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Creighton dispatches Washington State basketball despite Clifford’s game-high 29 points

From staff and wire reports

ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands – Creighton jumped on Washington State early and the Cougars could never recover.

Cole Huff scored 19 points, and No. 22 Creighton put Washington State away early en route to a 103-77 victory Friday night in the opening round of the Paradise Jam tournament.

Marcus Foster added 16 points and Justin Patton 10 for the Bluejays (3-0), who went up by double digits less than seven minutes into the first half, and led 60-36 at the break.

“I liked the way our starters set the tone,” Creighton coach Greg McDermott said. “Our pace was good early, which is always good to see, and then the guys coming off the bench gave us a lift. There’s a lot of positives from tonight.”

Conor Clifford scored 29 points, Ike Iroegbu and Charles Callison had 11 each, and Josh Hawkinson added 10 for the Cougars (2-1), who trailed by as many as 34 points in the second half.

“They were just relentless in their pursuit,” Washington State coach Ernie Kent said. “They’re good. That is a very good basketball team. Their ability to run, their ability to shoot, their ability of their bigs to get up and down, that’s a good team.”

Creighton took its biggest lead midway through the second half, going up 80-46 on Tyler Clement’s layup with 13:30 remaining.

The Bluejays would then break the 100-point mark for the first time this season with 1:50 left on Ronnie Harrell Jr.’s jumper.

Turnovers were a problem for the Cougars. After giving up 16 total in their first two games, they had 16 Friday, leading to 23 points for Creighton.

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