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Bulldogs Fall In Opener At Creighton

Miye Oni (Tim Bennett photo)
Miye Oni (Tim Bennett photo)

Bluejays Shoot 58.8 Percent From Field

OMAHA, Nebraska – In recent years, Creighton has consistently been one of the nation's top offensive teams. It doesn't appear that is going to change in 2017-18. The Bluejays were in midseason, maybe even postseason, form in Friday's season-opener with Yale. Creighton shot nearly 60 percent from the floor en route to a 92-76 victory over the Bulldogs before an energized crowd of 16,611 at the CenturyLink Center Omaha.

The two instigators of the offense were Khyri Thomas and Marcus Foster, who combined for 45 points. Thomas was 10-of-12 from the field, while Foster hit 9-of-13 shots.

"They are outstanding in transition, and we did a poor job of getting back," said James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of the Bulldogs.

Creighton, who reached the BIG EAST Tournament final and the NCAA Tournament a year ago, scored 23 fast-break points.

Yale had four players score in double figures, led by Blake Reynolds, who had 18 points. Trey Phills and first year Paul Atkinson both finished with 12 points, and Alex Copeland added 10.

The Bulldogs were without captain Makai Mason and sophomore Jordan Bruner, who are both injured.

Yale stayed with the Bluejays for most of the first half, but a late 7-2 run had Creighton in front 47-35 at the break.

The Bluejays shot 60.6 percent (20-of-33) from the field in the first 20 minutes. They were even more accurate to start the second half and built the lead to 20, 73-53, with 10 minutes left.

The Bulldogs ran their offense well, finishing with 19 assists on their 30 field goals, but couldn't keep up with red-hot Creighton.

NOTES: Atkinson drew the start in his first career game. He was 6-of-10 from the field and added three rebounds and a block in 22 minutes… Fellow first years Azar Swain, Jameel Alausa and Wyatt Yess also saw action… Senior Noah Yates had seven points, four rebounds and three assists in 21 minutes off the bench… Bruner was injured in last Saturday's closed scrimmage with Boston University and is likely out for the season, while Mason is out indefinitely with his injury… Twins Nick and Caleb Holmes, both class of 2008, made the drive from their homes in the Kansas City area to attend the game… Yale looked sharp in its new Under Armour uniforms… The game was part of the 2017 Hall of Fame Classic. The Bulldogs next two games – Sunday at Wisconsin and Tuesday at home vs. South Carolina State – are also part of the Classic as is the game at Alcorn State on the day before Thanksgiving.

Report filed by Tim Bennett (timothy.bennett@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity