Omaha, NE (SportsNetwork.com) - The Seton Hall Pirates broke into the Top-25 earlier this week, but will try to avenge a loss Saturday as they travel to face the Creighton Bluejays in a Big East Conference matchup at CenturyLink Center Omaha.
Seton Hall emerged on the scene after big wins over St. John's (78-67) and Villanova (66-61 in OT). But the Pirates dropped a Wednesday night clash with Xavier, 69-58, that set the team back to 12-3 this season and 1-3 on the road. The Pirates are 2-1 in Big East play.
Creighton, on the other hand, is suffering through a four-game losing streak that includes a 70-60 home defeat at the hands of DePaul Wednesday night. The Bluejays are 7-2 at home this season, but are 0-3 in Big East competition.
Seton Hall owns a 6-3 all-time series advantage over Creighton, although the Bluejays took both games a year ago against the Pirates, with a 72-71 win at CenturyLink Center being the most recent.
Seton Hall, fresh off of two huge wins, found itself down to Xavier by five points at halftime, 33-28. The Musketeers made it difficult for the Pirates to catch up in the second half thanks to a 52.2 shooting percentage from the floor for Xavier, which kept the lead at an arm's length until the final buzzer. Angel Delgado led the way for Seton Hall with 12 points off the bench, while Haralds Karlis chipped in with 10 points. Sterling Gibbs dished out seven assists, and Desi Rodriguez grabbed seven boards to lead the team in the loss.
Gibbs wasn't able to do much in the way of scoring Wednesday against Xavier, as the team's leading point getter notched just eight in the defeat. Still, Gibbs leads the way heading into Saturday at 16.0 ppg, adding in 59 assists to top the squad in the category. Isaiah Whitehead (11.9 ppg in 11 games played) and Brandon Mobley (10.1 ppg) round out a trio of double-digit scorers for the Pirates, who are netting 70.8 ppg as a unit this season. Whitehead, who has a stress fracture in his right foot, is listed as out for Saturday's game. Delgado leads Seton Hall in rebounding with a 8.7 boards per outing (third in the Big East), also adding in 21 blocked shots.
It was a slow day offensively for Creighton against DePaul, although the Bluejays did outscore the Blue Demons in the second half - not enough to make a comeback, though. The Bluejays shot just 35.1 percent from the floor in the game, and didn't lead for a single second of the contest. Toby Hegner led all Creighton players in scoring with 15 points, while Avery Dingman came off the bench to add 10 points with five rebounds before fouling out. Austin Chatman chipped in with nine points in the team's fourth loss in a row.
Hands may be reaching for the panic button in the Creighton program after the team's second home loss of the season Wednesday. The Bluejays are netting 69.5 ppg (just ahead of Marquette, which is last in the Big East in scoring), and are allowing opponents to score 65.6 ppg on 43.1 percent shooting. Chatman tops the squad in the scoring category with 13.1 ppg this season, adding in 71 assists to lead the team. Isaiah Zierden is the only other Creighton player to net a double-digit point total at 11.1 ppg. Devin Brooks's 5.0 rpg mark is the best on the Bluejays' roster.