Creighton beats San Diego State in OT

FORT WORTH, Texas — Trey Alexander converted a three-point green late in overtime, and Creighton rallied for a 72-69 win over San Diego State in an NCAA tournament opener Thursday night.

The Bluejays hadn’t led since the first five minutes of the game when Alexander, who also usually had the equalizer late in the rule, drove to the right and was fouled on the layup. The free throw gave Creighton a 71-69 lead with 1:08 remaining.

Two down, the Aztecs had the ball 4.3 seconds from time when Matt Bradley leveled the ball to Aguek Arop and then rounded him for the handover. Bradley lost control of the ball before firing a shot and Creighton saved it with 0.8 left.

Alexander scored 18 points and Ryan Kalkbrenner had 16 points and 10 rebounds before leaving in overtime with an apparent left leg injury.

Creighton guard Trey Alexander (23) makes a jump shot against the San Diego State Aztecs during the second half of the first round of the 2022 NCAA Tournament at Dickies Arena.
Trey Alexander
Chris Jones/USA TODAY Sports

The ninth-seeded Bluejays (23-11) play the winner between Kansas, the top seed in the Midwest region, and Texas Southern on Saturday. Creighton made Sweet 16 last year.

Chad Baker-Mazara scored 15 of his 17 first-half points for the Aztecs (23-9), who were in position for their first tournament win since 2015. Gus Bradley added 15.

Bradley had a chance to give San Diego State a 6.4-second lead on free throws when Alex O’Connell fouled him on a drive. Bradley missed the front end of a one-and-one and Arthur Kaluma dribbled down the length of the court before lofting an air ball off the baseline when time was up.

Creighton guard Alex O'Connell (5) reacts as San Diego State Aztecs guard Trey Pulliam (4) argues he was in the second half of the first round of the 2022 NCAA tournament at Dickies Arena went out of the frame.
Creighton guard Alex O’Connell
Chris Jones/USA TODAY Sports

The Aztecs had been leading by at least five points since midway through the first half, when O’Connell hit just the second 3-pointer of the game for Creighton to put the Bluejays within the two-minute mark in four minutes.

After a steal led to a layup by Kalkbrenner, Creighton forced another turnover before blocking two shots at the other end. The Bluejays thought they had the winning basket for another steal after the second block, but an officially governed San Diego state called a timeout.

That decision was reversed on the replay, and Alexander hit the layup with 11 seconds left.

Kalkbrenner went down and grimaced after posting against Arop as they came into contact early on in overtime. The 7-foot-1 student got up, tried to take a few steps, walked back down, and held his left knee. After a few minutes, Kalkbrenner was helped off the ground without putting weight on his left leg.

Baker-Mazara had a bucket and a three-point game during a 7-2 run that gave the Aztecs their first double-digit lead in the first half, then converted a four-point game to take the lead back by 27 to double digits -fifteen. Creighton beats San Diego State in OT


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