OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Caleb Grill scored a season-high 16 points, Izaiah Brockington had all 12 of his points in the second half and No. 19 Iowa State stayed unbeaten with a grinding 64-58 victory over Creighton on Saturday night.
The Cyclones (8-0), who have a new coach in T.J. Otzelberger and an overhauled roster after going 2-22 last season, extended their best start since opening 9-0 in 2015-16.
The win in front of a sellout crowd at CHI Health Center was Iowa State’s first in 26 true road games since February 2019.
Ryan Hawkins scored a season-high 25 points to lead Creighton and Ryan Nembhard had 10. But the Bluejays (7-2) lost for the first time in 24 nonconference home games after committing 21 turnovers — their first game in 11 seasons with 20 or more turnovers.
Grill made his first four 3-pointers, including one early in the second half that gave the Cyclones the lead for good, though they could never fully put away the Bluejays.
ISU season scoring leader Brockington missed his first nine shots, but he had seven straight points in the middle of the second half to give the Cyclones a 48-39 lead.
Arthur Kaluma’s dunk and free throw pulled the Bluejays within 48-42 and got the crowd to its feet, but George Conditt’s one-handed turnaround shot on the other end snuffed their momentum.
The Bluejays were within six points when Brockington missed a dunk. But Grill snaked through the lane to put it back and put the Cyclones up 54-46.
Creighton was within 61-56 and had the ball with 35 seconds left, but Ryan Nembhard missed a 3.
It was the first meeting between Iowa State and Creighton since 2010. The Cyclones have won seven straight in the series.
Otzelberger also came out on top in the mentor vs. mentee matchup. Creighton’s Greg McDermott, who coached Iowa State from 2006-10, hired Otzelberger as an assistant his first season in Ames. Otzelberger remained with McDermott for his entire four-year run in Ames and returned as coach after two years at UNLV.
Iowa State: The Cyclones pride themselves on strong defensive play, and they were at their best against the Bluejays, forcing all those turnovers and limiting them to 42% shooting.
Creighton: This is a young team still learning to play together, but Saturday was good preparation for the physical battles that await when Big East play begins.
Iowa State: Hosts Iowa on Thursday.
Creighton: Plays BYU next Saturday in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.