Jalen Wilson, No. 5 Kansas Hang On to Beat No. 8 Creighton 73-72

Jenna CiccotelliCorrespondent IIDecember 9, 2020

Kansas' Jalen Wilson shoots during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against North Dakota State Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020, in Lawrence, Kan. Kansas won 65-61. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

With fans other than family members in the stands for the first time this season, No. 5 Kansas defeated No. 8 Creighton 73-72 on Tuesday, improving to 5-1 on the season.

Marcus Zegarowski had a chance to tie the game when he was fouled on a three-point attempt with the Blue Jays down 73-70 with two seconds left, but he missed the last free throw to seal the deal for the Jayhawks.

The Jayhawks, coming off a four-point victory against North Dakota State (whom Creighton defeated by 11 points in its season-opener), were led to their fourth straight win by Jalen Wilson, who tied his career-high 23 points while adding 10 rebounds.

Kansas dropped its first game of the year to No. 1 Gonzaga, the only other ranked opponent it has faced this season, 102-90.

Denzel Mahoney added 19 points and five rebounds for Creighton, which had not faced a ranked opponent in its 3-0 start to the season but had a 5-0 streak against teams slotted in the AP Top 25 poll dating back to Feb. 1, 2019. The Blue Jays ended the 2019-20 season ranked No. 7 in the AP Top 25 and No. 9 in the Amway Coaches Poll.

Notable Performers

  • Jalen Wilson, F, Jayhawks: 23 PTS, 10 REB
  • Denzel Mahoney, G, Blue Jays: 19 PTS, 5 REB
  • Marcus Zegarowski, G, Blue Jays: 16 PTS, 6 REB, 4 AST
  • Christian Braun, G, Jayhawks: 14 PTS, 4 REB, 6 AST, 3 STL


Jalen Wilson Has Arrived

Kansas forward Jalen Wilson lost his freshman season after two games when he was injured, but he's making up for lost time with the Jayhawks so far this year.

Brandon Champion @BrandonthaChamp

I'll just say this. Pretty glad Jalen Wilson didn't end up going to Michigan.

Sam Vecenie @Sam_Vecenie

Jalen Wilson has been a super fun breakout guy this year for Kansas.

Through five games, Wilson averaged 15.0 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists on 46.4 percent shooting from the field (30.0 percent from three), with a career-high 23 points in 31 minutes played in the team's win over then-No. 20 Kentucky.

On Tuesday, he led the team with his third double-double of the season, going 8-of-12 from the field and continuing to collect double-digit scoring through each of the Jayhawks games.


A Tale of Two Marcuses

In a battle of two stars named to the preseason Wooden Award watch list, it was Creighton's Marcus Zegarowski who came out on top over Kansas star Marcus Garrett—though it didn't seem as though it would be that way through the first half of Tuesday's game.

Kansas Basketball @KUHoops

Jalen Wilson = Clutch and very good at basketball

As Kansas held a 39-35 lead at the break, Zegarowski had just three points for the Blue Jays, coupled with four rebounds and a pair of assists, while Garrett, who was a major force in limiting the Creighton junior in the first half, had five points, two rebounds and an assist for Kansas.

Something shifted in the second half, as Zegarowski added 13 points after the half and pick up his season high in points.

Garrett ended the night with nine points, four assists and three defensive rebounds.


What's Next?

Kansas will host 3-4 Omaha on Friday, with the Mavericks entering off a tight 65-63 victory against SIU Edwardsville on Saturday. Omaha took on Creighton Dec. 1, falling 94-67.

Creighton will head home to host 3-1 Nebraska on Friday. The Cornhuskers will come to Creighton on short rest after taking on a tough Georgia Tech team that upended then-No. 20 Kentucky on Wednesday.


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