No. 21 Red Raiders fall to No. 10 Creighton in Maui Invitational opener

LAHAINA, Hawaii – No. 21 Texas Tech and No. 10 Creighton went into halftime tied at 31 before the Bluejays pulled away in the second half for a 76-65 quarterfinal win in the first game of the Maui Jim Maui Invitational on Monday at the Lahaina Civic Center.

“It probably goes without saying, but Creighton’s just a very, very good basketball team,” Texas Tech coach Mark Adams said. “They’re just extremely efficient. Their guys all know their roles. They play very solid defense. They don’t foul. Extremely good three-point shooting team. So we had our work cut out for us. There were some real bright spots for us that we can build on as we move forward.”

The Red Raiders (3-1) will now play again at 1:30 p.m. (CST) on Tuesday against the loser of the Louisville and No. 9 Arkansas matchup.

Daniel Batcho and Pop Isaacs led Tech against the Bluejays with a pair of career-high scoring performances while De’Vion Harmon had 12 points and a team-best three assists in the game. Batcho finished with 17 points and five rebounds and Isaacs had 13 points after going 4-for-5 on 3-pointers. Kevin Obanor gave Tech four double-figure scorers for the first time this season after finishing with 10 points and Jaylon Tyson had nine.

The Red Raiders finished the game with a season-low nine turnover and forced 13 by Creighton (5-0) which finished the game shooting 55.1 percent from the field and 9-for-20 on 3-pointers. Tech was 6-for-16 from beyond the arc with Tyson making one and Batcho hitting the first of his career. The Bluejays also used the free-throw line to pull away, going 13-for-17 at the line while Tech was only 5-for-7. Creighton had double-figure scorers throughout its starting lineup, led by 18 points from Arthur Kaluma who hit two 3-pointers and was 4-for-4 at the free-throw line while Trey Alexander had 17, Ryan Nembhard went for 16 and Baylor Scheierman recorded a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds.

“They’re ranked No. 10 for a reason,” Harmon said. “They hit a lot of threes, so we didn’t take care of that as well. They all drive right. We let ’em drive right. So just little things like that. They’re really good at shooting the ball. Shoot at a very high clip as a team. But you learn. You learn from games like this and just bounce back.”

Tech and Creighton were tied at 31 going into halftime after Batcho drilled his first career 3-pointer in a half where Tech shot 42.4 percent from the field, owned a 20-8 scoring advantage in the paint and forced 12 turnovers by the Bluejays. Harmon, who assisted the Batcho 3-pointer, led the Red Raiders with eight points at halftime while Batcho and Tyson had seven points each. Tech led by as many as seven in the first half with a 9-2 early lead before the Bluejays came back and took a five point lead with five minutes remaining. The Red Raiders finished the half 3-for-9 from beyond the arch while Creighton was 5-for-11. Tyson and Allen led Tech with three rebounds each while Scheierman led the Bluejays with nine points and five rebounds. Tech had six fewer turnovers in the first half than Creighton, finishing the first 20 minutes with six turnovers while also having six steals from six different players.

Creighton would come out of halftime and take a 38-33 lead on a Nembhard basket and would lead by as many as 14 in the second half. The Bluejays were outscored 38-30 in the paint in the game but had a 33-28 rebounding advantage.

“They came out and just punched us in the mouth and I thought that was the difference,” said Adams of the beginning of the second half. “They came out with just a really aggressive mindset on both ends of the floor. It set the tone for the rest of the game.”

Creighton is now 4-1 all-time against the Red Raiders and will face the Arkansas-Louisville winner at 7 p.m. (CST) on Tuesday.

KEY MOMENTS
First Half
Tech took a 2-0 lead with a Tyson putback on its fourth possession… Batcho gave Tech a 4-0 lead with a steal and dunk
Isaacs hit Tech’s first 3-pointer of the game to give the Red Raiders a 9-2 lead four minutes in… Creighton cut it to 9-5 going into the first media timeout with a 3-pointer from Kaluma
Tyson gave Tech a 12-5 lead with another 3-pointer at 13:48 in the game… Tech was 2-for-5 on 3s after Tyson’s shot that was assisted by Walton
Creighton took its first lead of the game at 13-12 with an 8-0 run going into the second media timeout after a Nembhard jumper at 11:50 on the clock
Harmon stopped a 10-0 run by the Bluejays with a jumper for his first points to make it 15-14 before a Scheierman 3-pointer pushed it back to four … The Bluejays were 4-for-8 from beyond the arc to start the game
Tyson tied the game at 20-20 with a steal and dunk following another Harmon jumper with seven minutes to play until halftime… The dunk gave Tyson seven points on 3-for-5 shooting to begin the game
Harmon hit a tough inside shot to cut Creighton’s lead to 27-24 going into the final media timeout of the first half… Harmon had six points on 3-for-4 shooting after the basket to make it a three-point game with 3:44 on the clock
Batcho gave Tech a 31-29 lead with a 3-pointer off a Harmon assist… It was the first 3-pointer of Batcho’s career after he had gone 0-for-2 as a freshman and 0-for-2 to start this season
Second Half
Creighton scored on its second possession of the second half with a 3-pointer from Alexander to take a 34-31 lead… Obanor responded on the next trip down with a layup for Tech’s first points to make it a 34-33 game
Isaacs stopped a 4-0 run with his second 3-pointer of the game to cut the deficit to 38-36 with 17 minutes to play… He had six points and Tech was 4-for-11 on 3s after the shot
Creighton took a 44-38 lead into the first media timeout after an Alexander jumper… He would hit the free throw for an and-one coming out of the timeout for a seven-point Bluejay lead – their largest of the game
Harmon hit a runner to get to double-figures and make it 47-40 with 13:33 remaining… He had 10 points on 5-for-10 shooting at that point in the game
Creighton took a 52-41 lead (its first double-digit lead) on a Nembhard 3-pointer before Batcho responded on the other end with a layup that gave him nine points
Isaacs hit his third 3-pointer to cut it to 54-46 with 10:30 to play… He was 3-for-4 on 3-pointers and had 10 points midway through the second half
Batcho would get to 13 points (his new career-high) with a hook shot in the lane to make it 59-50… He was 5-for-10 from the field going into the under-8 media timeout
Jennings came in for the first time and scored on his first offensive possession, cutting the deficit to 64-52 with 6:37 remaining… His make came off Harmon’s third assist of the game and was followed by Harmon making it a 10-point game with a layup of his own… Harmon had 12 points after the layup
Tech trailed 66-54 going into the final media timeout of the game (3:34) after not scoring in the previous two minutes going into the break… Creighton took a 68-54 lead coming out of the break with a pair of free throws from Kalkbrenner
Batcho got to 17 points with a tough basket inside to make it 70-58 with 2:22 on the clock

Release provided by WES BLOOMQUIST Texas Tech Athletics