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Vegas Blues: No. 14 Creighton outlasts Badgers 84-74

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Creighton 14 Creighton 84, 24 Wisconsin 74
 Orleans Arena • Las Vegas, Nev. 

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1st 2nd Final
 Creighton 38 46 84
 Wisconsin 39 35 74
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 Statistical Leaders
 • Jared Berggren: 27 Pts, 7 Reb 9-14 FG
 • Ryan Evans: 15 Pts, 8 Reb, 3 Ast 7-16 FG
 • George Marshall: 13 Pts 5-10 FG
 Stats at a Glance
 FG Percentage .466 .409
 3-Point FG Percentage .400 .296
 FT Percentage .880 .750
 Offensive Rebounds 13 14
 Defensive Rebounds 27 20
 Total Rebounds 40 34
 Turnovers 10 8
 Pts in the paint 30 24
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Nov. 23, 2012

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LAS VEGAS (AP) Jared Berggren might have played the best game of his career, but it wasn't quite enough.

The senior forward tallied a career-high 27 points, while Ryan Evans added 15 points and eight rebounds, but the Badgers were unable to overcome No. 14 Creighton, losing 84-74, Friday night in the semifinals of the Las Vegas Invitational.

“I thought Jared (Berggren) really got the juices flowing -- he got into a flow," UW head coach Bo Ryan said. "But we needed to hit some shots down the stretch. I thought our guys did a pretty good job of competing, but (Doug) McDermott was the difference.”

McDermott, Creighton's All-American forward, had a game-high 30 points and eight rebounds to lead the Blue Jays to a 5-0 start.

George Marshall added 13 points for the Badgers (3-2) who will play Arkansas in the third-place game on Saturday night at 7 p.m. (CT) at Orleans Arena.

 Fast Facts
• Berggren tallies career-high 27 pts on 9-of-14 shooting
• Three Badgers score in double-figures
• Game consists of 18 lead changes and 10 ties

Wisconsin led 39-38 at the half in a see-saw affair that was closer than the final score indicated. The game featured 10 ties and 18 lead changes, but a decisive 14-4 Jays run late in the second half put UW in a hole from which is could not dig out.

Trailing 55-48 with 13:04 to go, the Badgers rode the back of their senior big man, as Berggren went on his own 7-0 run to tie the game at 55-55 at the 10:05 mark.

Less than two minutes later, Berggren tallied a crucial offensive rebound that led to a Marshall 3-point basket and later a pair of free throws to help UW regain the lead, 60-58.

That was the last time UW would see the lead.

“I was feeling good," Berggren said. "We were scoring with them. But were still weren’t doing a great job of getting stops.

"When we get things rolling offensively, we have to do the same on the defensive end. I was trying to do anything I could to be aggressive and keep us in the game."

Two 3-pointers from Ethan Wragge jumpstarted a Jays run, and by the time it was over Creighton owned a 76-64 lead and left the Badgers scrambling to play catch-up.

Creighton (5-0) will play Arizona State in the championship game Saturday. The Sun Devils beat Arkansas 83-68.

Wragge had 17 points, while Austin Chapman added a career-high 14 points for Creighton, which shot 62 percent from the field in the second half and 88 percent from the free throw line for the game.

The Bluejays were 22 of 25 from the free throw line and outrebounded Wisconsin 40-34.

“We weren’t getting as many stops as we’d like to," Berggren said. "We were giving them too many points so we had to try to keep up with them offensively.

"We definitely would have liked to contain them a little better defensively. It’s not really the pace we’re accustomed to playing at, so I guess they won the battle of tempo.”

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