Creighton Bluejays vs. DePaul Blue Demons Pick & Prediction JANUARY 27th 2024

With three full days to catch its collective breath, No. 17 Creighton gets set to face visiting DePaul on Saturday at Omaha, Neb.

It has been an eventful stretch for the Bluejays (15-5, 6-3 Big East), who started last week with a crushing 62-48 loss on the road to No. 1 UConn. On Saturday, they went the marathon route in a 97-94 win in triple overtime versus Seton Hall, then returned home Tuesday to hold off Xavier.

Most impressive of all in Creighton’s 85-78 victory over the Musketeers was the energy after halftime a few days after playing three overtimes. The Bluejays made 8 of 16 attempts from 3-point range in the second half, compared to 3 of 12 in the first half.

Baylor Scheierman had 15 of his 20 points in the second half, while Trey Alexander finished with 27 points and nine rebounds. Ryan Kaklbrenner had 16 points and nine rebounds to round out the production from the Bluejays’ Big Three.

Scheierman played all 40 minutes after he played all 55 at Seton Hall.

“To play our third game in seven games, with the first two on the East Coast, that’s tough stuff,” Creighton head coach Greg McDermott said. “… This league is really hard. I don’t know if people understand how hard it is. These wins are hard to come by.”

McDermott lauded guard Steven Ashworth afterward, not only for his 12 points and seven assists, but his improving defense, especially against Xavier’s potent backcourt.

“He went from someone who was somewhat of a liability defensively to someone who is hard to take off the floor,” McDermott said of his 6-foot-1 floor leader. “And 15 assists, one turnover the past two games in the Big East, that’s incredible stuff.”

DePaul (3-16, 0-8) played its first game Wednesday after head coach Tony Stubblefield was fired, and while the Blue Demons were improved offensively against No. 14 Marquette, they dropped an 86-73 decision.

DePaul’s point total was its most since it had 75 in a Dec. 9 victory over Louisville.

Jalen Terry scored a season-high 22 points and made a career-best six 3-pointers to go along with six rebounds. Jeremiah Oden had 19 points for the Blue Demons, who played under interim head coach Matt Brady.

DePaul’s 11 made 3-pointers as a team on 24 attempts both were season highs. They shot over 45 percent from distance for the sixth time this season.

“I want these players to love playing basketball at DePaul, and it’s going to happen,” Brady said. “We’re going to make strides here in the next four to five weeks.”

Whether or not those strides are made in a second consecutive game against a ranked team remain to be seen. The Blue Demons again will need more urgency on both ends of the floor against Creighton, which defeated DePaul 84-58 at home on Jan. 9.

“It’s kind of uncharted territory for everybody, so just knowing that, everybody is just trying to take it day by day,” Oden said.

–Field Level Media

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