

Providence guard Jared Bynum (abdominal strain) remained unavailable for a second straight game.

–Field Level Media