It was a missed opportunity for the Musketeers (13-11, 7-6), who had won three straight games to revive their NCAA Tournament hopes.
Creighton missed its first eight 3-point attempts, but finished the first half on a 12-2 run and led by nine points at halftime. Kalkbrenner had 14 points in the half. Creighton finished the game 7-of-28 on 3’s.
The Musketeers went scoreless for the final three minutes of the first half. That drought continued until Quincy Olivari hit a 3-pointer with 18:11 left in the second.
Since the teams joined the Big East in 2013, 18 of their 26 meetings have been decided by eight points or less with two games going to overtime.
Kalkbrenner’s dunk made the score 66-46 with 9:13 left.
The Musketeers trimmed the deficit to five on McKnight’s layup with 1:16 left, but Creighton held on.
Creighton: Steven Ashworth has eight straight games with 10 or more points, including 20 or more in the past two. Ashworth scored 12 on Saturday.
Xavier: Xavier is ranked second in the Big East and fourth nationally in fast-break points, but Creighton limited the speedy Musketeers to 15 fast-break points on Saturday.
Creighton: Hosts Georgetown on Tuesday night.
Xavier: Visits Seton Hall on Wednesday night.
Reporting by The Associated Press.
[Want great stories delivered right to your inbox? Create or log in to your FOX Sports account, follow leagues, teams and players to receive a personalized newsletter daily.]
FOLLOW Follow your favorites to personalize your FOX Sports experience
Get more from College Basketball Follow your favorites to get information about games, news and more