OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Reserve Geoffrey Groselle scored a career-high 15 points, and No. 23 Creighton beat Eastern Illinois 75-53 in the Emerald Coast Classic on Tuesday night.
The Bluejays celebrated coach Greg McDermott’s 50th birthday with a victory in their first game as a ranked team this season.
The 7-foot Groselle made his first five shots and finished 7 of 8 from the field. Toby Hegner added 13 points for Creighton (5-0), which led by as many as 33 points.
Chris Olivier and Trae Anderson scored nine points apiece for Eastern Illinois (1-4).
Olivier, the Panthers’ season scoring leader at better than 13 points a game, was held out of the starting lineup for the first time. He was the first man off the bench but got into foul trouble and played just 15 minutes.
Groselle entered five minutes into the game and matched his previous career high with eight points in his first five trips down the court. James Milliken, who totaled four rebounds in the Bluejays’ first four games, had seven of his 10 boards in the first half.
The Panthers of the Ohio Valley Conference stayed within single digits the first 10 minutes but ended the half with misses on 11 of 14 shots. Creighton outscored the Panthers 30-10 over the halves to lead 55-26 with 14 minutes left.
Creighton: The Bluejays have won their first five games for a fourth straight season and are 56-2 in regular-season non-conference home games since losing to Drexel in 2007. … The Bluejays have had a different leading scorer in all five games.
Eastern Illinois: The Panthers are 0-18 all-time against Top 25 opponents and have never played any of them closer than 10 points. … Eastern Illinois, which came in shooting 68.8 percent on free throws, was just 3 of 14 from the line. … Luke Piotrowski, a 6-foot-11 redshirt sophomore forward, had his streak of blocking at least one shot end at eight games.
Creighton plays Mississippi on Friday in Niceville, Florida.
Eastern Illinois plays North Carolina Central on Friday in Niceville, Florida.
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