OMAHA, Neb. - Down 42-24 early in the second half, the Creighton men's basketball team came all the way back to defeat No. 18 Oklahoma 65-63 on Wednesday, Nov. 19, before 17,393 fans in Omaha.
Creighton moved to 3-0 on the season with the second-largest comeback victory in CenturyLink Center Omaha history, while the Sooners dropped to 1-1.
Austin Chatman had 17 points, a career-high 11 rebounds and six assists in the Bluejay victory and keyed the second-half charge after CU fell behind 42-24 with 18;30 to play.
Creighton mounted a 24-4 run to take its first lead of theg game at 48-46 on an Isaiah Zierden three-pointer with 11:35 remaining. The teams exchanged seven leads in the second half, but Creighton took the lead for good with 49 seconds left when Zach Hanson tipped in a Devin Brooks miss to make it 63-61. OU's Jordan Woodard would miss a go-ahead three-pointer and Austin Chatman was fouled with 24 seconds left. Chatman sank both for a four-point margin.
OU got within two points on a pair of free throws by Isaiah Cousins with 5.0 left before Brooks was fouled with four ticks left. He would miss both and OU called timeout with 3.6 to play.
Following timeouts by both teams, Woodard drove upcourt and missed a contested fallaway three-pointer at the buzzer as the home crowd roared.
Oklahoma star Buddy Hield scored the game's first seven points as the Sooners raced to leads of 7-0, 28-18 and 33-20 before settling for a 35-24 lead at the break. Creighton shot a paltry 24 percent (6-25) in the first half and were outrebounded 24-17 by the Sooners.
TaShawn Thomas had four points and Ryan Spangler a three-pointer as OU opened the second half with another 7-0 run to make it 42-24. A Bluejay timeout sparked the greatest comeback victory in the five-year tenure of Greg McDermott at Creighton.
The 24-4 run took just 6:37, and started with a three-pointer from Toby Hegner and followed with threee-balls from Zierden and Chatman before a Zach Hanson three-point play made it a 12-2 run and trimmed the deficit to single-figures at 44-36 with 15:26 left. The onslaught continued despite two timeouts from OU coach Lon Kruger. Hoops by Brooks and Chatman got CU within four before a Hield tip-in made it 46-40 OU wiht 13:18 left. But Hegner drained a three-pointer, and Hanson another jumper before Zierden's three-pointer gave CU its first lead at 48-46 with 11:35 left.
Neither team led by more than four points the rest of the game.
In addition to Chatman's first career point/rebound double-double (17 & 11), Hegner and Zierden both scored 11 points. Creighton shot 37.5 percent for the game and 8-for-26 (30.8 percent) from three-point range, while also sinking 15-of-21 foul shots.
Hield led all scorers with 21 points for OU before fouling out with four seconds left., while Ryan Spangler had 11 points and 11 rebounds for the double-double. Houston transfer TaShawn Thomas had 14 points and six rebounds as well for the Sooners. Oklahoma shot 35.5 percent for the game, including 8-of-24 percent from downtown (33.3 percent), while making 11-of-14 free throws. OU owned a 44-37 edge on the glass.
The Bluejays return to action on Sunday, Nov. 23 as Creighton begins play in the Emerald Coast Classic against North Carolina Central at 3:00 pm.
NOTES: No. 18 Oklahoma was the highest-ranked non-conference opponent to play Creighton in Omaha since the Bluejays overcame a 37-19 deficit to defeat No. 17 Western Kentucky on Nov. 27, 2001 ... Creighton improved to 21-119 all-time vs. AP Top 25 teams, including a 4-2 mark at CenturyLink Center Omaha, and a 7-3 mark at home since 1998-99 .. Creighton has won 25 straight regular-season home games vs. teams from the ACC, Big 10, Big 12, BIG EAST, Pac 12 and SEC dating to 1996-97 ... The win extended Creighton's home win streak to 21, but this was the first time the Jays had trailed in the second half of that streak ... Isaiah Zierden has scored in double-figures in all three games this season after doing so just three times as a freshman ... Creighton improved to 47-0 all-time in regular-season home games on or before Nov. 26th ... Oklahoma has lost 12 straight games in front of 14,000+ fans, while Creighton is 22-1 in its last 23 games before such crowds ... Creighton has started 3-0 or better in 15 of the last 17 seasons ... Creighton's only larger comeback win at CenturyLink Center Omaha came on Jan. 28, 2006 vs. Wichita State when CU trailed 25-6 and won 57-55 at the buzzer ... Creighton's 21-game home win streak is tied for the fifth-longest active streak nationally ... Creighton was just 1-8 last year when trailing at half, but is now 1-0 this season ... Creighton's previous largest comeback win under Greg McDermott was 17 points at San Diego State on Nov. 30, 2011.