Creighton 78, Missouri 54
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP)—Nate Funk scored 21 points and Johnny Mathies came off the bench to score 18 points as Creighton defeated Missouri 78-54 on Tuesday night in the Guardians Classic semifinals.
Creighton (4-0) will meet Ohio State (4-0), which defeated Houston 78-61 in the other semifinal game Tuesday, in the tournament championship game Wednesday night.
Funk, who led the Bluejays in scoring last season as a sophomore, made 8-of-11 field goals, including 3-of-6 3-pointers. He also scored 21 points on Feb. 1 at Evansville.
Mathies scored all of his points in the second half.
Linas Kleiza was the only Tiger in double figures with 12 points. Missouri starting guard Jimmy McKinney was held scoreless for the first time in his career.
The Tigers (2-2) shot just 32 percent from the field, missing 34-of-50, while the Bluejays hit 48 percent of their shots.
Creighton, which defeated Notre Dame in the 2002 Guardians Classic championship game, dominated the first half after a sluggish start, falling behind 7-3 in the initial four minutes.
Creighton went on an 11-0 run to seize a 16-9 lead midway through the opening half. The Bluejays led 44-27 at halftime.
Creighton hit 8-of-15 3-pointers in the first half, while Missouri made just 1-of-9. The Bluejays’ swarming defense forced the Tigers into nine first-half turnovers, which Creighton converted into 11 points.
The Tigers opened the second half by not scoring in the first 5:16, missing their first seven field goal attempts. Jason Conley ended the scoring drought with two free throws with 14:04 left.
The Bluejays also had difficulties scoring at the beginning of the second half. Funk made Creighton’s only field goal in eight attempts in the first five minutes.
Missouri will face Houston (2-2) in the consolation game Wednesday. Missouri defeated Houston 77-61 last week.