It took until the waning days of the month, but Creighton and Seton Hall finally found solutions to the struggles they endured throughout December.
On Tuesday night, the two teams begin the task of trying to carry those improvements into the new calendar year when Creighton hosts Seton Hall in a Big East clash in Omaha, Neb.
Creighton hasn’t played since Christmas Day, when the host Bluejays never trailed in an 80-65 win over DePaul. Seton Hall snapped a three-game losing streak on Saturday afternoon by overcoming a 10-point first-half deficit to rout St. John’s, 88-66.
The win was the second straight for Creighton (8-6, 2-1 Big East) following a six-game losing streak — the program’s longest skid since a nine-game losing streak from Dec. 21, 2014 through Jan. 25, 2015.
The back-to-back victories were fueled by the Bluejays rediscovering their long-distance shooting form. Creighton went 8-for-16 from beyond the arc in a 78-56 win over Butler on Dec. 22 before shooting a blistering 16-of-29 (55.2 percent) against DePaul.
Creighton shot just 29.5 percent (49-of-166) from 3-point land during its losing streak.
“The shots have gone in,” Creighton coach Greg McDermott said following the win over DePaul. “They’re the same shots. Shot quality against Butler was exactly the same as the shot quality against Nebraska (the Bluejays shot 10-of-40 from beyond the arc in a 63-53 loss on Dec. 4).
“Sometimes you make ’em, sometimes you miss ’em and you’ve got to live with it.”
Trey Alexander poured in 32 points, a career high, with seven made 3-pointers against DePaul.
Seton Hall (8-7, 1-3 Big East) earned its first conference win under first-year coach Shaheen Holloway with an impressive showing on both ends of the floor.
The Pirates were outrebounded 101-95 during their losing streak but outrebounded St. John’s 42-32 on Saturday despite an 11-rebound performance from the Red Storm’s Joel Soriano, the nation’s third-leading rebounder entering Monday. Kadary Richmond (19 points) and Tyrese Samuel (16 points) each finished with nine boards for the Pirates.
In addition, Seton Hall also collected a season-high 17 assists on 33 field goals. Seven different players had an assist.
“We just have to understand we have to play like that all the time, like our back is against the wall every time in this league,” Holloway said.
–Field Level Media