Creighton defeats Arkansas-Pine Bluff 88-51

ERIC OLSON (AP Sports Writer)
The Associated Press
Creighton defeats Arkansas-Pine Bluff 88-51
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Arkansas-Pine Bluff's Davon Haynes (3) loses control of the ball while going for a layup against Creighton's Grant Gibbs (10) and Doug McDermott (3) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Omaha, Neb., Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- Doug McDermott scored 25 points and Creighton came off a nine-day layoff to defeat Arkansas-Pine Bluff 88-51 on Tuesday.

The Bluejays (8-2) have posted three straight double-digit victories since losing back-to-back games in California over Thanksgiving weekend. The Lions (2-8) lost their eighth straight after a 2-0 start.

Ethan Wragge added 12 points, all on 3-pointers, and Will Artino had 10 for Creighton. McDermott had nine rebounds and made all 13 of his free throws.

Tevin Hammond scored 15 of his 22 in the second half to lead Pine Bluff, which shot 38 percent.

For the third straight game, more than half the Bluejays' field-goal attempts were 3-pointers. Pine Bluff used a 2-3 zone defense the entire game, and Creighton was 10 of 30 from beyond the arc.

Twelve of the 14 Creighton players who played scored. The Bluejays made 24 of 26 free throws and out-rebounded the Lions 40-24.

McDermott opened the game with an alley-oop dunk off Jahenns Manigat's pass, and followed it with the first of his two treys. He scored seven points during a 14-3 run that gave Creighton a 28-9 lead.

The Bluejays' two-time returning first-team All-American has scored 189 points in 185 minutes in his last six home games.

Creighton led 44-22 at half after outscoring the Lions 14-1 at the free-throw line and 18-3 from 3-point range.

Creighton missed 13 of its first 14 shots in the second half but made nine straight free throws and never let its lead drop below 16 points.

The Lions of the Southwestern Athletic Conference are two-thirds of the way through a season-opening stretch of 15 road or neutral-site games before they play their home opener Jan. 18.

This was their fourth game against an opponent from a power conference. They lost their other three by 34 to Oklahoma State, 33 to Texas A&M and 14 to Oregon State. They play at Iowa and Auburn before starting conference play.