No. 6 Creighton withstands No. 11 NC State’s comeback attempts

Creighton center Ryan Kalkbrenner poured in a career-high 31 points as the sixth-seeded Bluejays withstood 11th-seeded North Carolina State’s comeback attempts in a 72-63 first-round victory in the NCAA Tournament on Friday afternoon at Denver.Kalkbrenner, a junior, made 11 of 14 shots from the field and also pulled in seven rebounds and blocked three shots.Creighton (22-12) will meet third-seeded Baylor (23-10) in Sunday’s second round. Baylor eliminated UC Santa Barbara 74-56 in the first game at the site on Friday.Baylor Scheierman, Ryan Nembhard and Arthur Kaluma all scored 10 points for Creighton, which made 17 of 19 free throws to compensate for 3-for-20 shooting on 3-pointers. Kaluma had nine rebounds.NC State’s Terquavion Smith racked up 32 points — two shy of his career high — by making 12 of 27 shots from the field with one 3-pointer and going 7-for-9 at the foul line.NC State shot 37.5 overall from the field and went 3-for-13 on 3-pointers.NC State used an 11-0 run in the second half for a 37-30 lead. The Bluejays responded to gain a 56-47 edge with seven minutes left.Then Smith and Jack Clark bagged 3-pointers for the Wolfpack.