Xavier was in the midst of a 10-game winning streak and pushing for the best start in program history just over a week ago, before the rigors of the road in the Big East brought its magical season to a temporary halt. With three of their next four at home, the 10th-ranked Musketeers attempt to get back on track when they host No. 22 Creighton on Saturday afternoon and move to 12-0 at the Cintas Center.

After passing each of its first three true road tests of the season, Xavier climbed as high as No. 4 in the coaches' poll before dropping a nine-point decision at Providence last Saturday and ending up on the wrong end of an 89-65 rout at top-ranked Villanova on Wednesday. "We have a really good team. Didn't play very well. Villanova had a lot to do with that. It's a long season and we have to be able to bounce back," Musketeers coach Chris Mack told the Cincinnati Enquirer. Playing well hasn't been much of an issue lately for the Bluejays, as they won their fourth straight contest by holding off a late rally from Butler in Tuesday's 85-74 triumph. After playing three of its last four at home, things are about to get tougher for Creighton, however, as Saturday begins a stretch in which five of its next seven are away from Omaha.

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ABOUT CREIGHTON (14-3, 4-1 Big East): Leading scorer Marcus Foster (19 points per game) tallied 21 of his 23 points in the first half Tuesday but impressed coach Greg McDermott just as much with his willingness to share the ball when his looks at the basket started to dry in the second half. "There weren't many games a year ago that Marcus Foster had eight assists and two turnovers. I think it's just another sign of his progress and how he continues to grow as a player in every facet of the game," McDermott told reporters. Breakout sophomore forward Martin Krampelj (12.8 points, 8.5 rebounds) had 14 points on 5-of-5 shooting and 14 rebounds to post his third straight double-double, matching the number he had over his first 14 contests.

ABOUT XAVIER (15-3, 3-2): The Musketeers' high-scoring backcourt of Trevon Bluiett (18.9 points) and J.P. Macura (12.6) combined for only 16 points on 6-of-21 shooting against Villanova, as Xavier shot 3-of-17 beyond the arc and committed seven more turnovers than the Wildcats. Despite managing only 11 points in his last outing, Bluiett was able to extend his double-figure scoring streak to 29 games; during the run, the 6-6 senior has connected on at least one triple in all but one game and reached the 20-point mark 16 times. Reserve forward Kerem Kanter (9.6 points, 5.4 rebounds) has been a bright spot while playing only 20 minutes in each of the team's last two setbacks, however, following up his career-high 24-point, 12-rebound effort against the Friars with 16 points Wednesday.

TIP-INS

1. Nine of the last 10 meetings between the schools have been decided by eight points or fewer, while each of the last four have been decided by five points or fewer.

2. The Bluejays are vying to become the third team in the country - joining Oklahoma and Florida - to record three top-25 wins away from home.

3. Mack (201-94) is one win shy of matching Pete Gillen for first place on the program's career list.

PREDICTION: Xavier 91, Creighton 87
NCAA Basketball , basketball