KOBE Paras had a silent debut for Creighton as the 22nd-seed Bluejays withstood a furious second half rally by unranked UMKC Kangaroos to hold on to a season-opening win, 89-82, on Friday (Saturday, Manila time) in the US NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
Paras missed his only attempt, a three-pointer in the first half, and his lone free throw try in the second half to end up scoreless in six minutes off the bench. He also committed three fouls but added a rebound and an assist in his first game for Creighton after a short-lived stint with UCLA.
Creighton led by as much as 28 points, 76-48, at the 13:45 mark of the second half, before UMKC cut the lead down to single digits. But the lead was too big to overcome as the Bluejays won for the 19th time in 20 season openers.
Marcus Foster led Creighton with 19 points and Maurice Watson Jr. added 17.
Montrez Harrison finished with 17 points to lead UMKC, while three other players each had 10 for the Kangaroos in a losing cause.