Creighton 82, Drake 76
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) _ Rodney Buford scored 22 points, Randall Crutcher added 20 and both made key plays down the stretch as Creighton beat Drake 82-76 Monday night, extending the Bulldogs’ school-record losing streak to 15.
Creighton (14-12 overall, 9-6 Missouri Valley Conference) built a 13-point lead in the first half, then continually held off Drake over the final 10 minutes.
Drake (1-23, 0-16) led by a point three times in the late going but Creighton, which shot 61 percent, answered with points on each occasion. Buford’s 8-foot jump shot put Creighton ahead to stay at 68-67 with 5:16 left and the Bluejays scored the game’s next five points to go up 73-67.
The Bulldogs rallied one more time, cutting the lead 75-74 with 2:03 left on a baseline jumper by Rashaad Thomas, who led all scorers with a career-high 26 points.
But Creighton answered again. Chuckie Johnson hit a 5-foot shot from the left side to make it 77-74 with 1:29 to play and Crutcher got a basket inside with 32 seconds to go, stretching the lead to 79-74.
After Drake’s Abdean Smith scored on a putback, Buford sank three free throws in the final 12.8 seconds to secure the victory and send Drake to its eighth loss by six points or less.
Johnson finished with 10 points for Creighton, while Lynnrick Rogers scored 17 for Drake and Shawn Caracoza added 11 after being advised by a doctor not to play because he was suffering from strep throat.
Crutcher, who was 8-for-10 from the field, scored seven points in a 17-2 run that took Creighton from a 20-18 deficit midway through the second half into a 35-22 lead.
Drake cut the lead to 41-38 by halftime and pulled ahead 63-62 when Rogers stole the ball, dunked on the run and sank a free throw to complete a three-point play. Rogers’ jump shot gave Drake its final lead at 67-66 with 5:31 remaining.