ROSEMONT, Ill. (AP) — Khyri Thomas had a career-high 24 points, 11 rebounds and five assists, Martin Krampelj added a career-high 17 points and Creighton beat No. 20 Northwestern 92-88 on Wednesday night in a Gavitt Tipoff Games matchup.
Ty-Shon Alexander had 14 points and Marcus Foster had 12 for the Bluejays (3-0).
Vic Law had a career-high 30 points and Bryant McIntosh added 24 for Northwestern (2-1).
Creighton senior Toby Hegner went down in the first half with a high ankle sprain and was on crutches at the end of the game.
The Wildcats rallied from a 15-point first-half deficit to take the lead in the second half, but couldn’t maintain the momentum as Creighton answered the run and took the lead for good with 14 minutes to go.
Law scored 12 straight Northwestern points early in the second half to lead a furious comeback from a 51-43 halftime deficit. Included in that run was a four-point play 3 minutes into the half to put the Wildcats on top 56-55 — their first lead since early in the first half.
Creighton is 12-1 against teams from the Big Ten since November 2011. The Bluejays had four wins over teams ranked in the Top 25 last season.
THE BIG PICTURE
Creighton: The Bluejays scored 109 points in their previous game against Alcorn State and were on a pace for 120 or more in racing out to a 44-29 lead 15 minutes into the game. But after Northwestern picked up its defensive intensity, they managed just 11 points over the next 8 minutes in losing the big lead. The players, though, responded and reclaimed control.
Northwestern: The Wildcats are coming off their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament last season and were ranked in the AP preseason poll for the first time. But Wednesday night showed that nothing is going to come easy this season just because expectations are high — especially if they don’t play with the same intensity on the defensive end as last season.
Creighton: The Bluejays face No. 23 UCLA on Monday night in the Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City.
Northwestern: The Wildcats face La Salle on Saturday in the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn.