After an unexpected test in the first half against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Creighton looks to establish control against Kennesaw State on Thursday. The Owls are fresh off a loss at Iowa State, and are making the short trip to Omaha to face another quality opponent on the road. Voted to finish 11th in the ASUN Conference, Kennesaw State should be another winnable game for Creighton. Then again, Arkansas-Pine Bluff was supposed to be the same way for the Jays.
How to watch Creighton vs. Kennesaw State
Time: 8:30pm ET
Watch Online: Fox Sports App
That Kennesaw State loss to Iowa State was an 11-point affair, but there are still important notes for Creighton to watch out for. Most glaring was that Kennesaw State got to the line a whopping 36 times against the Cyclones. 19 attempts came from Terrell Burden and 10 were from Chris Youngblood, both starters at the guard position. This hurt the Cyclones, with three players (including starting guard Izaiah Brockington) fouling out. So if Creighton is going to be successful without Shereef Mitchell, they have to keep Kennesaw State off the line for as long as possible. They will need to keep Ryan Nembhard, the acting starting point guard, in the game for as long as Creighton needs him.
But those same foul issues affected Kennesaw State. Both Spencer Rodgers and Jamir Moultrie fouled out, and they allowed Iowa State to get to the line 33 times. Creighton got to the line only 12 times against Golden Lions, with seven of their attempts coming from Arthur Kaluma. But with as many times as they seemed to get to the paint and operate down low, it would not be surprising if Creighton was at the line more than you saw in the opener.
Kennesaw State is headlined by Rodgers (16.3 PPG last season), Youngblood (12.4 PPG last season), and Burden (7.6 PPG last season). Creighton should not struggle in this game, especially if they can punish Kennesaw State on the glass and inside like they did late in Tuesday’s affair. Given that the foul shooting was plentiful in Kennesaw State’s first game, Creighton could also use the line to their advantage, but with the free throw shooting woes they went through last season, the Bluejays should not depend solely on the foul line to win this game.