Walker scores 22, Huskers upset No. 7 Creighton 63-53
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Derrick Walker scored a career-high 22 points as Nebraska upset No. 7 Creighton 63-53 on Sunday, the highest-ranked opponent the Cornhuskers have beaten on the road since 1997.
Nebraska (6-3) beat the Bluejays for the first time in 14 regular-season meetings in Omaha since 1995. Creighton (6-3) lost its third straight, with its previous two against ranked opponents.
The Huskers, picked to finish last in the Big Ten, wanted to slow down the Bluejays’ “Let It Fly” offense, and they did better than they could have imagined against the Big East preseason favorites. It also didn’t hurt that Creighton’s cold shooting from its loss at second-ranked Texas on Thursday carried over.
Sam Griesel scored 13 of his 18 points in the second half and Juwan Gary finished with 12 as the Huskers turned back every comeback attempt by the Bluejays.
Nebraska beat its highest-ranked opponent since toppling third-ranked Texas 70-67 on Feb. 19, 2011, and its highest-ranked opponent on the road since a 74-69 overtime win at Iowa State on Feb. 22, 1997.
Walker, playing his fourth game since missing the first five with what coach Fred Hoiberg described as a health issue, gave the Huskers their biggest lead, 57-45, on a dunk with 2:22 left.
Walker was 11 of 16 from the field and time after time imposed his will in the post against Creighton’s 7-foot-1 Ryan Kalkbrenner. The Huskers held a 46-16 scoring advantage in the paint.
Francisco Farabello scored 16 points to lead the Bluejays, going 5 for 9 on 3-pointers. Baylor Scheierman and Kalkbrenner had 10 points apiece.
Creighton shot 30.8% overall, including 25% (10 of 40) on 3s.
Nebraska turned in the best defensive performance of the season and led 25-23 at the break.
Creighton had more turnovers (8) than baskets (7) late in the half and never could get its transition game going as Nebraska all but vacated the offensive glass to get defenders back.
Walker scored a quick 10 points before he committed his second foul and sat out the last five minutes of the half. Walker committed his third early in the second half and played only 23 minutes.
Nebraska: The Huskers have won three straight and are playing with as much confidence as ever under Hoiberg, their fourth-year coach.
Creighton: The Bluejays are in an offensive funk. The 3-pointer is a huge part of its offense, and they are just 14 of 67 (21%) over their last two games.
Nebraska: The Huskers opened a stretch of three games against top-10 opponents. They open Big Ten play at No. 10 Indiana on Wednesday and host No. 5 Purdue on Saturday.
Creighton: The Bluejays head to Las Vegas for two games in the Jack Jones Hoopfest, against BYU on Saturday and against Arizona State on Monday, Dec. 12.
AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.