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Creighton beats DePaul 81-62

AP - Sports

CHICAGO (AP) -- Doug McDermott scored 19 points Tuesday and played after an injury scare to his left shoulder, keeping Creighton unbeaten in the Big East Conference with an 81-62 win over DePaul.

McDermott, a two-time consensus All-American, briefly left the game with 1:24 remaining in the first after appearing to jam his left shoulder after colliding with DePaul's Peter Ryckbosch. McDermott returned with 19.5 seconds left and ended the half with a buzzer-beating layup, giving the Bluejays a 37-32 lead.

The Bluejays (13-2, 3-0) also got 16 points from Avery Dingman and 12 from Ethan Wragge, helping Creighton win its eighth in a row. After moving from the Missouri Valley Conference into the remodeled Big East this summer, the Bluejays have gotten off to a strong start in their new surroundings, beating Marquette, Seton Hall and now DePaul.

The shoulder incident was part of a difficult first half for McDermott and Creighton, which beat a DePaul team in the middle of a stretch of four games in 10 days.

The reigning Big East Conference player of the week who entered Tuesday averaging 24.7 points per game, McDermott struggled early. He was 6 of 16 on Tuesday, and just 2 of 8 for seven points in the opening 20 minutes.

His first basket, a 3-pointer with 7:19 remaining in the first half, gave Creighton its first lead at 24-23. The Bluejays went into halftime with the five-point advantage despite making only 13 of 31 shots.

McDermott was the last Bluejay to emerge from the locker room for the second half, when he scored 12 points. With their star in the lineup, albeit one clearly favoring his shoulder, the Bluejays took their first double-digit lead at 51-38 on Dingman's four-point play with 15:09 left.

The Blue Demons cut the lead to six on a Brandon Young three-point play with 7:14 left, but got no closer.

DePaul (8-8, 0-3) was led by Young's 24 points, and also got 16 from Cleveland Melvin. DePaul shot just 40.4 percent (23 of 57) on its way to its fourth loss in five.

The Blue Demons were playing their first home game since Dec. 18, when they beat Houston Baptist 78-58, but suffered their third-straight loss to start conference play after dropping decisions at Georgetown and Marquette.

The early struggles continue a disconcerting trend for DePaul. The Blue Demons have finished alone in last place in the Big East Conference each of the last five seasons, going 7-83 in league play over that span.

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