James Milliken scored 22 points and Creighton took charge of a tight game in the second half for a 78-63 victory over DePaul in the first round of the Big East Tournament on Wednesday night.
Devin Brooks added 12 points and senior guard Austin Chatman had 11, surpassing 1,000 for his career. Will Artino provided energy down low, finishing with nine points and eight rebounds to help the 10th-seeded Bluejays (14-18) advance to the quarterfinals Thursday night against No. 23 Georgetown, the tournament's second seed.
Jamee Crockett scored 15 to pace seventh-seeded DePaul (12-20), which lost its final eight games of the season and 11 of the last 12. It was an extremely disappointing finish for a team that opened 3-0 and 5-2 in conference play, including a Jan. 7 win at Creighton.
Billy Garrett Jr. had 10 points and eight assists for the Blue Demons.
The score was tied at 46 before Artino's putback with 12:45 left started Creighton's decisive 13-2 surge. Toby Hegner hit a 3-pointer and Milliken shook off a hard fall to finish a three-point play that gave the Bluejays a 10-point cushion with 8:21 to go.
Meanwhile, the Blue Demons managed only one field goal in a span of 7:10.
Creighton, which had dropped three close games in a row, led most of the way in a first half that was pretty even on the stat sheet, as both teams shot 12 for 28 (42.9 percent) from the field.
Milliken scored 15 points, including three straight 3s, and the Bluejays went into the locker room with a 35-33 lead after Chatman dished to Geoffrey Groselle underneath for a layup with a second left.
Creighton was the tournament runner-up last year in its first Big East season, beating DePaul 84-62 in the quarterfinals at Madison Square Garden.
Creighton: Milliken finished one point shy of his career high, set on Dec. 9 against South Dakota. ... Brooks and Chatman both had five assists. ... The teams split two regular-season matchups, each winning on the road by double digits.
DePaul: The Blue Demons have two Big East tournament wins, including 60-56 last year over Georgetown in the first round. ... Tommy Hamilton IV, who sat out the regular-season finale at Marquette because he wasn't feeling well, came off the bench with 15:08 remaining in the first half and quickly hit his first two shots, a 3-pointer from the right corner and a layup while getting fouled. He also banked in a 3 from the top of the key in the second half to tie it at 46 and finished with 11 points and seven rebounds. ... Myke Henry had 10 points and nine rebounds.
Creighton: The Bluejays lost both meetings with Georgetown in January, by an average of 21 points.
DePaul: Season is over.