PEORIA, ILLINOIS (TICKER) —Creighton proved it can also win with defense.
Michael Lindeman scored 15 points and Kyle Korver added 13 as the 16th-ranked Bluejays posted a 65-58 victory over Bradley in a Missouri Valley Conference matchup.
Creighton (11-1, 3-0 MVC) used hot shooting to win 11 of its first 12 games as it shot better than 45 percent from the floor 10 times. The Bluejays managed a season-low 36 percent (19-of-52) on Wednesday, but the Braves were equally inept.
“I think we needed a game like this,” Korver said. “We obviously didn’t shoot the ball well at all. We got some stops and got some boards and we were able to pull it out. It wasn’t pretty.”
“When we didn’t hit some of those early shots, we lost some of our intensity,” Creighton coach Dana Altman said. “Things have been a little too easy in a lot of our games. We jump on teams early and a lot of those shots fall and our confidence soars. Tonight shots weren’t falling and our intensity sagged. Bradley had a lot to do with that.”
Lindeman made 3-of-4 shots from the floor and 8-of-10 free throws as Creighton was 22-of-31 from the line. Joe Dabbert added 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting off the bench for the Bluejays.
Creighton was clinging to a 47-46 lead after Bradley’s Danny Granger buried a 3-pointer with 8 1/2 minutes remaining. But the Bluejays responded with an 11-4 run highlighted by four points from Korver, who made just 4-of-15 shots and 1-of-9 3-pointers.
Larry House capped the burst with a 3-pointer to give Creighton a 58-50 cushion with 4:30 remaining. Lindeman made three free throws in the final 40 seconds and Tyler McKinney added a pair as the Bluejays held on for their second straight victory.
Phillip Gilbert scored 23 points and Granger finished with 16 for Bradley (4-9, 0-2), which shot just 36 percent (19-of-52) and was held under 60 points for the second straight game.
“I’m very proud of these guys,” Bradley coach Jim Les said. “I thought they battled toe-to-toe with a heck of a basketball team. A couple plays and a couple shots go in and I think the outcome would have been different. I cannot fault the effort.”
Jabbar Battle grabbed 11 rebounds and Gilbert had eight for the Braves, who lost despite a commanding 43-32 advantage on the glass.
Bradley trailed 33-29 at halftime despite getting 19 points from Gilbert in the first 20 minutes.
“We came out with concentration, enthusiasm and toughness and energy that we needed to be in the game,” Gilbert said. “Like coach said, if the ball bounced our way, a couple of shots went in, it would have been different. We played hard and I’m pleased with everybody on the team. Everyone came out and gave 110 percent.”
Creighton won its second straight at Bradley after losing its eight previous trips to Peoria.