Game Preview: Seton Hall vs. Creighton

USA TODAY Sports

After surviving their first Big East contest of the season, the Pirates host an offensively loaded Creighton team on Saturday afternoon.

When: January 4

Time: 3 EST

Where: Newark, NJ

How to Watch: Fox Sports 1

Seton Hall’s Outlook

I guess Seton Hall’s New Year’s resolution was to stop losing.

The Pirates entered 2014 riding a three-game winning streak, having defeated Providence in double OT on December 31.

Cold-blooded PG Sterling Gibbs lifted Seton Hall over the Friars with a pair of free throws with 3.3 seconds remaining, and added 15 points on the night. Brian Oliver caught fire from downtown, hitting four three-balls en route to a team-high 18 points.

Heading into Saturday’s matchup against Creighton, the Pirates are going to need similar offensive performances from Gibbs and Oliver again, but will need strong nights from Fuquan Edwin, Jaren Sina and Brandon Mobley, as well.

Defensively, the Pirates have been solid this year. They’ve allowed their opponents to reach more than 80 points just three times on the year, but that number could get bumped up to four after facing Creighton.

Scouting the Bluejays

Creighton enters the game riding a six-game winning streak, led by future first-round pick Doug McDermott.

The senior forward, who is also the son of head coach Greg McDermott, has torched opposing defenses for 24.3 points per game, the second-highest in the nation. Standing at 6’8", McDermott is also averaging over seven boards a night.

Basically, the kid is an absolute stud.

But after Dougie, there is a bit of a dropoff of offensive production. Ethan Wragge is putting up over 12 points per game, but he’s the only other Bluejay scoring in double figures. Even still, Creighton is 30th in the country when it comes to scoring, averaging close to 82 points a night.

One key stat to keep an eye on is Creighton’s three-point shooting. As a team, the Bluejays are hitting over 43 percent of their shots from beyond the arc, while connecting on nearly 49 percent from the field.

Prediction

Creighton is a team that can score, and it’s going to take a collective defensive effort from Seton Hall to keep them in check. Gibbs will win the backcourt battle, but McDermott will likely prove to be too much for the Pirates to handle, even with a solid defender like Edwin sticking him.

SHU isn’t going to lay down, and will build off of their big win over Providence. Still, they’ll come up short to a simply better team.

Creighton 85, Seton Hall 78

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