- Associated Press - Friday, November 18, 2016

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

But the Bluejays’ confidence is still showing, especially after their 103-77 victory over Washington State on Friday in the opening round of the Paradise Jam tournament.

Huff scored 19 points, Marcus Foster added 16 points and Justin Patton 10 for Creighton (3-0), which took command early in leading by as many as 34 points against the overmatched Cougars (2-1).

“Our confidence is sky high, but what we’ve done in these first three games, we’ve got to put that behind us now,” Huff said. “We’re just going to have to focus on our game plan, and see if we can get another win (Sunday).”

Conor Clifford scored 29 points, Ike Iroegbu and Charles Callison had 11 each, and Josh Hawkinson added 10 for Washington State (2-1).

Creighton led from the outset, going up by double figures less than seven minutes into the first half en route to a 60-34 halftime lead.

“I liked the way our starters set the tone,” Bluejays 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.”

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.

“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.”

BIG PICTURE

Washington State: 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.

Creighton: It’s a good start for the Bluejays, who are trying to win their fourth regular-season tournament title under McDermott. They also won tournaments in 2011, 2012 and 2015.

STAT SHEET

Washington State: Not a bad night, shooting 46.9 percent from the field (30 of 64). But the Cougars made just 3 of 9 3-pointers, and were outrebounded 39-33.

Creighton: Easily had its best shooting game this season - 56.3 percent from the field (40 of 71), and hit a season-best 15 of 27 3-pointers.

RUN AND GUN

Thanks to the turnovers, Creighton was able to get its fast break going against Washington State, outscoring the Cougars 19-6.

STAT OF THE NIGHT

It comes from Creighton point guard Maurice Watson Jr. While Watson was held to seven points (10 points below his season average), he added a season-best 13 assists. To put that in perspective, Watson had more assists than Washington State had as a team (12).

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Creighton’s first triple-digit game of the season, coming right after knocking off No. 9 Wisconsin by 12 points three days ago, can’t do anything but help the Bluejays move up the Top 25.

UP NEXT

Washington State: Plays Montana at 7 p.m. Saturday in a consolation round game.

Creighton: Gets Saturday off, then faces N.C. State in a semifinal game at 9:30 p.m. Sunday.

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