Following a brutal five-game stretch, Creighton will take aim at visiting North Dakota on Tuesday. The Bluejays have played four of their last five games against ranked opponents, posting wins over Northwestern and UCLA before falling to Baylor and Gonzaga.
In the loss to Gonzaga, Creighton led by seven at halftime before getting outscored by 24 in the second half. “Our plan was to attack the rim,” Creighton coach Greg McDermott said. “But we went away from that in the second half.” Marcus Foster had 21 in that one and leads the team at 18.4 points per game, highlighted by a 41.3 percent connection rate from 3-point range. Foster and backcourt mate Khyri Thomas (17 points per game) will take aim at a Fighting Hawks team that has played one notable opponent, losing at Nebraska by 22.
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ABOUT NORTH DAKOTA (4-3): The Fighting Hawks allow 75.7 points per game (248th nationally) and only have given up fewer than 71 points once all year. Geno Crandall leads the team at 19 points per game and has impressive all-around stats with 4.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.1 steals. Crandall also is a terrific 3-point shooter at 46.7 percent, but the rest of his teammates are a collective 27-of-126 (21.4 percent) from the arc.
ABOUT CREIGHTON (5-2): Foster and Thomas combined for 39 points and nine 3-pointers against Gonzaga, but the Bluejays’ issues that day included 16 turnovers and an inability to stop the talented Bulldogs on the defensive end. Martin Krampelj chipped in 13 points, making 5-of-8 shots, and has shot at least 50 percent from the floor in every game. Davion Mintz, one of the Creighton starters at guard, has totaled six points on 2-of-10 shooting in the last three games but has a solid 3-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio on the season.
1. Every player on the Creighton roster has made at least one 3-pointer.
2. Only one player on the Bluejays (Krampelj) has more than two blocks this season.
3. Foster has made multiple 3-pointers in every game but one.
PREDICTION: Creighton 87, North Dakota 73