Creighton knocks W. Illinois from ranks of unbeaten, 97-67

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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) Khyri Thomas scored 18 points - 14 after halftime - as Creighton sent Western Illinois crashing from the ranks of the unbeaten, 97-67 on Saturday night.

Geoffrey Groselle added 17 points on 6-for-9 shooting with nine rebounds and three blocked shots for the Blue Jays (5-1). Groselle was largely unchallenged underneath, adding a two-handed dunk after halftime, and a one-handed put-back dunk in the first half. Creighton outrebounded Western Illinois 47-29 and shot 51 percent from the floor (35 of 69).

The Leathernecks (5-1) had come into the game tied for the program's best start in Division I (5-0, 1986-87). But Creighton was red-hot, leading 44-31 by halftime and opening the second half on a 14-7 run.

Creighton led by as many as 32 points, 95-63.

James Milliken scored 12 points - all in the first half - for Creighton.

Western Illinois was led by Garret Covington's 14 points and 13 from Jalen Chapman.