Omaha, NE – Doug McDermott poured in a game-high 21 points and pulled down 11 rebounds to lead No. 16 Creighton to a 71-51 win over North Texas on Friday.
Austin Chatman scored 11 points and Avery Dingman added 10 for the Bluejays (1-0), who were eliminated in the third round of the NCAA tournament last season by North Carolina.
"Once we settled down I thought we played really well," Creighton head coach Greg McDermott said. "In the first half we turned it over too much, but rebounded really well. In the second half we didn't rebound real well, but we only had three turnovers."
Tony Mitchell scored a team-high 18 points and pulled down seven rebounds while Alzee Williams and Jordan Williams each netted nine points for the Mean Green (0-1), who finished 18-14 last season.
"I want to give Creighton a ton of credit," North Texas head coach Tony Benford said. "They are a great basketball team that is well coached. They shoot the ball so well, and they don't get enough credit for what they do on the defensive end of the floor. That being said, we have to do a better job of executing."
Creighton trailed just once in the first half, 13-11, but closed the half on a 19-5 run to take a 42-25 lead into the break.
A 14-5 run to open the second half, sparked by back-to-back 3-pointers from Dingman, pushed the Bluejays' lead to 53-30 and Creighton never looked back, allowing to get as close as 19 with just under 1 1/2 minutes left.
The Bluejays shot 58.3 percent from the field in the first half and finished the game shooting at a 50 percent clip. The Creighton bench outscored North Texas' reserves, 20-7.
Benford made his head coaching debut for North Texas. He had spent four years as an assistant at Marquette before replacing Johnny Johns on the Mean Green's sideline.
Creighton has won 18-stright home openers and 39 in a row at home in the month of November ... The Bluejays trailed for just eight seconds the entire game ... The Mean Green had 11-game winning streak in season openers snapped.