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GEORGE TOWN, Grand Cayman– Sophomore Kane Williams scored a career-high 20 points, but Creighton shot 54.5 percent from the floor and knocked down 14 3-pointers to earn a 93-68 win over Georgia State on Tuesday night at John Gray Gym in the Cayman Islands Classic.
Williams finished 7-of-16 from the floor with a pair of 3-pointers, but Georgia State (3-2) shot just 39.3 percent and 4-of-19 from beyond the arc.
Creighton (4-1) was led by Mitch Ballock who finished with 23 points, going 6-of-12 from 3-point range. Damien Jefferson added 20 points, finishing 9-of-10 from the floor.
For the first time since 2005, Georgia State will face in-state foe Georgia on Wednesday at 5 p.m. for third place in the event, while the Bluejays will square off against Clemson for the title. Creighton marked the third opponent for the Panthers in the first five games that made the 2018 NCAA Tournament.
Junior D’Marcus Simonds finished with a team-high 21 points going 8-of-12 from the free throw line.
“We obviously tip our caps to Creighton as they came out with a great game plan and executed it well,” head coach Ron Hunter said. “We got off to a slow start and we were not able to ever get in our rhythm. We will regroup and look to come out and finish the tournament strong tomorrow.”
Creighton jumped on the Panthers quickly taking a 17-6 lead just over six minutes into the game. Georgia State responded with a 6-1 run to cut the deficit to 18-12 with 12:39 to play, but that was as close as the Panthers would get the rest of the game.
Creighton finished the first half on a 24-5 run and went into the locker room with a 52-24 lead. The Bluejays shot 60.6 percent from the floor in the opening 20 minutes, including 8-of-17 from 3-point range. On the other end, the Panthers were held to just 29.6 percent shooting, including 0-of-10 from 3-point range.
The Panthers opened the second half on an 8-2 run to get as close as 22 with 17:23 remaining, but that is as close as Georgia State would come.
Senior Jeff Thomas finished with six points and five rebounds, while fellow senior Malik Benlevi grabbed six boards. Sophomore Josh Linder came off the bench to finish with six points and six rebounds.
Ty-Shon Alexander added 13 points and five assists, while Marcus Zegarowski finished with 14 points.
Wednesday’s third-place contest can be heard live on WAOK-AM 1380 with Dave Cohen, now in his 36th year as the Voice of the Panthers, calling the action. The game will also air live on Stadium for free through their Facebook page with Noah Coslov, Doug Gottlieb, and Tim Scarborough calling the action. Live statistics and live audio will be available at GeorgiaStateSports.com and on most mobile devices.