Published January 08, 2015
Omaha, NE (SportsNetwork.com) - The 11th-ranked Creighton Bluejays will attempt to keep their winning streak alive on Sunday afternoon when they return home to CenturyLink Center Omaha to face off against the Seton Hall Pirates in Big East Conference action.
Seton Hall had lost three straight games prior to its most recent home contest versus Georgetown, in which it came out on top, 82-67, to improve to 14-12 overall and 5-8 in the Big East. The Pirates have held their own on the road, splitting their eight away contests.
Creighton has been outstanding all season long, winning 22 of its 26 games overall and sits atop the Big East standings with a 12-2 league ledger. The Bluejays are winners of three straight and seven of their last eight, including an 85-70 triumph over Marquette on Wednesday, and they have been flawless on their home floor at 14-0.
The Bluejays got the best of the Pirates in Newark back on Jan. 4, 79-66, but the Pirates still lead the all-time series, 6-2.
The Pirates controlled their latest contest from the opening tip, as they never trailed in their to the convincing 15-point victory. They shot an outstanding 55.1 percent from the field, including 8-of-17 from beyond the arc, while shooting just 20-of-27 from the free-throw line and committing only nine turnovers. Fuquan Edwin paced the effort with 21 points on 9-of-13 shooting from the field. Sterling Gibbs came off the bench to tally 18 points and seven assists, while Eugene Teague and Jaren Sina netted 12 and 10 points, respectively.
On the season, Seton Hall sports an impressive offensive attack, shooting 45.8 percent from the field for 74.2 ppg, which has been enough to support a modest defensive effort (.439, 70.7 ppg). Edwin (14.5 ppg) and Gibbs (14.3 ppg) are the team's go-to scoring options, with Gibbs also finding time to hand out 4.4 apg and Edwin an elite perimeter defender with 2.9 spg. Brian Oliver brings 11.6 ppg to the table, while Teague mans the paint with 10.2 ppg and 7.7 rpg.
The Bluejays had no trouble overcoming their road surroundings their last time out, as they opened up a seven-point halftime lead over Marquette and cruised from there to the 15-point victory thanks mostly to a red-hot field goal shooting performance (.622), which included a 12-of-23 showing from 3-point range. Doug McDermott was outstanding as usual with 25 points and in the process moved up to 11th on the NCAA all-time scoring list. Ethan Wragge was deadly from 3-point range (6-of-8) on his way to 22 points and Austin Chatman added 10 points.
Creighton's offensive production this season has been off the charts, as it scores 81.0 ppg while ranking sixth in the nation in field-goal percentage (.499), second in 3-pointers per game (10.4) and first in 3-point percentage (.425). Its defensive pressure has been stellar as well, holding opponents to just 41.1 percent shooting and 66.4 ppg. McDermott is the runaway favorite to earn the Naismith Award as season's end for the nation's best player, as he leads the country in scoring (25.8 ppg) with excellent percentages from the field (.511), 3-point range (.448) and the foul line (.898) while adding 7.1 rpg as well. Wragge (11.4 ppg) ranks in the top-10 nationally in both 3- pointers (89) and long-range percentage (.494).