OMAHA, Neb. -- Senior center Anthony Tolliver was 11-for-11 from the field and had a game-high 23 points and nine rebounds, leading Creighton to a 79-71 victory over Illinois State on Monday afternoon. Creighton shot 64.3 percent for the game (27-of-42), a Qwest Center Omaha record and tied for the second-best marksmanship in school history for any contest.
Creighton won for the fourth time in five games and improved to 8-4 (2-0 MVC), while Illinois State fell to 8-6 (0-3 MVC).
Both teams came out shooting the lights out, hitting their first four shots for an 11-8 Redbird lead early. Their were six lead changes in the first nine minutes before CU took the lead for good on a pair of free throws by Isacc Miles at the 11:00 mark of the first half. Miles' shots were part of a 15-2 run that saw CU build its lead to 30-18. CU would shoot 65.2 percent in the first half while taking a 38-30 lead into intermission.
Creighton continued its light-out shooting after the break as well, once again shooting better than 60 percent. The Bluejay lead ranged between five and 14 the entire second half. An 8-1 run by the Redbirds in the final 70 seconds brought them within seven at 76-69, but Nate Funk and Nick Bahe combined to hit 3-of-4 shots at the line down the stretch to seal the win.
Tolliver's 23 points were a season-high, and his 11-of-11 shooting tied a school-record for field goal percentage in a game. Only former MVC Player of the Year Bob Harstad (13-for-13 on Nov. 30, 1990 vs. Texas-San Antonio) has been perfect from the floor with 10 or more attempts in school history.
In addition to Tolliver, Funk had 19 points, while Nick Porter also scored in double-digits with 13 points. Providing a spark off the bench was junior Brice Nengsu, who finished with a season-best nine points.
Illinois State was led by freshman Osiris Eldridge, who hit 8-of-11 three-pointers and finished with a career-best 28 points. His eight treys were a Qwest Center record and tied a school record. Also in double-figures were Levi Dyer (13 points) and Anthony Slack (12 points). Boo Richardson dished nine assists but made just 2-of-9 shots from the floor.