LAS VEGAS (AP) — Freshman guard Dallin Hall hit a go-ahead putback with 11 seconds left and BYU handed No. 21 Creighton its fourth straight loss, 83-80 on Saturday night in the Jack Jones Hoopfest.
After squandering an 11-point lead in the second half, the Cougars fell behind by one when Creighton went on a 12-0 run down the stretch.
But then Hall drove down the right side of the lane and followed his own miss with a layup that put BYU back in front 81-80. Shereef Mitchell missed a 3-pointer at the other end and Hall sank two free throws in the final seconds.
Rudi Williams scored 26 points to lead the Cougars (6-5), who had five players in double figures as they ended a two-game skid.
“It means that we’re going in the right direction, heading in the right direction,” said Williams, a regular starter who came off the bench. “We try our best to get better every day. One of our team slogans is ‘G-Bed,’ which is an abbreviation for ‘Get Better Every Day.’ So you know, we try not to worry about the past, and we’re just trying to focus on the next day, and the next day.
“It’s still early and nobody’s good in November and December. We’re preparing for March, and being a really good team then.”
Jason Robinson, Gideon George and Fousseyni Traore each scored 11 points for BYU, while Richie Saunders finished with 10.
Creighton (6-4) continued its downward spiral after opening the season 6-0.
Arthur Kaluma, who fouled out for the Bluejays, led them in scoring with 27 points.
Baylor Scheierman produced a double-double for Creighton with 13 points and 11 rebounds, while Trey Alexander scored 17 and Ryan Nembhard had 11.
The Bluejays finished 23 of 60 (38.3%) from the floor and failed to get offensive production from their reserves, as their bench was outscored 38-8.
Creighton has shot 36% from the field during a four-game slide that’s included losses to then-No. 14 Arizona and at No. 2 Texas.
BYU established its presence in the paint by winning the rebounding battle in the first half 23-13, including a whopping 7-1 edge on the offensive glass. The domination helped the Cougars outscore Creighton 22-8 in the paint.
BYU also got a huge boost from its reserves, outscoring the Bluejays 22-8 in bench points in the first half.
The Cougars seized control of the first half with 4:43 remaining and the game tied 36-all. Using a 13-5 run over a span of 3:25, BYU distanced itself from the Bluejays to open a 49-41 advantage, led by Williams’ scoring prowess off the bench.
Williams finished the first half 5 of 10 from the field, scoring 16 points in 15 minutes to lead the Cougars to a 49-45 lead at the break.
The Cougars shot 18 of 37 (48.6%) from the floor in the first half, including 5 of 14 (35.7%) from 3-point range.
Creighton was 13 for 28 (46.4%) in the first half, going a stellar 8 of 13 (61.5%) from beyond the arc.
“I was very proud that we showed some grit there in the last three minutes and fought and kept playing until the clock hit zero and gave ourselves a chance,” Creighton coach Greg McDermott said. “I thought we had some real opportunities the first half. ... We were turning good shots into great shots. But we went through a spell where we just kind of traded baskets.”
BYU: Hall came in averaging 6.2 points per game. After averaging 11 over his last four games, he was held to seven on 2-of-9 shooting from the field but saved his final four points for the right moment.
Creighton: After starting the season 5 of 28 from 3-point range, senior guard Francisco Farabello is 7 of 11 (63.6%) in his last two games.
Creighton will likely fall out of the Top 25 next week.
BYU: Hosts Western Oregon on Thursday.
Creighton: Plays Arizona State on Monday in Las Vegas.
AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25