Creighton shooting slump
Creighton is amid a five-game losing streak, dropping its first four conference games. Its biggest issue in that span has been shooting. The Bluejays' best basketball in that time frame came in its last game versus Seton Hall. The Jays shot 51.1 percent from the field that game, and it took a game-winning three from Sterling Gibbs to defeat them 68-67. In their four previous losses, Creighton shot a mere 34 percent from the field, while allowing opponents to shoot 43 percent. No Bluejays player scored over 15 points in those defeats. Creighton will need to have a solid shooting performance, similar to the Seton Hall game, if they want to pick up their first conference win of the season.
Marquette frontcourt to lead the way
In Creighton's losing streak, they've allowed 19.2 points and 8.4 rebounds per game to frontcourt players. That's not what you want to hear when you have to face Luke Fischer, one of the top big men in the Big East this season. Fischer has scored in double figures in five of his seven career games at Marquette, averaging 13.1 points and 5.4 rebounds and shooting 81.6 percent from the field. If Fischer can't bring his A-game, Steve Taylor Jr. is a weapon for the Golden Eagles. He's putting up only 6.1 points and 5.1 rebounds per contest, but has 3 double-digit scoring outputs this season, including games versus Ohio State and Michigan State. Whether it's Fischer or Taylor, look for Marquette's frontcourt to lead the way versus Creighton.
Who needs the win more
Even in January, both squads' tournament chances are slim. Creighton is 9-8 overall and 0-4 in conference, while Marquette's record stands at 9-6, 1-2 in the Big East. The Jays have had an up and down season, acquiring wins against Oklahoma and Nebraska, and bad losses as well, like their defeat at the hands of North Texas. Marquette on the other hand has a better record, overall and in conference, than Creighton, with signature wins coming against Tennessee and Providence. They have a black mark on their resume as well; a loss to Nebraska Omaha. Right now, both teams should be happy to receive an NIT birth, but with most of Marquette's losses coming to quality opponents in Ohio State, Michigan State, Wisconsin and Georgetown, the Golden Eagles have built a stronger resume than the Jays thus far. A home loss against the last place team in the Big East could cripple any tournament chances Marquette may have.