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Creighton holds off Alabama for 58-57 win in Greensboro

By Chip Patterson | College Football/Basketball Writer


GREENSBORO, N.C. - Creighton overcame a seven point deficit with just over ten minutes to go, fighting back into the game and escaping with a 58-57 win over Alabama on Friday in Greensboro.

After a back-and-forth first half, the Crimson Tide extended their lead to as many as 11 early in the second half. While Alabama used their full-court pressure and athleticism to control the game early, it was the Bluejay's execution in the half-court offense that allowed them to advance to the Round of 32.

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While execution was a key to re-taking the lead with 5:07 to go, missed free throws in the last minute nearly cost them the game. Creighton hit just one of five free throw attempts int he final 33.0 seconds, giving Alabama plenty of opportunities to steal the win - including a shot with 2.4 seconds remaining.

Alabama guard Trevor Releford, who led the Tide with 14 points and four assists, had a shot from the top of the key to win the game as time expired. But Releford was not able to get the ball over the outstretched arm of 6-foot-5 Josh Jones , who partially blocked the shot as it fell short and the Bluejays celebrated their first NCAA Tournament victory since 2002.

Doug McDermott, the nation's third-leading scorer, led the Bluejays with 16 points (6-12 shooting) and 10 rebounds. The Tide were wary of McDermott at all times on defense, but the star forward took advantage of his opportunities when the Tide fell asleep on defense for a few big possessions in the second half.

In addition to the block on the final play, Josh Jones gave Creighton some big minutes off the bench. The junior had 7 points, 2 assist, 2 steals, and no turnovers in 23 minutes of action.

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